Monday, July 15, 2019

San Diego: Rustoleum and me; three hypotheses; flat

        GANNET’s interior is painted from the bow to the main bulkhead.  The bilge is also painted.
        I did the bow to the partial bulkhead and the bilge yesterday and the rest of the forward area today.
        The bow is difficult requiring long awkward reaching.
        Many of you wrote that you have used and recommend Rustoleum.  Jim and Steve and Glenn, in addition to Kent.  How is it that I have gone all these years without knowing this?  I’m still learning.
        James wrote about a special extra hard Appliance Epoxy Rustoleum.  I found it in a spray can and used it on the bilge.  For the rest I used flat white Rustoleum from a can.  
        The fumes from the spray can were intense even with the hatches open.  Fortunately GANNET’s bilge is small and didn’t take long, after which I sat on deck until fumes dissipated  below brain damage level.  I hope.
        Painting while living on board is complicated by having to move everything out of a given area and then back in at the end of the day.  San Diego’s lack of rain makes this easier.
        Glenn, who beautifully restored GRENDEL, the prototype Moore 24, wrote that he used Rustoleum inside and out down to the waterline and sent along these photos which I am permitted to share with you.
        Looking at them, it seems to me that GRENDEL’s mast is farther forward than is GANNET’s, but I am not certain this is the case.

        I expect to have the interior painted to the end of the pipe berths this week.  I don’t think I am going to paint the stern area.  I got stuck back there last time I did.


        Several readers inquired about the ‘Three Hypotheses’ post.  Apple never had a way to search iWeb, but I googled ‘Webb Chiles three hypotheses’ and got an instant link.

        That was even before fake news.


        Michael sent me the following which he saw on a friend’s Facebook page.  


Friday, July 12, 2019

San Diego: sanded; pumped; simplify

        I finished sanding GANNET’s wood today.  In the process of doing so I have sufficiently sanded my fingertips so that Touch ID no longer works on my iPhone.  There is now one coat of Deks Olje on the forward side of the main bulkhead and floorboards, two coats on the aft side of the main bulkead and the counters, and three on the companionway bulkhead.
        I took the floorboards onto the dock to sand and in their absence cleaned the bilge as well as I can.  The very aft part is unreachable except by a loose hacksaw blade that I use to try to push debris forward to where I can reach it.
        Steve Earley wrote that he uses Rustoleum on his generally immaculate SPARTINA and Jim wrote that he has used it and recommends it too.  Tomorrow I will go to Home Depot and buy a couple of quarts, rollers, brushes, etc.
        Above is San Diego’s seven day forecast.  Perfect working weather.


        My bicycle pump arrived today.  It is a very nice pump.  Sigh.  I will keep it in the dock box.  I will probably have another bicycle here eventually.  Carol and I both have good bikes on the other coast, where they are doing us no good whatsoever.


        The dock box is almost full.
        I have continued removing stuff from GANNET.
        My plastic sextant.  A duffle bag of clothes and my heavy set of foul weather gear.  The Jordan Drogue.  Various cans of paint and polishes.
        Running out of dock storage space I have started to throw things away.
        I also decided not to buy another pair of harbor shorts and Levis.  I found a pair of Levis that are good except for a small stain on one knee that probably no one will notice.  Two pair of harbor shorts and Levis are enough.  On GANNET and in the marina I can wear passage/work clothes and change into better when I go ashore.
        I learned that some entrepreneurs have set up wi-if covering this basin.  Driscoll Marina has none of its own.  I thought about signing up, but decided against it.  I would watch sports on TV instead of listening to music and reading.  I like sports, but music and reading are better.  I don’t like TV news.  I don’t need TV weather.  So I am keeping it simple.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

San Diego: home improvements; earthquakes; Revolutionary War Airports

        The other day while my bicycle was being stolen, I bought new dish towels, pillow cases, and a new plastic measuring cup to eat out of.  Target as I have mentioned before has the best plastic measuring cups I have found.  They now come with red handles.
        I had already ordered new pillows.  Mine was still wet from the passage and exceedingly moldy.
        At Home Depot I continued my ongoing tool replacements, buying a selection of screw drivers and pliers.        
        Today I again sanded and oiled.  I will be through sanding tomorrow, though more coats of oil will be applied on subsequent days.
        Next it is on to cleaning and painting the inside of the hull and the overhead.  GANNET has no liner so these are exposed.
        Long ago someone advised me to use latex house paint because it ‘breathes’ and reduces mold.  However, in reading his site, I noted that Kent, who professionally repairs small boats and maintains a fleet of about twenty of his own, including my favorite canoe as seen above—note the lee boards—often writes about using Rustoleum.  I emailed him for more information and will use Rustoleum myself.  Kent suggested that latex paint instead of reducing mold, may increase it. 


