Thursday, April 22, 2010

Iditablog, my thumb is sore.

Seeing the end of the Iditarod has been a lifetime goal.  I think Jannelle and Bianca lucky to have experienced it.  During the Iditarod the population of Nome swells by 30%.  Nome doesn't have that much extra living space so many people open up couches and kitchens for visitors.  It is easy to pick out the visitors though, they are the ones wearing "technical" winter clothing, special boots and hats like it is cold here or something (the week before the end temps got to -30F).   Nomites just wear what they can grab on the way out the door.

Jannelle petting a dog that just ran 1100 miles

You would do this too after running for 10 days straight.

It is spring time by the calendar.  The ocean is still frozen and the snow keeps falling, but the days are getting longer.  We are getting 18 hours of sun every day now, and still adding 6 or more min. every day.  One of my main tasks has been repairing sails that have wear and tear from  5000 miles of sailing and three gales.  Much of this work is handwork, work that cannot be done by sewing machine.  I have been reinforcing the wear areas of our sails with leather.  This means that I am pushing a needle through 11 layers of sail, two layers of web strap, and two layers of leather.  This has led to a sore thumb from my sailors palm pushing against my needle.  I have broken over 20 needles in the last month.   

This is the same corner as above all the stitching has been redone, webbing straps installed to support the corner ring, new edges sewn on, and leather hand sewn in to protect the new edges.  

Much of the work cannot be done by sewing machine.

All the corners of the sails are getting reinforcing web straps sewn in, and protective leather sewn on.

All the sails get laid out and inspected carefully.  This is our 
Mainsail.  I have ordered material to build a new one.  

This is our largest foresail.  

It is a good thing that room had a door.  We are measuring for the construction of an asymmetrical spinnaker.  Even though we had to contend with three gales (sustained winds over 35kts) this last season, we had the sails to handle that.  What we really missed is a large light sail for the light wind days that turned our 10 day trip from Newfoundland to Greenland into 16 days.  

This is our apartment turned into sail loft.  Bianca spent many hours helping me restitch our Staysail.

This is our sailrite LSZ-1.  Sailrite is one of those rare companies that provides phenomenal customer service.  They have helped me countless hours on the phone from Skpe calls in Newfoundland to Satellite calls from the Northwest passage.  Thank you Eric for all you have done to take care of me.  This sewing machine has paid for itself many many times over.  

I also managed to find the time to hand sew a ditty bag (sailors bag) for the pastors of our house church (and friends) back in Grand Rapids who pretty much babysat me while I did technical teaching for six weeks.  Thank you Dan and Carrie!  

Every stitch is by hand.  It takes about 70 hours of palm work to make one of these bags.

We have managed to sneak some needed goof off time in there.  We took a 70 mile snowmachine trip up into the mountains.

If there is something to climb, climb it.  This is Jannelle halfway up a crane to inspect a birds nest.

Every day after school, Bianca watches one of Deb's co worker's babies.  She also manages to get her homework done at the same time, I guess.

Bianca won an award for the Iditarod theme section of an art contest.  It also came with a $50 dollar check. It is a slippery slope when you start making money off of art.  

Jannelle won the "Student of the Month" in March for the Junior High School.  We were invited to a school board meeting where a teacher gave a speech about how caring and hardworking our daughter is.
We had to agree.

Jannelle took a class on Native needlework and made a pair of sealskin baby shoes.  She also is taking a Junior Lifeguard class, learning CPR and rescue skills.  

This is Deb and I dressed for the climate.   We could have turned right when we left Newfoundland last year and have easily made it to the Bahamas for the winter.  We are glad we didn't.  


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're writing again -- missed your blogs over the winter!

Where to next and when?

David in Vancouver

Anonymous said...

OK, it's now June. Where's the adventuring family off to next?

Dawn Muller & family

Anonymous said...

It's now June...where are the adventurers off to next?

Muller family in GR