I’m usually the social director aboard. I research what there is to see and do and David goes along most willingly with pretty much anything I plan … as long as it doesn’t involve dancing. When I say “Let’s go for a walk”, I mean let’s go to the Company’s Garden or a stroll along the waterfront or some other area I’ve discovered. That would be a “pink” walk. When David suggested, over our morning cuppas, that we take a walk, I knew he meant a non-scenic, supply-gathering “blue” walk.
Blue walks are very long walks through industrial areas that include chandleries and other exciting shops such as plumbing supplies, hardware, wood and other boat exotics. This morning’s walk was no exception. We walked along Duncan Road past the mountain of Maersk containers, across the railroad tracks, through the rubble of a road construction site and beyond the scaffolding yard to get to a chandlery which didn’t have stock of anything on David’s list of needed supplies. He decided to purchase a tube of caulk anyway because it had good use-by dating.
Luckily, there was another chandlery just a block up the road which had one item he needed (seizing wire) and then we purchased some Velcro for securing the spreader boots. The Velcro wasn’t on the list, but seemed like a good idea to both of us (and which subsequently didn’t work, but at least I have extra Velcro on hand now).
He mentioned, in general conversation as we were walking, that the Southern Rope Factory Store was in the same neighborhood … give or take a mile. Hmmm … when I think factory outlet stores, rope never comes to mind. I knew I was in for a longer walk when he offered to stop for coffee after the second chandlery. There was rope in my future. Sure enough, Southern Rope was just up the road … a mile or more. Another cruiser had mentioned that the rope pricing was good there and worth a look. Did we need any rope? Does it really matter? What sailor can pass up reasonably priced rope?
In all fairness, Nine of Cups needed some new docklines; the existing lines were fairly old and beginning to show their age. And then David pointed out that two of the reefing lines were chafed, the bottom life-lines would need replacing soon, plus he was looking for a dedicated mast-climbing line. How could I deny it? We needed rope. In retrospect, I think I was probably bamboozled; he had all the answers ready much too quickly.
David chatted with a knowledgeable rope guy, found what he needed, negotiated a good price and bought too much to carry. Our rigger friend came to the rescue and offered to tote it back to the boat for us. We are now the proud owners of six new mooring lines, a dedicated climbing line and some Dyneema cover for the chafed reefing lines. We walked a total of about six miles round-trip and actually found a shortcut along a bicycle path back to the marina. David thought that was excellent for the next time we needed to get to the chandleries in Paarden Island. That’s the way “blue walks” work.
By the way, for clarification’s sake … rope is rope until it’s cut and employed for a specific purpose, then it’s a line.