        Several of you have asked if I felt the earthquakes.  I did not, but Carol and others around me did.
        Carol and I were in our hotel room when the first one occurred.  She immediately said that it was an earthquake.   I felt nothing.
       The bigger one occurred the next evening.  We were at a friend’s condo a few miles inland for dinner.  Again, all three of the others felt the quake.  Again I felt nothing.
        San Diego is about 250 miles/400 kilometers from the center of the quakes, so there was not much motion.  That I did not feel them may be due to my senses having been blunted by old age or it might be that I am so used to feeling motion on GANNET that I don’t notice it.  In fact being still seems unnatural to me. 


        You have probably seen this, but I can’t let it pass.
        I have long been on the record as believing that democracy has never worked except perhaps on the village level.   Somewhere in the journal is a post “Three Hypotheses”.  I can’t find it and am eager to go on deck for libation and music.
        For those unfamiliar with American history.  The Revolutionary War took place between 1775 and 1783.  The attack on Fort McHenry was in 1814.  And the Wright brothers first flight was in 1903.

          “The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown,” he said. “Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare, it had nothing but victory.”

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

San Diego: robbed; ODYSSEUS

        Many problems are self-solving.  Finding a place to leave my bicycle when I go sailing is no longer a problem.  The bike was stolen this afternoon.  
        I sanded the companionway bulkhead this morning, then biked to a large shopping center across from the Sports Arena to go to Home Depot, Target, and Ralph’s, a supermarket.  I locked the bike to a bike rack between Ralph’s and an Old Navy store, was gone about fifteen minutes and returned to find it was gone.  I didn’t have my phone with me so couldn’t Uber and walked the 2.3 miles back to GANNET.  This is not a big deal, even with a full knapsack on my back.  As you know I walked almost twice that far yesterday without leaving the marina.
        I am sorry to have lost that bike.  I liked it.  It rode well and was comfortable.
        I will not be buying a replacement immediately, if ever.
        Partially that is because of the marina rule prohibiting leaving bikes on the dock.  I didn’t like having the bike on the deck or having to find a place for it when I leave the dock, though two neighbors have told me I could leave it on their boats.  Partially it is that I am in a strong simplification phase and want to get rid of everything I can live without.  And partially it is because I can ride Uber about thirty times for the cost of another bike.
        So I will Uber, perhaps take buses, and walk.
        The good news is that I now have one coat of Deks Olje on the bulkhead which looks dramatically better than when I started work this morning.


        This morning I met Jim, who maintains ODYSSEUS, GANNET’s huge neighbor.
        He said that despite the Swan cove stripe, she is not a Swan.  She is 88’ long on deck, but with the small launch hoisted on the stern, 100’ overall.  She was built in France, sailed across to the East Coast of the US, then through Panama to the West Coast, where she has gone as far north as San Francisco.  The current owner is 75 years old and finds that sailing takes too much time.  He prefers to fly places.  
        You may or may not forgive me for taking satisfaction that GANNET has sailed far farther than ODYSSEUS.
        ODYSSEUS is for sale.  GANNET is not.  Some old men have time to sail.  I thank James for a link to the listing for ODYSSEUS.  Although the price shown is $549,000, Jim said the asking price has been dropped to $499,000.  If her systems are sound, this is a bargain.  I am not interested.

Monday, July 8, 2019

San Diego: around the marina

        Another quiet evening in Quivira Basin.
        I have come below at 8 PM after sitting on deck listening to music and sea lions, watching birds, and sipping tequila.
        A pelican gilded past not far off GANNET’s bow reminding me of an evening a half century ago when, while living on board my 26’ Excalibur on the other side of this basin still in the ‘longing’ part of my life, I rowed around the bait barge and a pelican flew by almost within reach.  I heard the sound of his feathers touching the air.
        According to my Activity app I walked 4.3 miles today and I didn’t leave the marina.
        It was laundry day and I did walk from GANNET to the shore buildings many times.  I also went ashore to check for packages and to shower.  Living on a boat is obviously a naturally active and healthy life.
        Along the way I noticed several boats of interest, including the above.
        There are two of these, side by side.  ‘Ships In a Bottle’ they are called.  They run short day and evening trips for tourists.  They are even more than most sailboats powerboats with masts.  The benches can seat three adults on each side.  When so laden they ride very bow down.

