Wednesday, September 27, 2006


On the Hard

We are now "on the hard", in other words, we are no longer in the water but are propped up on blocks of wood and scrawny metal supports in the boatyard. After they postponed our appointment last week, we called every day to see when they could get us in. Then on Monday, we decided that perhaps we would have better luck if we showed up in person. Ta-da! They told us to come on over at 1pm. Sometimes you just gotta be pushy.

So we pulled in at exactly 1pm, tied ourselves to a floating dock and waited. Not today. Moved the boat over to another dock so they could launch a couple of mega-yachts. Spent the night on the boat. Next day - moved the boat to another floating dock. Lots of activity hauling & launching more mega-yachts, but not our turn yet. Spent another night on the boat. Then, this morning we were hauled out.

I'm writing this from the city library because we have not had, and will not have internet for days.

Coming Soon! "Life in a Boatyard - Up Close & Personal"

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Harry's Golf Vest

My dad, Harry, got back from Germany a few days ago and asked how I was doing on his golf vest. Hmmmm...I had the yarn and a design worked out in my head. That's all. So, I got to work. This is going to be a cardigan with abalone buttons up the front.

The yarn is from KnitPicks - Main Line - and is a worsted weight Pima cotton and Merino wool blend. As Harry lives in Palm Desert in southern California, I thought this yarn would be appropriate. My plan is to knit it in one piece up to the armholes, then split for the fronts & back.

Harry brought me back a whole bunch of wild sock yarns from his travels! Whoo hooo! This is better than Christmas! I haven't seen them yet - so I gotta hurry up with the vest so I can deliver it and pick up the sock yarns!

Gotta go knit....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Pink Lace Baby Blanket

Ta-da! I completed the pink lacy baby blanket that I was knitting for my younger son's roommates. The baby is due at the end of this month - can you believe I finished it before the kid went off to school???

I didn't use a pattern as such - just put together elements from things that I've knit in the past and from some of my books. Elizabeth Zimmermann's PI concept combined with the bleeding hearts design from Barbara Walkers "Charted Knitting Patterns" resulted in the middle section. The outer section is from Meg Swansen's Feather and Fan shawl in "The Gathering of Lace". The center section is just a simple off the top of my head spiral.

Wow! There was sure a lot of math involved in putting this together!!! I had to dig out my trusty calculator. At one point I ripped out over 10,000 stitches!!!! Yikes!!!! But I just can't live with an Old Shale (Feather and Fan) pattern that is leaning to one side - all lopsided. So into the frog pond I went.

Wasn't I supposed to be in Catalina sipping umbrella drinks this past week? Yes. But after 24 hours of sailing and motoring we ended right back into our home berth in San Diego.

The Big Rudder Disaster
After a great day sailing and motoring up the coast of California, we headed into Dana Point Harbor to anchor for the evening with plans to sail to Catalina in the morning. Unbeknownst to us, there was a special event and they had six TALL SHIPS out giving sailing trips and they all had to come in and anchor. No room at the marina for us.
So we decided to just head out into the sunset and sail all night, arriving in Catalina in the early morning. The wind was up - the sails were full - and we were trucking right along at about 6.7 knots! Hours went by... it was very dark. Then the autopilot shut itself off. We fixed a previous problem already - this was different. The steering wheel was hard to turn - kinda balky.

I went down and pulled up the mattress from our berth so that I could look at the steering mechanisms. Yowza! There was water streaming into the bilge from around the rudder post - not good. Think "Sink". The post itself was moving slightly in the hole (the hole that goes to the outside of the boat!). Thank goodness Jones had repaired and upgraded the bilge pump system so the seawater was being pumped back out!!!! So, we turned around, took down the sails, and motored back to our home port. Bummer. 24 hours of travel and this big homing pidgeon was back in her slip.

Some time this week, we will be hauled out of the water for the repairs. We'll be living on the dirt mass again. The shipyard has us scheduled but some commercial fishing boats had emergency repairs so now we are "on-call" for the haul out. We can live aboard while they work on the boat - hmmmmm....have you ever been in a commercial ship yard? This should be interesting.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Got Circs?

Got Circular Knitting Needles? Well, if you do, then you have nifty tools to clear out clogged drains!

We had a clogged drain in the propane tank storage bunker on the boat. Crud had built up over the many years of neglect - Eeeeewwww.

Jones donned rubber gloves and tackled the mess. But what to use to clear out the long drainage tube that goes down the interior of the boat to a small vent in the hull? We needed a small plumbers snake. Solution? A couple of my circular knitting needles!!! The metal tips and flexible nylon cords worked great! It still drains slowly - but we were able to scrub and add bleach to kill all the mildew & other icky growth. I'm so proud of my treasured circs!!

Monday, September 04, 2006


Ready for Catalina Trip #2

***Note: Knitting Content is Below****

After our last trip to Catalina a couple of weeks ago, we came home with a long list of repairs and upgrades for the boat - and, of course, other stuff to buy. Now, we are ready to leave for Catalina again next Sunday! It has been a lot of work getting us ready for another sea adventure:

First order of business, was to upgrade the fuel filtering system on the generator because it too was clogged and shut off on the way home.

This is a picture of our new generator fuel filter system that Jones designed and installed. Note the BLUE hoses and the orange-topped filter. This filter is much larger and should help the generator run longer - even with contaminated fuel.

The next upgrade was to the main engine. Again, the filters clogged up on our way home.

Here's a picture of the solution to clogged fuel filters!!! For the main engine ("Big Blue"), Jones bought this duel filter system and designed all the plumbing to supply fuel to it. This system includes a primer pump that Jones added to make it easier for us to change the filters while at sea - we don't have to pump diesel into buckets and funnel it into the filter while the boat rocks back and forth.

The system also has a pressure gauge so that we will know when the filters are becoming clogged with crud. You know, like when your straw gets clogged up with stuff and you have to suck real hard? Well this gauge will measure the "suck". Anyway, we can switch the filter from the clogged one to the fresh filter and still keep on running.

We also had to call in the mast-climbing guy, Ray, to go back up and install a new "steaming" white light on the mast. Ours quit sometime on the trip so we had to put up a flashlight on the mast as we motored the 1.5 hours in San Diego Harbor. Ray also put up a new deck illumination light, and a new flag halyard to properly display our Baja Haha 2006 flag (Jones has been reading the big Chapman Piloting & Seamanship book and discovered that we weren't following proper protocol on our flag displays).

Other projects:

I knit. I did laundry, cooked, shopped, made beaded stitch markers, and offered moral support. Generally, I stayed out of the way. I'm getting really good at that.

But, I did really WORK at my knitting. I designed some bookmark patterns for a LYS - see pics. These are just simple projects using yarn from the shop. With the holiday gift-giving season approaching, little projects become more popular.

I also found "Principles of Knitting" by June Hiatt, and "Knitting Lace" by Susanna Lewis at our local library (thanks Tania for the tip! - I'll return them soon so you can check them out again!) What a score!!! So I have been studying these treasures.

And I started a round baby blanket based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's PI Shawl concept. Just a quick, pink, lacy thing for my son's roommate (wife & hubby are both roommates).

Knitting on...

Sunday, September 03, 2006


30 Years of Married Bliss

Today is Jones' and my 30 year wedding anniversary! We are spending it quietly doing what we love; Jones is watching auto races on TV and I'm knitting. Homemade fruit smoothies for afternoon snack and hot dogs on the grill for supper.

Life is sweet.

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