When I was a small kid back in the communist Czech and Slovak Socialistic Republic, a friend of mine introduced me to this marvelous new gadget – a digital watch. The Vietnamese throw them into the garbage when the battery is dead, said my friend. Yes, that marvel was battery operated. I’ve never seen battery operated watch. Why wouldn’t the Vietnamese replace the battery instead of tossing the whole watch I didn’t understand. My friend just shook his head and pointed out to me again that the fact that these can be found in garbage cans is what I should be concentrating on.
Surely I did peek to garbage cans for a while then before emptying the content of our household bin. Yes, there were no plastic bags used then. All went to the bin, we would fold an old newspaper on the bottom, and the bin would have to be cleaned from time to time, because it would start to smell quite badly. I guess we were quite ecological back then, regardless of the fact that people didn’t know much about being ecological.
But the times they are a-changin’ and we buy and discard on a daily basis. Those who take a screw driver and disassemble are breaking warranties and are being labeled as handyman or in more contemporary lingo as hackers.
I digress, however. We try to remain faithful to our promise to the mother Earth and create as little garbage as possible. Thus, knife in one hand scissors in the other, I started butchering one of our old mainsails. You see, right now we have three mainsails on board. A very old one, then the one that was rigged when we bought the boat and now the new one, we just bought in Hong Kong. The time for the other too has come, holes here and there and patches, chafed all around, grommets corroded, leech lines, stuck to the fabric.
I stretched that large piece of shred and started to plot my attack. We need leecloths, helmsman awning, weathercloths, and couple of bags for lines, bag for cloth pins, there’s never enough bags on a boat. So far we’ve been using plastic bags (sic), because there’s such an abundance of those things and especially in Taiwan, most things are usually packages at least twice. Receiving piles of plastic bags seems unavoidable, but it’s time for us to say no. Not to mention that some of the plastic bags are so noisy.
So after a few hours effort, we got new leecloths, bottom firmly screwed to our berths and the top hanged on the cabin handholds and a massive eye through bolted to a bulkhead. We can stretch nice helmsmen awning, called “the square” over our cockpit. Our 100m mooring lines are now stowed properly in their own bags, line flaked inside so that it can be let out quickly without snags. And we have a new bag for a mainsheet in the cockpit (the photo of which will remain unpublished, because it’s a recycled cover from an outboard and it does not look particularly nice – but it works…).
In the conclusion I can say only this: Long live our fabulous Singer machine!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Out on s/v Janna, an old sail is not a disposal problem, it is a resource! See what Petr and Jana have done with it...