A crafty morning or two

The skipper reckons I have an unerring sense of attraction to bead shops! He may be right as during our anchor hunt on Tuesday I spotted a tiny shop selling mostly wholesale, locally carved mother of pearl pieces and strings of shells though they also have a gorgeous selection of small traditional wood carvings from the Marquesas. Apparently their usual customers are local women who make items for tourists and local hotel shops not scruffy yachties who also happen to be hobby jewellers! Nonetheless they were very friendly and happy to let me browse offering insights into their origins of their wares.

A few hundred Pacific Francs netted me three shiny pieces of mother of pearl carved in the Polynesian way; a little tiki man in dark greeny hues, a pale creamy gold more abstract tiki carved rectangle and a large stylised Polynesian fish hook in shades of brown. I am beginning to wonder if I’ve a bit of magpie blood!

Later in the week I spent a pleasant morning dreaming up ideas with some of my bead hoard spread out on the saloon table. The tiki man has now become the focal point of a necklace by combining it with some pale blue mother of pearl buttons bought in John Lewis years ago. Threaded on black waxed cord with some “bronze” chain and a simple hook clasp I was pleased with the result, a homemade Tahitian souvenir. All that is needed now is an occasion to wear it.

The large fish hook needs some sterling silver and a leather thong to really set it off so will have to wait until I can extract my tools and supplies from the back of our storage cabin. Whilst the creamy rectangle will go well with some glass cubes in gold and smoky grey that I purchased in Austin, TX way back in 2010 when I accompanied Kevin on a six week work assignment there. That gives me another little project to complete sometime we are anchor somewhere.

Meanwhile during the same morning I cut some canvas to make a new raincover cum wind scoop for our forehatch. Our original Windscoop, bought in Gibraltar in 2001 and more recently modified to keep the rain out, has finally succumbed to UV over exposure causing the central panel to shred itself. The new version is a more basic design, just a triangle with the top point cut off, though it did need two piece of canvas joined down the centre to achieve the width. More a rain cover than a scoop for the breeze it reused one of the original battens in the forward end to keep it open and was tested within a few minutes of tying it in place.

The act of extracting the sewing machine from its stowage space on Monday morning added another job to the boat repair list – we discovered a bit of drying salt water on top of one of the plastic storage boxes so an hour or so was devoted to emptying lockers and shelves rather than actually setting up the machine and sewing. The source appears to be the hull deck join somewhere slightly aft of Kevin’s hanging locker full of shirts, trousers and jackets.

Fortunately most of the ingress appears to have been channeled by the headlining further aft where it mostly ran down and across the bulkhead to end up in a tiny pool on one particular well sealed box. Anyway it was a good opportunity for a bit of spring cleaning and so the woodwork and locker linings have been washed down and dried prior to packing everything back again; everything smells much less musty now! At some point before we depart Tahiti we’ll need to clean out the sealant beneath the toerail and redo it at that particular point.

And whilst the sewing machine was out I re-stitched around two of the sprayhood windows again – it’s a bit like painting the Forth Road Bridge as the extreme UV exposure of the tropics eats away at even UV resistant thread relatively quickly. As rain was threatening it went back on before I’d even tidied up the cotton ends!