Thursday, January 23, 2014


PTSD - Post Traumatic Storm Disorder

Whats this? Niki Wiki at a dock during cruising season?
Another storm was racing down to us from the north too soon after that last big blow. Jonesy and I both were still feeling traumatized. We jumped at every breeze that was stronger than a whisper and kept checking our anchor chain. So we decided to swallow our pride (of anchorship) and headed into the new/old Roatan Yacht Club Marina where we slept through the night during the next storm.

The Roatan Yacht Club had fallen into disrepair the last time we were in Roatan. But some new folks have taken an interest in developing it and have added brand new docks including dedicated dinghy docks, refurbished the bathrooms and shower, and improved the walkways. They have lots of future plans to make this a cruiser destination and we applaud them! The price is right too!

Life is easier in a lot of ways here at the little Roatan Yacht Club. Not only do they have a reasonably priced restaurant with great food and a pool, there is also access to the main road and the Eldon's grocery store is just a few steps away! The other two marinas here in French Key/French Harbor are not within walking distance of shopping or taxi transportation.
Roatan Yacht Club

Our plan was to just stay a week. As so often happens (cruisers' plans are written in the sand at high tide) we changed our minds and are staying a full month. Why? Serendipity, that's why. It so happens that the skipper of another boat here used to work for the manufacturer of our Gulfstar boat (long out of business) and Jonesy eagerly picked his brain about our Hood in-mast furler motor. See, it stopped working so we were having to manually release and haul in the main sail. Not fun.

With these new tidbits of information, Jonesy decided to tackle the removal of the motor from the mast. This necessitated removing the boom from the mast which we would only do while safely in a marina. After several days of saturating the corroded and
Roatan Yacht Club
firmly stuck bolts with WD-40 he got them loosened! That's the good news. The bad news is that the motor is actually broken - as in the support for the "brushes" is in little pieces. Our new friend has the telephone number of a guy in Rhode Island who had a replacement motor! It can be very difficult to find certain parts for these older sailboats.

After a couple of phone calls back and forth to the states and the magic of PayPal (thank you everyone who has purchased my knitting patterns!) we now have a motor on it's way to a freight depot in Florida. From there a local air shipping and logistics business (RAS - Roatan AirExpress Service) will have it sent by air to us here on the island.
Roatan Yacht Club Restaurant patio
In the meantime, we are enjoying life in our new temporary home. Other cruisers come by to enjoy a meal or adult beverage in the restaurant which has a nice breeze and view of the harbor below. The $2.50 dinghy fee is waived with a purchase at the bar or restaurant. This is the easy way for folks to get to town or pick up a taxi to go to Coxen Hole, etc.

This has been a very rainy January so far which means that we've also spent a lot of time just hanging out on the boat. We are so looking forward to February when we expect the trade winds to start to pick up and to have long strings of dry days and lovely breezes.
Roatan Yacht Club path to restaurant

Beginning February 1st, I will be leading a Learn How to Knit Socks Knitalong on the Holiday Mystery Gifts Yahoo group. So far there are over 200 brave folks signed up to participate! We will be using my Plain Talk Socks pattern, sock/fingering weight yarn and double point needles. We are going to take this very, very slowly and will knit a plain sock, cuff-down, with a traditional heel flap and gusset and a Dutch/square heel. I'm really looking forward to  this!

In the meantime, I've been finishing up some baby items for a submission to a future publication. Here's a little lace-trimmed hat and mitten combination worked up in Socks That Rock yarn - soft merino superwash wool.

I don't have a toddler available for a photo so this is one of my plastic mixing bowls wearing the hat. The flower topper is simply the same lace work as on the edging of the hat and the cuff of the mittens but then is gathered together to make the flower. The top of the hat is finished with a small amout of I-cord tubing. The tubing is inserted into the center of the flower, then tied into a knot for a bobble/center.

The sun is shining today - the front hatch is open over the V-berth to continue to dry out the cushions which got wet in the big rain storm (another item on the "to do" list is fix that dang hatch). It's time to get some lunch for Jonesy then head up to the Roatan Yacht Club for an art show at 2pm and a meet-up with my knitting and cruising buddy for some knitting time.

Life is good.

I love the hat, Terry. It looks like you opened up a can of worms (aka a flood of e-mails) with the sock knitting workshop.You are gracious and magnanimous to share your talents with the group. While you apparently have more rain than usual, we have bitter cold and snow up to our chests and on top of it a propane shortage for those of us that live in the Hinterland. Supposedly there is a blizzard on the way.
I hope the shipping costs for the motor are not totally outrageous. Renate
Hello there dear friend. I love the edging on the hat and mitten. Very very nice. What do you call the pattern?

I d/l'ed the Sockuppied (?) Spring but had not opened it up yet. What a nice surprise for me. Thanks.

Enjoy your stay. Looking forward to seeing you again. Looks like Jonsey (and you too)is really being put through his paces as far as the boat is concerned. How wonderful that there was someone there that actually knew something about the problem and could actually help. You and Jonsey have really met some wonderful people out there on the water.
I am glad to hear that you are safely ensconced at the yacht club. I hope you get your new sail furling motor, and can get that all up and running again.
AND... I was so excited to see that you are doing a sock knit along! I do so want to learn to be a knitter of socks! :-) I signed up today and can't wait to get started. I think all of your socks are so beautiful, and would love to be able to knit socks for my family.
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