June 24, 2009. Palm Coast, Florida
Well, when it rained 30 inches in 5 days here, everyone here said ‘it never rains like this at this time of year!’ It set an all-time record for rainfall here in Palm Coast. Now the heat has well and truly arrived, and everyone is saying ‘Wow, it never usually gets this hot until much later in the summer!’ Naturally…must be because during the rains we happened to have large construction holes cut in the deck, and now during the heat we are doing hot, heavy work below decks! The heat index was 105 yesterday, and we felt every degree of it! I spent most of the afternoon installing our mast boot—the seal around where the mast passes through the deck; normally this is a bad leak point and hard to seal because as the mast flexes, it opens the seal, so several hours were spent bullet-proofing it for storms! We also re-sealed the hatches in the salon ceiling, but after hours laid out flat on the top deck in the sun, I was wrecked—and looked it!
Yesterday was Ryan’s 24th birthday—Sky and Jamie made a cake and decorated it with a rainbow made of different colored Twizzlers (like I keep telling everyone, when you have to do the job but you don’t have everything you need, you still have to find a way to get the job done)! And without a full set of cake decorating tools, Sky and Jamie pulled off a nice commemoration for the beginning of Ryan’s 24th trip around the sun!
Today a friend that we met in Palm Coast dropped by—Snoop, a guy who does fiberglass work for Cee Ray boats and who has been helping us get the Southern Wind ready. We call him ‘Pappa Snoop’ because he has kind of taken us under his wing, showing us how to do epoxy and fiberglass work and sharing his years of experience in the boatyard with us. Snoop has been an incredible help to us, making himself available and taking the time to not just to work with us, but to teach us the tricks of the trade so if we have to do repairs far afield, we will be able to make safe, strong repairs. All of us, every day, work on tasks that involve at least one material, technique, or tool with which we have little or no experience. The first attempt takes a while to complete, then the second is faster, and so on until we are flying by the end of the task. You should see Sky mix and apply epoxy, or frame walls; Jamie can sheath cabins and carpet walls, Ryan’s carpentry is getting really superb, Jon is singlehandedly building the entire air-conditioning and venting system, Nick has become our box-man (when you absolutely, positively need a strong, cleanly made box made to fit in a diabolically asymmetrical location and you need it today!), Sean learned how to lay fiberglass, and Noah can now make near-perfect circular saw cuts by eye alone! I wonder what we will all be expert at tomorrow…as soon as we become expert at a task, we finish it and start on another task-once again learning as we go. All of these skills will not only make us self-sufficient for repairs, but the skills we are learning—especially since they are all practiced in the challenging environment of boat-building—will give us an invaluable ability to assess and make repairs or changes to things like water wells, homes, protective fences, and the many other construction projects we can undertake in developing world communities to improve conditions there.
Sky was exhausted today, and was dreading the thought of cooking dinner, and Snoop announced he was going to BBQ his famous dry-rub ribs for us! Great timing! They are the best ribs I have ever had (seriously; that’s a strong claim but I stand by it!) Snoop also tried on Sky’s sunglasses, and told us that around here they are called ‘Hater-Blockers!’
We also took a new crew picture—Nick had to go home for a couple of weeks so we wanted to represent him in our photo, his acoustic bass is right there with us, Nick we are keeping the flame alive until you get back!