There is the sun rising behind Dawn Patrol on Bonner Bay on day three of the Tag Team 200. We did not know it then but we were approaching the start of a very long, hot summer. Four days later we would be heading up the Neuse River, going from Beaufort to Beard Creek with a heat index of 105 degrees. It was a record setting heat wave for parts of the east coast.
We dealt with the hot weather on the trip, it was certainly the hottest weather for any trip that Bruce and I have made. Sailing weather got better in July. But August, for me, has not been great time for sailing. Work and weather, both seemed to get in the way.
I had promised myself I would get out for a sail today - the forecast was decent - but that ended with severe thunderstorms that started about 5 a.m. and lasted to 9 a.m. Then a steady drizzle until noon, hot humid afternoon and then more rain in the evening.
(I don't mind sailing in the rain, in fact it can be fun on a cruise. But with a daysail you end up with soaked sails that need to be dried out in the garage so they don't get mildewed - it can be a mess.)
I used the free day to take care of some chores and do some experimental cooking for the fall trip. We've used either boiling bag rice or instant mashed potatoes for the side dish on Spartina. I've been wondering about grilling potatoes on the griddle of the coleman stove and wanted to know how long it would take. So I grilled some thinly sliced new potatoes today. They came out just right after about 12 minutes. I think that will work just fine. I'll bring some on the fall trip.
You can see the stove above on a 4x4 plywood sheet set on a couple of collapsible saw horses. That is the same plywood sheet I used as a work table while building Spartina. I had noticed a while back that my youngest daughter would jot observations on the plywood during the build (usually when I wasn't there to see her writing on the table). While cooking today I decided to look around, amid the dried paint, epoxy, blood, sweat and tears to see if I could find the notations. Here are a few.....
"Tedious". I believe this was early on when I had cut all the framework but had to had 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch hardwood stiffeners on all the frames, sometimes in multiple places. Seven frames, port and starboard, behind coamings, below decks, below the bunk flats and seats. It was...well...tedious.
From the fall of 2005 when all the frames were mounted on the bottom panel and the stringers were in place. "We're planking it's so awesome."
From the late winter/early spring of 2006 with primer going on the exterior of the fully planked Spartina. "The boat is now white."
The hot dry summer has been good for at least one thing - my Mediterranean fig and pomegranate trees. There are so many figs I don't know what to do with them. Plenty for me, the neighbors, the birds.
They always help cool down a hot day. But I'm ready for fall.