Back Home From Sailing Adventures!

Been having a great time on our sailboat, but because it is hurricane season, we parked the boat in a safe location and flew home for the summer.  That is a good thing since I have been having withdrawals from my longarm and other art supplies.

I took up photography while we were on the boat, so I wanted to show you a slideshow of few of my favorite images:

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Now I need a good way to organize and stow all the 1,000’s of images I took.  Luckily, my good friends, The Pixeladies, are having an eClass starting soon on organizing all your images using Photoshop Elements.  I am going to take it, and I hope you will join me in this class.  Stay tuned, I will tell you more in tomorrow’s post!

Hugs, Carla

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Sailboat Quilt Project

One of the hardest things about going traveling by sailboat is missing your dear friends and family.  Barbara Kiehn is one friend I will especially miss.  She and I have collaborated on many award winning quilts over the years, long time blog readers may remember a few of them:

carlainthegarden41egypt6baby tulip2

frontkimono2kimonoblockkimono2

I decided that Ethan needs a new quilt for his new cabin berth, but time is short, so I asked Barb to help me design and put it together.  Yesterday was our work day at her house, and we were able to finish the sailboat blocks.  Of course, there is more work to do on this scrappy, red, white and blue quilt, so I will work on it whenever I can get a free minute.

Here are a picture of the blocks only, today I cut and fuse the flags at the top of the mast like shown in the top left block:

Sailboat block in progress

Barb and decided to make these topsy turvy sailboats, plus there will be scrappy pieced sashings in between each block.  Here is a sample from Barb’s quilt for what topsy turvy setting looks like:

Topsyturvysailing

So that is my WIP sailboat project for the boat.  Thank you shout out to Barb for her help, lunch yesterday, and for being such a wonderful friend.   Regards, Carla

BVI and Back Home

Virgin Gorda Sound sunsetBack home from our wonderful vacation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

We decided to introduce our grandson, Ethan, to the joys of bareboat chartering, which is when you charter a sailboat and crew it yourselves.

We had a wonderful time!  After two days of travel, we arrived at the catamaran we had chartered, a new Lagoon 40 named Tequila.  If you read my last post here, then you remember we were expecting a 38 Lagoon, but due to unforeseen circumstances, namely that the owner of the 38 foot boat ran it on a reef, so the company substituted a larger, newer catamaran.  Nice!

bvitequilaOnce we left the marina, we  headed to Virgin Gorda Sound to spend the first night at Leverick Bay before also visiting Saba Rock, The Bitter End, and Prickly Pear Island.  The photo, above, was taken in Virgin Gorda Sound at sunset.

Next stop, Marina Cay.  By this time, Ethan had discovered that there is a trampoline on the front of the catamaran that is perfect for 3 year old boys to bounce on.  Also, the cabin top is perfect for climbing, as shown in the pictures taken below:

 

bviEthan2abviethan1b

We spent our time sailing, swimming, snorkeling, building sand castles on the beach and hiking.   We also had fun feeding fish off the back of the boat, too.  On one day’s sail, we had gusts over 40 knots, which was skill building.  Ethan’s favorite place on the trip was the hike to the Bubbling/ly Pool on Jost Van Dyke.  Here is a picture from an earlier trip:

bubblingpool Ethan loved to climb on the small rocks on the right, and play in the smaller pools.  This place is amazing, it feels like nature’s jacuzzi!

We met lots of fun, engaging people during our trip.  Some were bareboat chartering like us, some hired their own crew for their vacation, a few also had children, and a couple were staying on different island resorts.  When we returned Tequila back to the charter company, we had the pleasure to meet a lovely Canadian couple who were just getting ready to cruise the BVI and USVI for several months in their Lagoon 40, 40 Below.  A quick shout out to Ron and Barb:  Have a great trip, and thanks again for the ride to the ferry dock!

Colorful signs at Marina Cay, BVI

Colorful signs at Marina Cay, BVI

The trip home took two long days, and at San Francisco airport I lost a small carry on that I am hoping will be found.  In it was my iPhone, prescriptions, two pairs of prescription eyeglasses and my new underwater Canon camera, which also has all my vacation pictures and videos.  Everything can be replaced but the vacation pictures and videos, so keeping my fingers crossed that an honest person found my case and turned it in.  I filed a formal report last night and placed a message on my locked iPhone using a wonderful app called “Find my iPhone.”

