Sunday, February 22, 2015

Learning to be Patient

Well the 21st has come and gone, and we are still at the marina. Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating with us so we're stuck in Kemah for a few more days. We have gotten a lot of the projects completed though so now it's just a waiting game for good weather. It looks like this coming Tuesday might be the day we head out. Fingers crossed!
Speaking of projects, one that I've been working on is getting courtesy flags. Whenever you sail into a foreign nation's waters, you fly their flag as a sign of courtesy. This should have been a quick and easy item to cross off my list, but I found that prices for flags that can be clipped to a halyard (rope) and run up the mast range from $15 to $25, which gets expensive if you are buying flags for several places. So after doing a little research and reading a few sailing blogs, I decided to go a different route. I bought cheap flags that have a wooden stick attached (the ones people wave in parades), some white nylon fabric, and a grommet  kit. I sewed nylon to the left edge of the flag since it didn't have enough supporting material for the grommets and then added the grommets so we could clip the flag to the halyard. And VoilĂ ! New courtesy flags. I feel pretty proud about the result, especially since I've never used a sewing machine before or grommets for that matter. 
David has been super busy doing all of the mechanical and electrical work. I know he's ready for some relaxation time once we get down to Florida! He went up the mast for the first time last week, which made us both a little nervous. The mast is 50 feet above the waterline so you don't want anything to go wrong. To get to the top, he wore a climbing harness, which had a rope attached to it. The rope was threaded through a block that was hoisted to the top of the mast. He could then pull the free end of the rope and pull himself up. I stood by with a second rope wrapped around the winch just in case his safety line broke. He was up and down in about 20 minutes, and we both could breathe a sigh of relief.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Getting ready

Welcome to our sailing blog! I'm not sure where to begin. As most of the readers of this blog will be family and friends who already know our story, I don't want to bore them. However, here is a quick introduction to how we ended up living on a boat. In the early part of summer 2014, my then fiancĂ© (who is now my hubby) suggested we give up our land based lives, buy a sailboat, and go to the Caribbean. It sounds like a good idea after you've had a couple glasses of wine but to actually say yes is a totally different matter. Giving up my then current job was a no brainer since I didn't enjoy it but not having any income whatsoever almost gave me an anxiety attack (or 2 or 3 :)  But we made the decision to go for it. We were married in September, moved back to Texas from Seattle in November, and bought a 35' Niagara sailboat in the first part of January. We have been living aboard in a marina in Kemah since Jan. 9th, and we've been mostly enjoying our life on the boat. The people here are really friendly and offer great advice, and there are even community get-togethers, like the upcoming Yachty Gras parade. Downsides....getting used to the cramped spaces, no internet, and condensation issues. We have set Feb. 21 as our date to sail to Florida and then to the Caribbean. I am very optimistic that we'll meet that date even though we have a few things to cross off our list before we leave. I am ready as I'll ever be!