Just as the leaves are changing color and falling, we are preparing Illusion for our journey south. Tonight is the first frost forecast of the season, so we are expecting cold temperatures tonight on the boat. In case you were wondering, Illusion does not have a heater. This means that we will be bundling up tonight and baking in the morning to warm the boat. In addition to a sheet, blanket, and wool blanket, we have a thermal sleeping bag to add to the mix for just such an occasion. I hope this will be the first and last freezing temperatures that we will experience on our southern migration (but maybe that is just wishful thinking).
Illusion will be making several stops on her trip down the coast, and Brian and I will not be alone, as we will be joined by a friend for the first two legs of our trip. Expect updates soon, because if all goes well, we will be pulling up the anchor and heading out in a few days.
I worked on the water crew at the 2010 Annapolis Boat Show. The water crew sets up the docks, catches lines for the boats as they arrive, and then closes the docks in behind them to create the web of docks, lines, and boats that make up the show. There are actually two shows: the US Sailboat Show and the US Powerboat Show. The dock configuration for the two shows are different, and between shows, the water crew opens up the docks to let the sailboats out and the powerboats in. Changeover (as we call it) starts at 5pm when the sailboat show closes, and the water crew works late into the night to a crowd of (drunken) onlookers that line Ego Alley. It’s wild and includes monkey suits, people climbing masts, and flying spinnakers. To get an idea of exactly what I mean, you should check out this time-lapse video of the 2009 Changeover and the pictures (below) that Brian took while I was working.
After working the boat show, I now consider myself a bowline expert. Not that I didn’t know how to tie one before, but I can tie it much faster and with more authority (it’s one of the most useful knots to know). I also learned a few new knots, toned my arms, shoulders, back, legs (you name it), and met many nice new people. It was so much work and long days (we’re talking 80 hours a week); I was tired and sore, but it was fun and rejuvenating. Even in poor weather, I still like working outside (it sure beats a cubicle!). And luckily, I didn’t spend all of my paycheck on new gear and fancy boat gadgets (that’s Brian’s job). I did find a nice pair of foul weather pants on the cheap, and I am saving my money to buy more tees to screen-print on. Consider it official, new Forest and Fin tees are now in the works. Brian and I are hoping to sail them down the coast with us: eco-friendly (wind-powered) and historically accurate delivery – the way shipping used to be.
Now that it is getting cold, we are more than ready to sail south. We are Bahamas bound in T-minus two weeks – finally! – but will be making stops as we head down the coast, so get ready to pencil us in.
I arrived in Annapolis, in the midst of the downpour from the recent tropical storm, on a delayed train from VA around midnight last night to one soaking wet boyfriend with a handful of sunflowers that perfectly matched his yellow hand-me-down rain suit (courtesy of the Neece family). I expected him to be wet, but the sight of him was so endearing that I made him pause to take this picture (it must be documented!). It was a happy reunion after several weeks away from the boat, despite the fact that we waded across a flooded boat landing to reach the dingy and motored out to a wet boat. But Illusion is finally at anchor again – yay! I am looking forward to experiencing autumn in Annapolis. The creek is lined with trees just waiting to change color.
For the present, I’m bringing my focus back to boats again, but it is doubtful that I will be updating this blog over the next two weeks. I will be part of this year’s Annapolis Boat Show crew, which means that I will be working hard sun-up to sun-down for the next 15 days. I expect that I will have a good post or two about the whole event afterward….so I hope you’ll stay tuned!