Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 27, 2010.

The World Cup is over for the Americans. It bummed me out a bit but they lost to a good team that played a great game. The Americans didn’t capitalize on a few chances and made a few uncharacteristic mistakes and at this level you can’t get away with that. The French embarrassed themselves on a world stage and Italy found out that reputation doesn’t mean much against youthful legs.

Other than that the big news here is the friggin’ heat. And it’s not one of those “105° but dry days” like they talk about in Arizona. We were over 100 degrees twice this week. The humidity was such that not only could you see the air, you had to lean forward to push through it as you walked along. Test the bilge pump? No problem, just send Bill down below deck to work for thirty minutes and if the pump works it’ll kick on because I sweat like a pig.

I was driving along the other day and realized that I had never opened the window. I just hopped into the closed up, broiling truck and took off down the road and it didn’t occur to me that I was getting really, really hot until I was almost at my destination. Crap it’s hot.

Christy’s new glasses came in and she’s all psyched because she can see again. We’re both pretty happy about this years eyeglass buying experience. It was nothing like the 800 mile, 2 month long Lenscrafters debacle from a few years ago.

We’ve also started the hard dodger and bimini for the boat. Our existing canvas dodger is close to 15 years old. Since we’re north for the summer and down in the islands for the winter, we’re always under the broiling sun and it has really taken a toll on the bimini. The Sunbrella canvas has degraded to the point that it feels as if I could poke my finger through it with minimal effort. Some of the stitching has started to fall apart as well. I don’t think the material would survive another season or an attempt at restitching. So, its time for some new protection for the cockpit.

There are a few options available to us. We have friends that have bought the material and remade their entire enclosures with fantastic results. We could try that but my sewing skills are rated as “survival” at best. We could pay a canvas shop to come down and redo everything but there are 2 problems with that. First off, its expensive, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were in the $5000 dollar range. Secondly, for some reason, canvas shops seem to be unreliable as hell. It’s not just us, several cruisers we know have also had dealings with several different canvas shops up and down the eastern seaboard and nobody has a good story to tell. You’ve got a better chance of getting the Pope to a Bar Mitzvah than you do of having a canvas guy performing as promised.

So we’ve opted to build and install a hard dodger and bimini. This will also enable me to bring the solar panels forward from the radar arch and mount them on the bimini. The first thing we did was to buy some material to make a level surface to work on. Then I made a template of the cockpit coaming and then copied it onto half inch plywood. On top of this we started building the dodger. Its roughed out and after I cover the outside with fiberglass we’ll remove the braces and blocks from inside and apply some glass inside as well. After its all one fiberglass encrusted piece we’ll cut the openings and add the windows. I’ve got a plan, I’ve made drawings and we’ve begun. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out.

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