Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pictures from Colombier
Swell hitting St. Barths This is the backside, or unprotected side, at Anse Colombier and certainly a lee shore that I would want to avoid at all costs.

[17°55'30.59"N 62°52'4.7"W (facing SE)]
Swell hitting St. Barths
Bimini repairs While Sunbrella is ver resilent against UV, the stitching isn't and this is what happened after the brittle stitching ripped around the main zipper of the dodger.
Bimini repairs
Bimini repairs While the Sunbrella material that the bimini is made from is very resistant to UV rays from the sun, the stitching thread is not and tends to decompose and weaken quickly in the tropical sunshine. A sailmaker once explained that the UV-proof yarns are more expensive and cannot be run through a sewing machine and that is why they tend not to be used. This is a quick fix that I did when the thread holding the bimini zipper ripped. I used whipping twine in this case.
Bimini repairs
Preparing to splice 3-Strand Here I've unraveled the 3 strands that are going to be used for the splice, using tape to stop the unraveling from going any further and to stop the ends from opening up.
Preparing to splice 3-Strand
Docklines manufacture Here I spliced some old line to form a large eye and also whipped the other end of the line. This was a bad job, most likely caused by inattention and Carib beer on my part.
Docklines manufacture

Zanshin seen from ashore

Whipping Box Nothing to do with whips and leather, "Whipping" is the nautical term for fixing the ends of lines so they don't unravel or fray. This is done with fine waxed line (you can see the various diameters in the box) and there are several patterns that have evolved over the years. I used the simplest and it holds up to the elements quite well.
Whipping Box
Last night the winds really blew hard through the anchorage. Gusting to over 30 but sustained quite high made for an uncomfortable night, as the boat would roll and jerk around in the wind. I am going to have to rethink my snubber line, perhaps a double line of a bit more “springy” material going to each side of the boat. I hope that these are the “Christmas winds”; that means that they will be over with soon and the rest of the time the weather will be more settled. I used the slow Iridium to get my e-mails and will be getting visitors from Germany in a couple of weeks. I think that with the wind and waves being what they are today I will do some work on the boat, the fiberglass on the decks and cockpit area are a bit chalky and could do with some rubbing compound and waxing. Thankfully the batteries seem to be doing well, I am using about 60 Amps of power per day on average and a lot of that comes from the anchor light (which I need to replace with an LED as soon as practicable), fans in the bedroom and the reefer.

I've just spent 2 hours drinking coffee and working on the web pages, the wind is blowing hard up on deck and the temperatures down below are still acceptable, so I haven't done anything outside yet apart from a quick look to ensure that I didn't drag anchor during the night (no problem there, I anchored in 20 feet in sand and put out 100 feet or so of chain, then dived on the anchor to make sure that the hook had set.

The day was a productive one, mixing work on the boat with swimming and walking around. The wind was still strong and picture taken from the hill on the north side of Columbine doesn't really show it; those breaking waves were being whipped up over the hill by the wind. After my short walk (the path was rocky and I'd neglected to take my shoes ashore) I went back to the beach and swam back to the boat. I used some “Never Dull” to get the rust spots off some of stainless steel fittings forward, spent about an hour with light rubbing compound and wax on the fib erg lass in the cockpit and then, after reading for a couple of hours, opened up my Whipping box (for those of you who conjured up an image of a trunk full of latex, black rubber and whips & chains you are on the wrong track) as show above to do some rope work; the term “whipping” is used aboard for the securing of ends of lines so they don't unravel. You'll have to zoom into the big after picture above to see that my whipping work is leagues above my sewing work - you won't need to zoom to that picture to see that I stand no chance of an alternate career as a tailor. But at least my sewing handiwork on the broken zipper in the bimini will hold.

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