Thursday, February 20, 2014
HARD TO SAY GOOD-BYE
|Charlie, Terry, Saundra, and Jonesy|
Here's a photo of us with our cruising buddies Charlie and Saundra on s/v Island Sol at Temporary Cal's restaurant deck on the island of Roatan, Honduras. We first met these new cruisers in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala last summer. Well, that is met them face-to-face. Saundra and I had been corresponding via email for quite some time before that after finding each other on the Sailors forum of Ravelry.com. Saundra has been my crafty/fiber buddy and I'll miss her company dearly. S/v Island Sol has many more cruising adventures to experience, but in the opposite compass direction than the one we're taking. We did change our plans for these past few months to return to Roatan rather than head up to Mexico just so we could hang out more with these folks - and we're glad we did.
|The infamous Derelict Dock|
Last Friday, we tossed off the lines to the docks at the Roatan Yacht Club and motored over to West End. This move not only puts us 2 hours closer to our next destination but it also puts is smack dab in what we consider to be the primo location on Roatan! What's not to love about beautiful reefs to explore, cool breezes, fun bohemian village of dive resorts, and beaches to walk. We're BACK! We loved our times here in previous years, but there was some political nonsense and cruisers were turned away from the moorings.
Thankfully, there is a new mayor in town and the Roatan Marine Park is standing by ready to re-install the mooring buoys (pending legal paperwork)! We have picked up a private mooring because we know those folks have left the country - but there are also many sailboats anchored out here - like 15! That's a sufficient number for a traditional "Derelict Dock Party".
Over the years, we have gathered here on what used to be a nice, but never used, dock for a real estate development (that never developed except for the dock). At 5pm, we set up folding tables and all bring finger foods to share and our own beverages. Here we can chat without loud music and enjoy the last
Besides doing chores and eating out with friends in the village, there has been a lot of knitting going on (duh). Just socks...more and more socks. These child-sized monster socks were knit with various left-over and donated yarns. Again, I used a 2-round pattern of 1x1 alternating stitches each time I changed colors. I think it adds a little pizazz.
With the last little amount of leftover Socks That Rock Lightweight sock yarn, I added some plain navy blue Regia and knit up another pair of child-sized socks. The Socks That Rock yarn is thicker than the Regia and does not have any nylon added for protection against abraison. So that yarn goes on the legs and the tough-wearing Regia goes on the feet.
Finally, here are another pair of child-sized socks knit where I combined that ghastly self-striping yarn with the soothing navy blue Regia yarn. I only used the green and white mottled stuff in the leg as stripes against the blue. Then I cut it off completely for the foot. Ah, much better.
Tomorrow will be a busy day for us. First we must clear out of the country with visits to customs, immigration and the port captain.
Life is good.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
The new pattern is free during the months of February and March 2014 to members of the Six Sox Knitalong Yahoo group.
So that was my fiddly sock knitting. No, I haven't knit up the second sock yet. It's been cast on, but I've been distracted by other sock knitting including the Knitalong event on the Holiday Mystery Gifts group. Mostly, I've been working up socks for the orphanages in Kazakhstan.
From more (yes I still have more) of the sock yarn donated by the campers at Meg Swanson's Knitting Retreat, I selected this soft purplish colored yarn for a very simple pair of socks. I love how the plies of the yarn are different colors at some points. It didn't have a ball band so I don't know who the manufacturer is, but I did enjoy working with this yarn.
Now, the next pair completed is worked in a yarn color combination that I find GHASTLY (Online Supersocke Savanne). There is just something unsettling about the colors. Kelly green with burgundy red? It just gives me the shudders. But, I know that color appreciation differs from person to person so there must be somebody out there who won't mind these socks. Like somebody who is colorblind.
Unfortunately, I have 2 more full skeins of this yarn! I bought it online in a "grab bag" sale - fantastic price and good quality wool sock yarn. I'm pondering reskeining these so I can over-dye them with a soft grey to mute the colors. Otherwise I may just go blind knitting with that yarn again. I almost had to wear sunglasses for this first pair.
|CAUTION - Wear protective Eye Gear|
My current mixing method is to knit two rounds of a 1x1 mix (knit 1 first color, knit 1 second color) with stranded colorwork, switching the colors for the second round. This finished pair has the Knit Picks Stroll caper green, Sophie's Toes in blues, Koigu wool orange, and some ugly Opal sock yarn that I had overdyed with some brown years ago. The Koigu and Sophies Toes yarns are only used on the leg because they don't have that work-horse fiber - nylon - and will wear out quicker if used for heels and toes.
So now you know what I've been up to these past couple of weeks - what about Jonesy? Well, he's been filling his time up with boat chores of course!
Cruising in exotic locations means that he's had the opportunity to make boat repairs in scenic locals. The motor for our electric roller-furler actually arrived on time (!!!) and was exactly what we needed. You can imagine the joy we both had when he flipped the power switch for the first time and the roller-furler roared alive!!
This will make it so much easier and safer for our big passage from Roatan here up to Florida.
There's always something to tinker with on the boat. During our wait for the motor to arrive I mentioned to Jonesy that the rear toilet (head)
|Build up in blackwater tubes|
Well, it turned into a BIG project. Jonesy had to remove all the outbound tubing from the toilet - eeewwwy. This meant that he had to remove the paneling in the bathroom (head) because the tubes run way up high overhead to prevent siphoning. Then he had to pound the tubes against the dock to break up and shake loose the hard solid build up in them. Look at how clogged up these tubes were! There was hardly any space for black water to exit!!! That's because there is some chemical reaction that occurs when urine meets with sea water. Just another chore that live aboard cruisers must deal with that day-trippers never see.
As we all know, sometimes a simple job keeps growing into more jobs and this was true with the head. The plastic base had a broken bolt. Fortunately, Mr. Spares Jonesy had ordered a spare many years ago upon the advice of another cruiser. It only took us an hour to find which cubbie it was hidden in but we found it! Whoo hoooo! Anyway, I volunteered to clean up and sanitize after he was done. He'd done enough work.
Now, we have nothing on our "to-do" list except get ready for our next passage. Mostly, that will be special provisioning for foods to eat while underway while the boat is heeling (tipping on it's side). Because of the wind directions we're expecting, it will be very hard to get into the refrigerator/freezer because the contents will fly out if we open the doors. So we'll be packing coolers with drinks and quick-to-grab snacking meals. This means I need to do some planning, shopping, and pre-cooking and packaging. It also means that I'll have MORE TIME TO KNIT while we are at sea!
We've been enjoying life here on Roatan and socializing with our boating friends. The other day, the folks on the motor vessel Cabaret gave a Cruiser's Breakfast at Brooksy Point Marina for all of us. They served up biscuits and real Jimmy Dean Sausage gravy, eggs, french toast, strawberries, mimosas, and bloody marys. They made me a special plate which had some real bacon on it (because I can't eat the wheat in biscuits, gravy or french toast).
Life is good.