Utilizing our Assets
12/3, 68/48, mostly cloudy, SW5-10 - Back to the alarm, set for 6am. Dobbs walked Murphy while I made coffee and breakfast, since he (Murphy) didn’t get a walk last night due to the rain. After breakfast, we borrowed the car to go grocery shopping. That only took an hour, so we used the spare time with the car to check out Chaplin Community Park. I noted on their website that they have six public tennis courts, which they do - very nice ones, with a restroom facility and picnic area right there. The park also includes a beach access - we’ll check it out another day.
Back aboard Grace, I transferred our written daily log to the computer. I put the “Support Sailing Gracefully” button back up on our blog page. I’ve been debating the appropriateness of accepting contributions, and then several of our readers asked if or how they could help as regards our transmission situation. I decided that if financially is the area where we need help, then I shouldn’t be embarrassed to say so. I do wish we’d earned more during the season so that we had a larger budget to work with, but that’s water under the bridge and a lesson for the future. Now we must re-group and try to put some cash back in the kitty.
I made some notes for a flyer to advertise our rigging services here at the marina (drawn out on paper) and Dobbs designed it on the computer.
We’ll use the car tomorrow to go to Staples and make copies. I contacted our insurance company to have our commercial liability insurance certificate sent over. In a moment of short-sightedness, we decided to leave our rigging gear at home, figuring that one of our goals with this trip was to take a break from the rigging work that occupies our days April through October. (As if we could separate ourselves from it! It’s obvious now that what we do is part of who we are and our chosen lifestyle.) We have the bosun’s chair, a drill, and general tools, but in order to work effectively, we also need: The 150’ length of T-900 that we use to swap out halyards that aren’t fit for climbing, the bag of splicing and whipping tools, Vernier calipers, a 100’ metal tape measure, a jeweler’s loupe magnifying glass, and all three wire tension gauges. Our friend Jim is going to gather what we need and ship it down to us - I mailed the trailer keys to him today. For every person, couple or family out here cruising, there’s a crew of trusted friends and professionals who provide essential support to keep us going, and we are grateful beyond measure for their help.
Dobbs was hoping that the rain would be over so we could practice juggling in the late afternoon, but the sky had other plans. There are sunny days in the forecast ahead - we’ll get there. Murphy’s walk took us through the Talbird section of this development. I think those houses have the nicest gardens. One front yard is completely occupied by a majestic sprawling live oak, and the gardens beneath it are laid out to focus on its grandeur. Homeowners are beginning to decorate for Christmas - lights, wreaths, yard ornaments. One home has a lawn covered in inflatable decorations which reminded me of a similar display at a home in Lititz, PA, though this one pales in comparison. Still, in this gated community, I’ll bet there are at least a couple neighbors who think it’s utterly scandalous.
For dinner, I made cheeseburgers and potato fries. When we started cruising, I made a friend who used a cast iron skillet aboard (Jennifer P, if you’re reading this, it’s you!). She seemed to have no trouble storing or maintaining it, but I was dubious about the weight and possibility of rust. I admired how nicely she could brown food with it. Two years ago, I started using a cast iron skillet on Grace and I’ll never be without it! To my surprise, the oil used to keep it seasoned is sufficient to prevent rust and yet it doesn’t leave greasy smudges in the cabinet. The potato fries browned up crispy on the outside and steaming-flaky-tender on the inside. The rest of the evening passed quickly - dishes, dog walk, write in the log, showers, and then a couple pages of Patrick O’Brian’s “Post Captain” before bed.