They warned us that we might get stuck here at Rebel Marina, Willoughby Bay. Well, we are still here in Virginia at the bottom of the Chesapeake waiting to haul out for repairs to the mast case and to paint the bottom and it has been a month already. We have gone past Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C, so maybe there is something to the talk about the invisible bungee cord and the Rebel Triangle, after all. Hope is growing dim as we chase down one last haul out facility. Meanwhile, we have started our summer schedule of maintainence and improvements.
We made the commitment to change the leading edge of our foremain sail. The old soft wing sail's luff pocket had chafed right through in several places and now the patches are chafing through as well. So we are making the GRAND EXPERIMENT and the local sailmaker will alter that sail to remove the luff pocket and use a John Leather type of rope lacing to the mast (read The Gaff Rig Handbook for details). With the old luff pocket, we were able to tack through 90 degrees in protected waters and that is simply remarkable windward ability for a catamaran and we did sail pretty well to windward - about as well as a cruising monohull. But it came at the cost of being difficult for us to raise and lower the sail in our old age. We have both noticed a reduction in strength in the past few years. As for speed, Good Schooner Time is usually fast enough for us. We generally wait for a pushing wind anyway. I hope we will be satisfied with the altered sail. If we are, we will alter the main next time we are here at Rebel Marine.
We found the local Home Depot, so we got some of their select white and yellow pine that is clear of knots and Nev got out zillions of clamps, a saw, and his ample supply of creativity and now the long awaited solid spray hood is growing nicely over the pod. We had discussed this for years and I think the most recent design Nev came up with will work well for us.
I have started painting the decks with better anti skid paint and it is a lot bluer than what I had expected, but will be ok. Over our excellent epoxy and fiberglass base, we have epoxy paint, but now I am putting on polyurethane porch and deck paint from Home Depot. It is nice paint to work with and designed for long wearing in high traffic areas, wet, and wide fluctuations in temperature. Sounds like Peace IV's decks!
GREAT NEWS! I have been asked to write a series of articles for Multihull Review magazine in Britain and they will PAY me for them. The work is proving to be a bit of a challenge using this tiny pocketmail gizmo, but so far the editor is delighted, says he does not need to do any editing, and he wants MORE! I am having fun doing the articles too. Who knows what this may lead into... so long as it is fun, it is fine with me. Someday a laptop computer using 12 volts will be nice, but it is not on the budget yet.
All plans to haul either the mast or boat at any of the local commercial yards or marinas have failed. So we are forced into limping to Rhode Island under jury rig with reduced sails. But we have made good progress on our summer work schedule and, more importantly, our time here has deepened already warm friendships. The evenings in the Rebel Marine's Breezeway singing chanties, making potlucks, and telling stories with the other sailors have been excellent. Rebel Marine is sort of a Schooner Central in America.
We have seen the final copy of my article that will go into the Multihull Review Magazine and it is going to be ok with photographs etc. There will be several more of my articles according to the editor. This continues to be a fun sideline project.
We have said our farewells to the fine people at Rebel Marine and taken Peace IV out to the anchorage in preparation for her sail north. Due to the damage to the foremast case, we will not make the passage from here to Cape May offshore. Instead, we will sail up the Chesapeake Bay, through the canal, and down the Delaware under jib and mainsail only in hopes this will prove to be more gentle on that mast. We miss our family and friends in New England, so any progress north will be ok. I have a bad case of grandbabyitis.
The new windshield works well and our old bimini awning will still work until we get to Rhode Island and can fabricate a solid top. Visually it is only a minor distraction because it is almost all made of clear plastic which Nev cleverly wrapped around in a curve, but the welcome shelter from cold winds will slow us a little when going to windward. Another reason to avoid sailing to windward! We'll be waiting for more favorable winds.
What a rotten truck! The forecast weather actually came!! We had the cold wind right on the nose, but Nev's windshield kept us snug and Nev is already designing the ply top he will build next. We will rest a day here in Deltaville to clear up, put away, and get more into cruising mode after being at the marina.
Love, Ann and Nev
© Anne and Neville Clement, 2006