|Meri - and her selfish self|
How do you make money going where the wind takes you?
The easiest way to make money cruising (if there is such a thing) is to find someone along the way that wants to hire you or buy your product. But getting hired abroad while aboard is a toughy... mainly because there are usually legal issues for foreigners. However, it's not impossible.
|Crafts made by cruisers: |
Leather San Blas beanie croc, hand painted shot glass, tahini paste, sea shell necklace and beaded flower ring
|Witchy earrings made by Herme on s/v IWA ...|
a must have for Carolyne whose birthday is Halloween
|Beaded Sea Horse by s/v Catherine Estelle|
Another way to make some dough along the way is to have a service specialty... maybe you are a diesel mechanic, or refrigeration guru or a computer pundit?
Maybe you specialize in healing massage or homeopathy?
Perhaps you are a serious writer - we have run across several success stories along our travels:
In my case, I felt at a loss. And I'm not stupid.
I have a Master's degree... in Theatre. And with all the creative, flamboyant energy...
all I could seem to come up with was what I didn't know how to do.
Just how can you focus on the positive when you can't find it?
What I did have, however, was a crazy idea.
Since Chiapas, MX in May 2012, I had in my mind that when we arrived in La Paz, Baja California Sur I would approach the local sail maker and ask if he needed an apprentice.
I don't know why I thought that.
I am pretty sure that I didn't know the difference between the luff and the leech on a sail.
And I know for a fact that sewing is a hideous chore for me that usually ends in ugliness - cussing and throwing things, to be exact.
Nevertheless, I couldn't get Snug Harbor Sails out of my mind.
|Doug Nordby at work - Snug Harbor Sails|
We arrived in La Paz late July.
I didn't mention my crazy idea to anyone.
I didn't mention my crazy idea to anyone.
While having dinner with friends, Jaye and Irwin on s/v Winsome, Jaye blurts out, "Hey, Meri. Do you know Doug at Snug Harbor? He could really use some help and I know you're really good at sewing and I keep thinking that you would be perfect for him if you have some extra time..."
And the unbelievable kismet, surreal, serendipity of her run-on sentence had me at Snug Harbor Sail's front door bright and early the next morning.
For me, timing was everything. And being in sync with the Universe helped, perhaps.
I pitched my unabashed worthiness to sail maker, Doug Nordby, and got myself an apprenticeship at Snug Harbor Sails that same day.
At 47 years old... learning a old timey, practical, maritime trade!
From a veteran sailmaker -
a true salty dog!
It wasn't a total cruiser dream come true... he was unable to pay me. His previous employee absconded with the funds. But I thought I might be able to help get the business out of the red and into the black. So we devised an exchange... Doug would teach me sails and I would run the business. And Hotspur would get all her canvas and sail work done in a real sail loft - for FREE!
|A sun cover Doug & I made for a sail boat|
I can patch a hole, repair a chafed leech line, rivet in a new head board, apply UV protection to a roller furling jib, sew a bolt rope together, correctly sew on slides and slugs, repair tears, make clew and tack and reef patches... heck, I've even made sails from scratch!
I've altered sail shapes, I've made corrections to sail flutter, I changed the camber, I've shortened sails, I've transformed hank-on headsails to roller furling and vice versa.
|In the process of repairing a hole in this Dacron sail made by a hungry rodent|
I've added draft stripes, made new batten pockets, hammered in grommets and have seized on hanks by hand. And I do know without a doubt, by the way, which side is the luff and which side is the leech.
I suck at splicing, but that's okay. You can't be good at everything.
What I have now is golden.
I have a trade that I can take with me when we sail away from La Paz in the near future.
I can honestly boast that I know how to make sail repairs and I can put a new sail together.
With strength and efficiency.
I have enjoyed working alongside the charming, old, one-eyed geezer for many reasons.
He has many colorful stories and he is clever devil.
He is a fabulous cook and many times brings me delicious goodies.
But what I appreciate most is that he has shared his craft with me, like a father might share with his own child. Trade secrets. I have acquired knowledge from one of the last true-blue sail makers we have left in the world. And for me, that is a privilege.
|I made this sprit sail for our Fatty Knees - all by myself!!|
|Hard at work!|