July 8, 2017: Swimming!

A splendidly silent night led to another shimmering morning; by about 9 am we were up and snacking on various breakfast foods. Coracle’s “collapsed lung” was looking rather flat and dejected, and when we dragged the dinghy completely onto the stern deck and spread some soap solution over its bottom, we saw at once that air was bubbling out all around the patch–RATS! Walt went to work peeling back the patch’s edges and applying more sealant, and Joy and I did some hand washing, hanging the laundry on a sunny life line. To keep the cabin cooler, Walt put some sun shades over the open hatches (already equipped with screens to let cool air in and keep marauding mosquitoes out) and rigged a clever sail-like device called a “wind scoop” on the deck towards the bow to catch passing breezes and funnel them down the open bow hatch and into the cabin (very helpful in keeping the cabin comfortable!).

Walt made excellent sandwiches for lunch and then returned to work on Coracle, pumping up the patched pontoon so see if it was now holding air. Joy returned to her novel, and I began work on this blog entry, soon giving it up, however, in favor of an hour’s nap in the shady, breeze-kissed cockpit. By late afternoon, Walt had determined that Coracle was well again and fit for launch from the stern deck, and he and I were ready for a swim in the clean, delightfully green, 76-degree water, which felt a bit chilly upon entry but within a few minutes seemed very comfortably warm! We swam around Braesail, and Walt did some cleaning of the lower portions of the hull with a deck brush. Joy sat on the lowered bathing platform and dangled her feet in the sea. (Braesail has a fold-down bathing platform at her stern to which a ladder can be attached for climbing in and out of the water, AND a hose with a spray attachment right beside the platform for rinsing off seawater with mild fresh water from the on-board supply–very pleasant and convenient!) I swam out to the rocks along the shore, being careful not to let my feet touch the oyster beds that I could see below me though the clear seawater. The warmest water swirled near the surface, and I could hang motionless in a vertical position with the most comfortable water touching the top of my chin and my toes touching colder water below me. I could swim through warmer and cooler spots as if the sea’s surface were an ever-shifting patchwork quilt of different water temperatures. What a wonderful, refreshing hour of exercise and relief from too-warm weather!

Once swimsuits and towel were hanging on the lifelines to dry, we all returned to our reading and writing with bowls of popcorn at hand. It wasn’t long before grilled hot dogs with all the trimmings, set out on the cockpit table, fed us well. With the galley cleaned and the lazarettes (storage lockers) repacked and the fenders back in place in the stern after having been moved to allow Coracle to be dragged aboard for mending, Walt returned to reading while Joy and I played Farkle and Yahtzee up in the cockpit and watched a cloud conference organizing above the mountain peaks. We could use a little rain!

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