Losing a bag, while upsetting, cannot dim the wonderful memories of our trip.  How fortunate we are to be able to travel to exotic, tropical locations.  We are truly blessed!

Hugs from Carla

Tropical Dreams

Picture this….warm turquoise water, white sand beaches, coral and tropical aquarium underwater views through my snorkeling mask.

Or how about this…. the sails filled with wind on a beam reach as the catamaran sailboat glides effortlessly through the water towards the island shore.

380That will be our reality shortly when we bareboat charter a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) again.  Joe, Ethan and I will be flying to St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, then boarding a ferry to the island of Tortola in the BVI.  A cab ride from the ferry dock to the east side of Tortola, and we will board the Lagoon 380 catamaran, which is a double-hulled sailboat (see picture, above).  Here is the layout of the boat, shown right:

Lagoon380saloonAs sailboats go, it is quite spacious, especially when compared to a monohull sailboat.  You have a main salon, consisting of a kitchen, dining table, and navigation station.

lagoon380_2You also have several staterooms, here is a typical view of one, shown below.

I have lost count of how many bareboat charters we have done.  A charter is considered a “bareboat” when you act in the capacity as captain and crew.  In this case, that would be Joe and I.  Ethan will be wearing a special offshore Personal Floatation  Device (PFD) and tether for safety while underway.  You would be surprised how often we get asked about how we keep 3 year old Ethan safe while sailing, especially when we are both busy at the helm and raising sails, anchoring or picking up a mooring ball.

bvibeachThis trip will be our way of introducing Ethan to a more extended sailing.  Previously, he has only experienced day sails on our current sailboat, SV Sea Glass, an O’Day 23.  We will soon be selling our O’Day 23 and  purchasing a much larger sailboat in early 2015, a bluewater cruiser sailboat about 42-49 feet in size.

BVI_Map

marinacay

Marina Cay, BVI

Chartering in the BVI is fun, relaxing, and there is lots to do and see.  You wake up in the morning and decide where you want to sail and do that day. Above is a map of the island group that makes up the BVI.  I plan to do a lot of snorkeling, sailing, beachcombing, and swimming during our trip.   Watch for my trip report when I get back!   Fair Winds, Carla

Carla Digital Tablet Quilt

Here is another one of my digital quilts, drawn and colored using my tablet.  Love taking the time to make one of these- only took an hour from start to finish.

Tablet Quilt by Carla Barrett

Tablet Quilt by Carla Barrett

Here is a slightly different version, with a different center and color way:

design by Carla Barrett

design by Carla Barrett

Take care!  Off to remodel Ethan’s bedroom now.  Did I mention that I am converting his nursery into a sailboat/nautical theme bedroom?    The bed arrived yesterday, here is what it looks like:

sailbed    I plan to make some DIY nautical decor items for his room.  His temporary quilt arrived yesterday, too.  I plan on making his permanent sailboat quilt, but until that day, I resorted to buying one for now.   More later about pulling together his room.    Cheers, Carla

Port Townsend Sail Repair Class

I took time from my creative pursuits to fly up to Seattle and drive to Port Townsend, Washigton to attend a sail repair workshop with Carol Hasse and team.

Carol Hasse is sailmaker extraordinaire, owner of Port Townsend Sails, and I have always wanted to learn sail repair from her.   She is as nice as can be, plus her background in sails, sail making, and sailboats are quite extensive.   You may read about her impressive resume HERE.  I lifted borrowed this photo of Carol Hasse from her website:

Carol Hasse, Port Townsend Sails

Carol Hasse, Port Townsend Sails

Joining me on this adventure was the talented designer and fellow sailor, Amy Arroyo, who I met while taking part in my South Pacific sail training earlier this year.  Amy and her husband are the proud owners of the Millie J, a custom 36-foot aluminum sailboat berthed in Friday Harbor, WA.

