It’s an old saw that cruising boils down to working on boat projects in exotic locations. A corollary to this adage is that cruising includes the opportunity to work with local crafts men and women while working on boat projects in exotic locations. Thus, begins our tale of two tailors.
Tailor number one, answers to Eric, Slash, or other assorted names too salty to post for a polite audience. Eric began sewing camping gear in the ’70’s, graduated to Halloween costumes for Beth and Jean, and morphed into Elizabeth Jean‘s on board canvas wright. His credits include helm, windlass, hydrovane, outboard, winch, life raft and handrail covers. His grandest project, however, would not have been possible without Tailor number two.
Isabel Arce, an El Salvadorean seamstress (aka Tailor number 2), crossed our path after we crossed the bar in to Bahia de Sol El Salvador, an exotic location if we’ve ever seen one.
Together Isabelle and Eric began assembling the long panels needed for Elizabeth Jean’s summer boat cover. In the process, Isabelle helped Eric with his Spanish as Eric helped Isabel with her English. While we were waiting to transit the Panama Canal, Eric resumed work on the project, completing it the day we left Elizabeth Jean for the summer.
Elizabeth Jean surfing the bar into Bahia del Sol, Ecuador.
Tailor #1’s canvas work. Clockwise from upper right: life raft cover, helm cover, winch cover, and windlass cover.
Tailor #2: Isabel Arce.
Bill and Jean, the hosts of the El Salvador Cruisers Rally, offered their home to start the project. This shot conveys how long the canvas pieces are. Information about the Cruisers’ Rally and Bahia del Sol can be found at this link.
Isabel joining two large panels together.
Eric, in our room at the Shelter Bay Marina, putting the finishing touches on the awning before our May departure.
Elizabeth Jean on the way to the storage yard in her new summer finery. Five months later, we have returned her to the water and are washing and stowing the covers.
Those readers interested in cruiser canvas work, multi-cultural boat projects or both will enjoy the story of Memory Rose’s crew. They were so inspired by the sailing canoes of the San Blas, Kuna Indians that they opened a small sail loft in Panama and began sewing canoe sails. We head to the San Blas next and will be keeping an eye out for Memory Rose‘s work.