Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Isla Mujeres Mexico and Knitting

Mono-hull sailboats are tippy
YES. We made it north up to Isla Mujeres, Mexico which is offshore from Cancun. It was a long passage of 2-nights (38 hours) that was both heavenly and hellish at different times.

We managed to really sail! I mean  we actually turned off the engine and let the two sails do all of the work. We had a 2 knot gulfstream  current running north (the right direction) so we were hauling buns at 9 knots! Our tropical-sun-fried faces were wearing big grins as we experienced one of the best sails of our cruising life. Of course it also meant that this mono-hull sailboat was heeling hard (leaning) with the port side down. Everything that wasn't nailed, glued, or velco'd on the starboard side of the boat went crashing down to the floor. There it all slid around on the floor for a day or so until it was safe for us to be down below and clean it up. In the photo above that's all my gear from my knitting workplace playing on the floor. Oh, and yes, I did find some things that I had been missing after they popped out from their hiding places behind my knitting chair.

Stowaway Squid - in too much tropical sun
At the same time, both doors on our refrigerator/freezer unit (which is mounted on the starboard side of the galley) came flying open and our food went for rides back and forth across the galley floor. Both Jonesy and I, at various times, tried to capture the traveling food and get it back into the approriate section of the refrigerator without injuring ourselves in the process. Did you know that those cheap Glad and Rubbermade storage containers actually shatter into sharp bits if they hit the floor when frozen?

Our usual bungie cord closure system for the fridge was inadequate for the first time in many seasons of cruising. I managed to work out a "system"; put a folding beach chair backed by a pillow across the hallway to keep the lower door closed.
Yaneris Socks
Of course this meant that Jonesy had to step over this to use his head (toilet) up in the forward stateroom, but we (he) put up with this because the fast sailing was just way too much fun.

Then the winds picked up and the seas got rough. Actually, the seas off of the coast of Cozumel had waves coming from all directions like a washing machine. We had to reef in the sails and power up the engine as we were "in irons" and couldn't make headway in the direction we needed to go to avoid running into land (never a good thing). Upon arrival in Isla Mujeres, we were able to go out on the aft deck and we found a squid up on deck - how had it gotten there? Probably was thrown up by a wave!

Since we've arrived we have quickly adjusted to the laid back yet full lifestyle here in Mexico! We love Isla Mujeres! The food is fabulous and I get to buy fresh, thin Mexican-style tortillas. Many of our old friends and some new ones are here so we have been social butterflies eating out in little cafes and riding the ferry over to Cancun for shopping. Every other day or so we take our dinghy to the white sand beach lined with palm trees, beach chairs, and open air restaurants to get in the warm water. It's lovely to be able to simply "bob" about in the sea. Plus strolling along in the wet sand gives our feet free and natural pedicures!
Vivian (s/v B and B), Terry and Jonesy
Toddler Mittens

Besides beach entertainment, I've been doing a lot of knitting of course. Above are another pair of socks from my Yaneris Socks pattern only this time I used twisted stitches for the cables instead of real 1x1 cable crosses. This made the knitting so much faster! But this method also makes a tighter sock. So I made them shorter so that they will fit about a pre-teen size kid at the orphanages in Kazakhstan.

Below are some toddler sized mittens which were requested from the baby house (orphanage).   I used a self-striping sock yarn combined with a solid green sock yarn for this pair. I love how fast a toddler mitten knits up! Mittens are fun (except for the final thumb knitting which is futzy).

Then I designed another pair of toddler mittens with kitty-cats on them. So far the palms are knit and all I have to do is add the thumbs (sigh).

Of course, there have been socks on the needles too. I finished up this pair of pre-teen sized socks (foot length 8") with some Regia self-striping yarn. I always need some brainless knitting going on.

The real work has been the research for my Level one TKGA
Regia sock yarn 20cm socks
Knitting Master program. Good grief! I've had to haul out all of my knitting reference books and document every technique I have to use in the swatches that get knitted. The actual knitting is a piece of cake...the finding of references and documenting them is time consuming!! It feels like I'm back in school ...s.h.u.d.d.e.r. Once I finish this Level 1 (and pass or do the resubmittals), I get to go on to Level 2 and finally Level 3 which I'm really looking forward to working. There's always something new to learn in knitting.

That said...check out Arenda Holladay's blog for excellent tutorials on knitting skills. Her videos on YouTube are very clear and her tips are priceless!

Laughing so hard! I certainly hope that was your intention because sympathy and concern were not high on my emotion list.

What I wouldn't have given for you two have a film crew on board. Short of that, your descriptions were excellent.
I would like to see more of your boat.

Did you both stay awake for that crazy whole ride?
Eeek! Then I'd have to clean the boat! We take turns for the "watch" when we travel overnight. But it was so rough for a while that Jonesy wouldn't sleep anyway so he just stayed up. I stayed in our bunk as it was the safest place ;o)
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