Reefing nettles are simple lines used to tie the extra sail down while the sail is reefed. We have to reefing lines and two places in our sail for nettles. One nettle is measured at 3 1/2 feet and the second is measured at 4 1/2 feet the third would be measured at 5 1/2 feet (if we had a 3 reef sail). Reefing is the process of lowering the sail in heavy winds, it brings the center of gravity closer to the boat, which in turn allows better control in harsher weather. Reefing is a good thing.
This is something I learned that day at the sail loft. I also learned that there is a great group of women working at the loft. You can read about them here. http://porttownsendsails.com/index.htm
Not only do they make the best sails in the Northwest, they are professional, and so so kind. They call themselves "the Ladies," and let me know that I was welcome anytime, even if I just needed to chat. I hadn't made any friends here yet, but that day, I felt like I had.
Honestly, living aboard, in this tiny space, in a town I know nothing about, can get a little uncomfortable. As much as I love and adore my Husband and our little boy, and being with them brings me joy like no other, I just need to be in the presence of another or other women. Scott and I can get on each others nerves, and when this happens, who do I vent to? The ladies at the loft had complete understanding. They too have the experience of living aboard. They too say it can be very challenging. Scott and I are new at breathing each others air 2/4/7. We are learning a lot about each other, ourselves, and our relationship. Most of the time it is hearts, rainbows, and lollipops. Let me tell you, though, when the air is so thick it can be cut with a knife, we HAVE to deal with it. There is no backyard for me to run to or no going out to wash a vehicle for him.....nope, no running, only dealing. We are becoming good communicators. Sometimes I find a good cry is all I need. I have read a few blogs of other family's that live aboard. None seem to mention "those" times. The times that get tough. The times that you get on each other's nerves. I wish they would speak of it, let us newbies know, that it is normal. If I am the first to mention that living aboard as a family can get emotionally challenging, then good for me. After speaking with "the Ladies" at the loft, I know we are normal. That makes it a lot easier. Life is good.