shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Reef Knot

May 9, 2011

As the name implies, a reef knot is used in reef lines to tie up the reefed portion of the mainsail to keep it from filling with wind or waves. The problem is that it is very similar to its cousin the Granny knot. As kids we all learned how to tie a Granny knot, so while raising three boys onboard, we had to UNteach them the knot. Since we started cruising the boys have tucked in about half the reefs Eurisko has needed, so it was imperative that they learn the reef knot. We could all use a refresher sometimes.

The trick with a reef knot is to think about which line you have in which hand. Since my captain is left-handed, he ties it "backwards" from me, but either way works. "Left over right then right over left" or "right over left then left over right;" they both work equally well. What creates a Granny knot is "right over left then right over left again." You know, old people are always repeating themselves.

Hold the two bitter ends.

Hold the bitter ends, one in each hand.

One line over the other

Start by laying the right line over and then under the left.

Bring the line over, under and switch hands.

Your lines will switch hands now.

Now put the other line over.

Now, put the left line over the right line.

Bring it back up under the line.

Continue around and under that line.



Granny knot

You know you've made it correctly if both ends of one line come out the same "hole." If instead you've made a Granny knot, the two lines will be mixed up.

Remember, when tying reef lines, tie them around the SAIL, not the boom. You'll be less likely to rip your sail if something parts in heavy weather

When you have treated your child to a life of adventure, I guess you shouldn't be surprised when they start creating their own. MONDAY we'll look at a couple of youngsters and their version of simply adventuring.

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