If there’s one thing you can depend on, it’s the manic nature of Chicago weather.
After a lovely Memorial Day weekend moving aboard, the cold set in yet again, with highs in the 50s (and real-feel by the lake in the low 40s at night). We have heat on the boat, so it can be quite cozy at night, but even I have my limits :). Aaron also had quite a bit of work travel for Talaske the last few weeks, so all three of us were eager to get back to Clarity, our neglected mistress, this past Wednesday.
Thursday was a dream – partly sunny and high 70s. Aaron had meetings in the Loop, so Claire and I explored the new floating pool at our harbor, a short 10-minute walk from our slip (at toddler pace). Just add water and Claire is in heaven (I think she gets it from her dad), so the pool was pretty much her Disney World. She spent two hours – literally – splashing from one set of steps to the other. The umbrellas and cushioned lounge chairs on the deck beg for piña coladas and summer reads. And what does every toddler want after an enjoyably exhausting morning at the pool? To go again! – which we did in the late afternoon with Aaron.
The temps dropped 40 degrees overnight, though, and the winds kicked up drastically, so alas, the hatches were secured, the heat was turned up, and snuggling ensued. Aaron also had Clarity Marine Systems clients to see in the harbors further north on Friday, so Claire and I spent a lovely hour or two at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. So many years I spent going to the zoo and the Green City Market – how did I miss this place?
Saturday is forecasted to be slightly warmer, but still not (in my opinion) comfortable sailing weather, but Sunday, finally, the temperature should hit 80 again! With heavy thunderstorms, of course. Come on!!
The lack of sailing, while unfortunate, does open up some time for much-needed projects. Given that we are in an ongoing state of refit and restoration on Clarity, Aaron has a multitude going at any given time, and we’re working on quite a few together (more on those in another post). I have finished a few projects, though, that I’ll include here. The first was a cover for the base of our table. To open up the space in our salon, we often have the table out – but this leaves a hollow metal post on the floor that Claire just loves to throw things in. Important things. Like toys, or screws, or rings – creating a half-hour fishing expedition that Aaron has told me is not an enjoyable way to pass the time. So, over Memorial Day weekend, I took the measurements and sewed a cover while I was back in Oak Park. And it fit – thank goodness!
Moving Claire into the aft cabin also created a few new projects. For one, there’s only one small drawer in the cabin, and while there is a closet, Claire-sized clothes aren’t really meant for hanging. Plus, if you’re familiar with boats, you know that the space in that closet is at strange angles and at weird slopes. So, using the measurements I took, I did some searching before I found a suitable solution at The Container Store. I still had to cut a few drawers off the bottom to fit the space, but I was able to repurpose one of them as additional toy storage to sit upright in the bottom of the closet, which was otherwise unusable space.
The aft cabin also has the added joy of being positioned just below the cockpit, which means that about half of the “bed” area has very low clearance – which I learned time and time again the hard way. Claire can navigate that space much more easily, though, and I needed to find a way to stow her toys while we were under way. Anything left on the shelf along the side goes flying across the cabin when the boat’s at a moderate heel. So, I found net storage system intended for cars that I thought would work well in the space. So far so good!
Many more project updates to come. As for the rest of this weekend, Aaron’s racing in the Colors Regatta with Turning Point, and also just got hired Chicago Sailing out of Belmont Harbor as a charter captain and a U.S. Sailing instructor (woohoo!). So it seems, Clarity will need to wait just a few more days before we take to the sea. Maybe we should get that mainsail rigged…