This short video is set to music by Lemont, “Take This Hand” from Songs of Our Friends EP. The images are from our year in Tierra del Fuego and the Beagle Channel.
We spent the first few weeks of this refit period adjusting to life on land. We made trips away from the boat to see family. We gathered tools. We moved ourselves and everything off the boat. In week five, we took real action at Dawn Treader, and the boat was changed in a day.
The V-Berth was dismantled. The side panels, insulation, port lights, and headliner were removed. The headliner was cut out with a multi-max. Roughly 70 percent of the liner now sits against the fence behind the boat. We were pleased that so much was removed so quickly. The liner was largely unattached to the deck above. We will remove the remaining sections of liner when we remove the thru-bolted handrails and stanchions on deck.
We found thin stripes of mold on the insulation when we removed the sealing strips of plywood on the sides of the V-Berth. We found mold behind the insulation when we removed the plastic panels and insulation above the shelves. We found mold on the backside of the headliner, around the border, the outside inch, when we cut out the liner in sections. Wherever air was able to flow a little bit, there was a little bit of mold.
All of what we’re removing on the sides of the V-Berth, the insulation, panels, and sealing strips, we installed in 2015. This installation proved inadequate during three years sailing in colder climates. We made mistakes. We did not go far enough. We did not reimagine the V-Berth well for cold climates. As a result, we used this valuable living space for storage instead of sleeping. The mold in difficult to clean spaces was an issue, another was condensation. The original, uninsulated headliner created a large surface for condensation. Occasionally, we had rain inside. Big fat drops formed on the coachroof. We also had condensation problems on the overhead hatch, the hardware that held the side panels up, and on the metal port light frames.
Many sailors fight condensation and mold. We hope our time in the desert, drying out and refitting Dawn Treader, will better prepare us for these struggles. We have learned many lessons in the past few years, and now we are re ready to try again. Our efforts will be more complex and lengthy this time. Our plans include adding an insulation supporting framework under the deck, and more of everything: insulation, heat, ventilation, air circulation, and access (we plan to widen the opening to the V-Berth). We plan to install different port lights. We will also replace the V-Berth platform again. The plywood delaminated in the rainforest. Our primary goal is to make the V-Berth inhabitable in all climates. Let’s see how it goes…
We repaired our integral water tank a few months ago, here in Uruguay. This video is a recap of the build project from two years ago, and details of the recent repair. Overall, the integral water tank has been a vast improvement. It is easy to clean and fill. We are happy to make use of the space below our cabin sole that was filled with foam. The 65 gallon water tank makes long term cruising much easier.
We recently sailed from Juan Lacaze to Piriapolis in the Rio de la Plata in Uruguay. This is the first step towards getting moving after a summer spent dockside.
We move about the world at an irregular pace. Occasionally we sail fast and appear to be on track to girdle the entire globe in a year. Other times we seem stagnant, as if we have arrived to our destination and our journey is over. Of course neither is true for long. No matter how fast we sail, we will slow down sooner than later. Dawn Treader, Debbie, and I can only pretend so long before we reveal our true slow natures. But when we seem most stuck, we are actually purposefully moving to rest ourselves, prepare our boat, and wait for a season to arrive. Continue reading Video: Refinishing the Bowsprit
Brazil is ENORMOUS! 2000 miles and 7 months later and we have still only seen a minuscule fraction of this fascinating, beautiful, energetic country. In the maps of our minds, we have now illuminated the coast of Brazil from Salvador to Rio Grande do Sul. Continue reading Video: Brazil to Uruguay
There is so much to see at the beach. The aliveness of the environment is fed by the constant movement of the sea. What draws my attention to a beach treasure is usually color or shape. When I pick up a smooth friendly little item, rub it with my thumb, and put it in my pocket, it becomes a little talisman, imprinted with the tranquil mood that accompanies my time on the beach. Somewhere in my mind I am also building a mosaic, imagining all my little gems together in a colorful display. However, it seems more satisfying to keep them loose, to be handled and tumbled in and out of their bag as the collection grows.
Continue reading Beach combing
The Harmattan is dust laden air blown from the Sahara to Cape Verde by the strong winter Northeast Trade Winds. Sailing in the Harmattan feels otherworldly. Like fog the visibility is greatly reduced, at times less than half a mile. But the air is dry, a muted blue can still be detected in the sky overhead, and a horizon line can oddly still be perceived. The sun filtering through the reddish brown haze turns the sky sepia like in an old-timey photograph. Continue reading The Harmattan
Over the past few months we have been sailing Islands in the Azores, Madeira, Canaries, and Cape Verde. In the Azores we experienced variable summer winds, and from Madeira southward were the Northeast Tradewinds. All in all, the sailing was quite lovely. Next, we’ll be crossing the Atlantic to South America.