Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dinghy Chaps-The Final Chap-ter

Completion of the dinghy chaps took much longer than anticipated. Joe and I tried to add the hours of labor and came up with thirty five hours of sewing not counting half days that were spent designing and cutting the template, fabric and chafe patches. It was an exhausting experience, but one that I do not regret. After all anytime there's an opportunity for a learning experience how can you go wrong?

While I was holed up in the workroom at the sewing machine, Joe also made good use of his time preparing for the HAM exams at the Marathon library. He made use of the free WiFi at the marina by downloading free PDF files of previous exams. He used these as his study guides along with a book loaned to him by a neighboring cruiser. As expected, Joe passed the exam with flying colors!

During the project I made several new friends who frequented the workroom. Duane Cobb who lives aboard his boat Trilogy rented his sewing machine to me and we had some interesting chats when I took a few breaks during each day. Duane previously owned a horse farm in Stowe, Vermont, taught jumping, competed in shows, played polo and even taught Maria von Trapp to ride horses when she was 67 years old!

Another New Englander named Bob Moberg had been rebuilding a new sail in the workroom while I worked on the chaps. Bob owned Carmel sail loft
for a number of years before returning to Boot Key Harbor two years ago. He and his wife had lived aboard in the harbor in the 80's and he always hoped to return. He currently lives aboard Wind Song his 35 foot Pearson with his faithful, furry companion Mopei. Bob was kind enough to lend a few tools to me during my time in the shop. Eavesdropping on conversations between Duane, Bob and others were the highlight of my day. They seemed always to center on the latest scuttlebutt in the harbor sprinkled with names such as One Eyed Tom, Wobbly Bob and Fiberglass Dan.

One of the aspects of the community that I enjoyed while undertaking this project was the amount of interest others showed for the progression of the project. Each day, after arriving at 8:00 AM I could count on several people wandering in during the day to have a chat, check on my progress and offer encouragement. It meant a lot that they showed such genuine interest.

Our friends Lawrence and Elaine from Elle and I were so excited to see the dinghy chaps completed that they came up on deck as we motored by armed with two cameras capturing our pride and delight. They are credited with all of the photos in this blog.

So now everyone is asking what's next? Right now my ambitions are to enjoy some time off. Play my heart out on guitar, ride my bike to some handy bars for happy hour, dinghy to the beach and eventually explore (weather permitting) some of the lower keys, the Marquesas, and Dry Tortougas aboard the Simple Life.

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Location:Boot Key Harbor, Florida Keys