Sunday, May 10, 2015


Let the Cruising North BEGIN!

NIKI WIKI with Terry on deck
On a recent windless morning, Jonesy hauled out the jib and mainsail for a pre-cruising visual inspection. All looks good. He made such a racket stomping around the deck over our bunk and cranking out the lines that it woke me up. I knew what he was doing, so I grabbed a cup of coffee (which Jonesy makes every morning in our drip coffee machine) and went out on deck.

We've completed every chore required before we can leave and have fully provisioned the galley. The dry erase white board which acts as our central planning center is completely blank!! There is absolutely no space left in the freezer and food cupboards.

We are excited about getting OUT and zooming along at 6 knots (approx 7 mph) through the wilderness! Along the way we will wave to our friends Michelle and Kenny who have the house on the marsh that I house sat. We've never done that before - so that's a new experience for us too.

Terry on NIKI WIKI trying to wake up
One of the last chores that was my responsibility was to make replacement tie-down straps for our 6-Man Life Raft that lives up on the foredeck. The harsh sun of the tropics had damaged the strapping. Should we hit a wake, the dang raft could bounce right off of the boat.

So I took out my trusty 38-year old Elna sewing machine (that Jonesy gave me the Christmas before we were married) and whipped up the replacement straps. Now it is safe and sound. Even though we are planning to stay in the protected waterway, we may still have to go out in the big ocean and we both feel so much better knowing that we have a Life Raft.

After a 2 day delay due to Tropical Storm Ana here on the East coast of the USA, we will be heading out tomorrow morning after taking on fuel, settling up with the marina, and getting rid of every last bit of trash while we still can.
We have a Verizon WiFi hot spot so hopefully we'll have signal along the way and can share some photos.

Now, for knitting and ceramics... I've been busy making another pair of felted wool mittens. I used the exact same yarn, same washing
machine, but different detergent. This second pair is MUCH SMALLER! I can just barely squeeze my chubby hands into these. Thankfully, there are kids of all sizes in Kazakhstan who need warm mittens so these will find a new owner.

As for socks, I've been test knitting a new pattern for a friend. I'm not sure when I can share a photo, but I am enoying the process and the feel of the lovely yarn from Wooly Wonka Fiber generously donated to knit for the Kaz kids.

In the meantime, here's a photo of my current take-along sock project. The yarn is Vesper Sock Yarn by Knitterly Things in a colorful self-striping colorway (donated by my friend Michelle for the Kaz kids - thank you!). I'm so very lucky to have friends who have great taste in yarns and also who are brave enough to part with some of there stash to see frosty toes get a chance to be warm.
Hug Me Socks in process

The pattern is a very simple one, and one that I use often. It is my own Hug Me Socks design. Really, it is just 2 rounds of plain stockinette followed by 2 pounds of 2x2 ribbing. Repeat. This stitch pattern creates a thick and textured fabric that has lots of stretch. Stretch is important when making garments such as socks for sizes unknown. I like to make things that will fit a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

So now on to ceramics! I've really enjoyed my hours in the studio of the Glynn Visual Arts Center and am a tad sad to not be able to play with mud while we are cruising. But, I'll dive back in once we return to Brunswick here.

These past weeks I concentrated on making more bottoms for pine needle baskets, and some glaze test color tiles. I'm using a clay body that has more red iron in it than what most of the other clay-players in my group. The glaze works differently over darker clays. So I made some small samples for future reference.

At the spur of the moment I threw together a free-form tray - added some embellishments - and dunked it into two different glazes. One end was dipped in a barrel of shiny brown glaze, and the other end in a satin finish green glaze. The section in the middle is where the two different glazes overlapped.  I love the effect!

Now what should I serve in this? Whatever I decide, it will get used even if it gets broken in rough seas at some time in the future, I'll enjoy it while I have it.
Ceramic Tray Glaze Play

Life is good.

have a safe trip? How far north will you come? I will be watching your adventures, happy sailing, Darrell
Excellent Greg. Good, practical stuff. I just floated your article around my network. Keep up the good work.

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