        This boat was in this slip when I left five years ago.  I never saw her used then.  It does not appear she has ever been sailed since.  The deck house is wood.  You may be able to see that the seams are opening.  Slip rent would run at least $5,000 a year.  So $25,000 in five years for what?  A friend recently suggested that 90%-93% of boats in marinas are never used.  I concur.

        I also pass what might be the world’s narrowest catamaran.
        I thought catamarans gained stability by beam.  
        This one has the virtue of fitting in a normal slip, but I don’t think I would want to sail her.

       This is a good boat that is being neglected.  Look at the bird droppings on hatch and mainsail cover.
       I think she is a Contessa 26.  Not exactly my kind of boat, but one in which I would cross oceans.  She appears to have been prepared to do so, with a self-steering vane on the stern, the same Anchorman windless I had on THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, and other equipment.   I have seen no one on her and do not know her story.

        Here is the behemoth next to GANNET.  
       She has the Swan cove stripe, but does not look like any Swan I know of.
       For non-sailors Swan is the name of a famous brand of sailboats built in Finland.
       Pacing her off, I estimate she is 85’-90’/25-27 meters.
       Here if you look closely Is GANNET beside her. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

San Diego: hiding in plain sight; books read

       Sunday evening and Quivira Basin is quiet.  A single kayaker is on the water.  Quite a contrast with July 4 and yesterday.  The holiday weekend is over and everyone—well, almost everyone—has returned to their unreal ‘real’ lives.   I have returned to GANNET.
        Carol had an early flight back to Chicago.  I stayed in the hotel room to watch the final of the Women’s World Cup.  The US women are superior and deserved the win.  I am not hung up on the nationalism.  The US spends more money on women’s soccer than any other nation and has the third largest population in the world to draw from.  That American women’s soccer is superior to American men’s, even considering that men’s soccer overall is much more competitive than women’s, is undeniable.
       I enjoyed being with Carol.  No surprise.  I always have in the twenty-five years I have known and loved her.  But I am glad to be back on GANNET.  No surprise.  I always have during the eight years I have owned her.  And I have always enjoyed being on the water.  Even somehow knowing I would during those long years of my landlocked childhood.
        Carol and I were on GANNET on July 4 and again yesterday afternoon.
        On the Fourth a kayaker came along side who recognized GANNET and by inference me.  We talked.  He displayed knowledge that he had indeed been following the voyage and he was complimentary.  As Carol, who is astute, noted afterwards, he did not offer and  I did not get his name.  A warning:  you are always welcomed to approach me, but in the future I will ask your name.  We are in this together.  I do recall that he grew up in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago not far from Evanston, and now lives in Colorado.  
        He said among other things that I am a rock star of sailing.  I have heard that before, but not liking rock music am ambivalent.  I want to be the Bach of sailing.
        I do not deny that it is pleasing to be recognized, but it is also pleasing not to be recognized, as none of the paddlers and kayakers who pass by GANNET, and occasionally bump into her, do.  I expect that they see a slim old man standing in the companionway or sitting on a Sportaseat on a small boat and think that it is nice that he still has these quiet moments of enjoyment on the water.  I am pleased that they have no idea of what GANNET has done.  That of all the more than a thousand boats in this basin, she has sailed the farthest.  And that I have sailed farther than everyone else in this bay and probably San Diego Bay combined as well.  And not just farther, but harder.
        Yesterday we rented a bike for Carol and rode Mission Beach from one end to the other.  I like being here so much.


       As long time readers know every six months I post the books I have read.
       I am a reader, but I read more on passages than on land when there are distractions such as the Women’s World Cup.  I observe of myself that I have finished only four books in the now more than two months since I reached land.  During the passage I often read one a day.  I am knowingly in one of the great transitions of my life and I am feeling my way forward as all of us do.
        So here is the list.  
        Of all these, the one you are most likely not to know and that I particularly liked is ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.
        THE AENEID is the equal of Homer and I had read Conrad’s ALYMAYER’S FOLLY so long ago that it was a new book to me.