The 2 full day workshop on sail repair featured separate classes in how to repair sails and reinforce existing sails using both machine and hand sewing.  The commercial sewing machines used in sailmaking are very similar to the commercial quilting machine that I work with, so I loved the machine sewing part of the class.  I know a new machine will be in my future.  In class, we used a sewing machine to:

  • Patch a hole
  • Install a chafe guard
  • Fix a torn seam
  • Apply a spreader patch
  • Reinforce a corner ring with webbing

The hand repair part of the class was also fun.  The students used  palm and needle to:

  • Sew in a ring or grommet
  • Seize a jib hank
  • Attach a mainsail slide
  • Mend a seam
  • Add a leather chafe guard
  • Make “Easy Reefs”

Port Townsend is a lovely place to visit.  Previously, I had been to Port Townsend several times for ArtFiberFest, an art retreat run by Tesha Moore. This time, I made sure to visit my favorite shop- which sells fabric, beads and yarn, which is a winning combination!

In closing, I highly recommend Carol Hasse’s Sail Repair Seminar to any sailboat owner who wants to be more self reliant and learn how to repair their sails.  She is a lovely person, and experienced in her field and craft.

Fair Winds, Carla

South Pacific Safety Lessons

I haven’t written too much about my sail training expedition aboard the Mahina in the Cook Islands and French Polynesia.  However, I thought today would be a good time to talk about safety at sea.

Crew Overboard:  This was a training expedition in the South Pacific, and you learn how to do important things like how to save your partner if they fall overboard.  This is an important skill especially for women, who may not have the upper body strength to lift their partner out of the water alone, especially if the husband is injured and cannot simply climb aboard..

I volunteered to be at the helm during our “crew overboard (COB)” drill, which is the newer term for “man overboard- or  MOB).”  We were at the French Polynesian Island of Huahine at the time and I believe crewmates Cody or Simon volunteered to jump over the side of the boat and be my “victim.”

As the helmsperson, I immediatedly followed the procedure as taught, turning the helm a half turn, walking back to let out the Life Sling, which is attached to the stern and looks like this:life sling

You then return to the helm to complete your steps for rescue.  If you do it correctly, which I did, it the lifesling line will move across the water right to the COB.  You also instruct the crew to place the lifesling under their arms and around the torso.

09c_2You then pull the COB in by hand towards the boat, or if too difficult, you use a winch to assist you.  Once alongside the boat, you use your halyard winch to lift them up and over the lifelines.  Here is an example of Cody playing the happy rescued victim partner.  Standing next to him is Simon.  It is important to practice your crew overboard skills frequently. I was happy to know I could do it successfully if Joe were to fall overboard.

Tether and Harness– Away from land, it is critical to always use your harness (yellow) and tether (blue), which is being modeled by Angela and I.  If you were on night watch alone, fell overboard and did not wear your harness and tether, it might be hours before someone realized you were missing.  Most likely, it would be a death sentence.   We also used a raised jacklines (lifelines) on the Mahina, for anyone who are into details like this.

mastclimbClimbing Harness– Speaking of harnesses, we also used climbing harness to climb the 65 ft. mast.  Sailors need to climb the mast on occasion for maintenance, repair, inspection, and other reasons.

My thumbs up and smile in the photo might have been taken before my climb- and am I trying to bravely hide my fear of heights?   Or was the photo taken after I successfully met my goal of touching the top of the mast and then getting back down to the deck safely in one piece?  Not sure, but I will guess the latter since the smile looks happy.

MaupitiTropical Medicine– While I am mentioning safety, you can see a large bandage on my right leg.  On the island of Maupiti (see photo, right), we decided to rent bikes and ride around the island.  I took a spill on a coral gravel road, and received a nasty road rash on my leg and elbow.

I cleaned and treated my injuries once I was back on the boat, but didn’t want to be a wimp and tell the team leaders that I had an injury.  However, the pain keep me awake, and by the next morning the leg was seriously infected, hot, and very painful.  Luckily, a fellow crew member was a doctor, who started me on antibiotics, and kept good watch on my leg over the next couple of days.  John, the captain, also did an excellent job tending my wounds, too, with medical ointments intended for tropical injuries.  Plus, I had a neighboring boat with a Tahitian doctor aboard, too, who checked on my leg.

I was surprised at how quickly the tropical wound became infected.  Moral of the story is if hurt in the tropics, especially injuries involving coral, do not try to be superwoman or superman and “suck it up” so to speak.  Tell someone and seek medical treatment asap.

Thanks to Cody and Angela, of the blog, Your Fins Are Showing, for letting me lift borrow some of the photos shown above.  Hugs from Carla