January 2019

BABYLON BERLIN   Volker Kutscher
DECEMBER 1941   Craig Shirley
BIRDMEN   Lawrence Goldstone
LAST NIGHT   James Salter
MAYFLOWER   Nathaniel Philbrick
FACES AND MASKS   Eduardo Galeano
CENTURY OF THE WIND   Eduardo Galeano
  ANNAPURNA   Maurice Herzog
FARTHEST NORTH   Fridtjof Nansen
THE GUN   C. S. Forester
A TIME TO STAND:  The Epic of the Alamo   Walter Lord
ONE NIGHT IN WINTER   Simon Sebag Montefiore
MARCH   Geraldine Brooks
THE WRITTEN WORD  Martin Pulchner
THE AENEID    Virgil  translated by Robert Fitzgerald 
THE SILENT DEATH   Volker Kutscher
THIS GULF OF FIRE   Mark Moleskt
THE PLAYER’S BALL   David Kushner
APPEASEMENT   Tim Bouverie
ALMAYER’S FOLLY   Joseph Conrad


Thursday, July 4, 2019

San Diego: Independence Day

        Carol flew to San Diego on Tuesday for a long July 4 holiday.  We are staying in a hotel ashore and yesterday played tourist and visited the USS MIDWAY which has been docked here since her decommissioning in 1992.
        I was of course impressed by her size.  Though modern aircraft carriers are bigger, when launched in 1945 the MIDWAY was the biggest ship in the world.
        I was also impressed by the complexity of operating the ship and meeting the needs of a crew of 5,000, and by the intricacy of launching and retrieving the airplanes.  Former Navy pilots gave presentations on the flight deck of both procedures.
        Differences in accommodation were interesting, from the Admiral’s spacious suite to the restricted bunk and stowage space of the ordinary seaman, who as you would expect me to observe had considerably more comfort than I on board GANNET, which is as it should be.
        Today is July 4, Independence Day.  Carol and are going to GANNET later, perhaps Torqeedo/sail in Mission Bay, and stay through the evening to see what fireworks we can.  
        This is an American holiday, but I wish all of you Independence.

Monday, July 1, 2019

San Diego: a productive day

        I had a productive day yesterday.  Not so much today.
        Yesterday I rewired the bow running lights.  The wires had corroded.  I wonder how that happened?  And I started removing stuff, including other wiring that is no longer needed.  Some stuff, such as the Jordan drogue I put in the dock box.  Other I took to the trash.
       I moved the dinghy which was damp though it hasn’t been in the water since leaving Hilton Head on deck to dry.  Cleaned various things and rearranged stowage.  Then I biked to Home Depot and an adjacent Ralph’s supermarket.  At Home Depot I bought a tube of Plastic Wood and a set of small screwdrivers to replace some very rusty ones in my tool bag.  That bag is filled with rusty tools, a few of which can be salvaged, but most are going gradually to be replaced.
        The intent is to bring GANNET’s well worn interior back into respectable condition and to simplify her further.  One might think that the little boat is already simple, but clutter collects during a voyage.  I would really like to remove everything from her and put back only what is absolutely essential.  That will be difficult while living on her, but perhaps I can do it one area at a time.
        This is what the Great Cabin looked like 30,000 miles ago.  I do not expect to achieve that pristine state again.  I don’t look the way I did 30,000 miles ago either.

          Today I only filled some holes and a chipped corner of the partial companionway bulkhead and hosed the salt off my foul weather gear.  Usually I take it into the shower, but I have water readily at hand.  Modern conveniences.
        Carol flies here tomorrow for a long July 4 holiday and we will be staying in a hotel ashore, so my lack of ambition today is partially due to not wanting to tear the boat apart to start a long project.  And partially I am feeling lazy.

        Steve Earley took a photo of GANNET as she was Torqeedoing down San Diego Bay last Thursday.

        The top photos were taken from GANNET her first night back in this marina.
        The fairway between these fingers is used by kayakers and stand up boarders.  I have now seen three small dogs seemingly quite content on boards.
        I think I am going for a bike ride.

Friday, June 28, 2019

San Diego: bike rack; even better; unexpected

        This marina now has a regulation prohibiting bicycles being kept on the dock and have eliminated the bike rack that used to be near the entrance ramp.  I don’t know why, but I am very glad to be here and am willing to live with the rules.
        I Ubered to a bike shop in nearby Pacific Beach today and bought my transportation, a used bike in seemingly excellent condition.  I rode it back along what is called the Board Walk along Mission Beach, but is concrete.  It was very crowded with the addition of electric scooters to the older mix of skate boarders, bicycles and walkers.
        Along the way I passed the site of my grandparents’ home, filled with memories of a teenaged Webb Chiles who no longer exists.
        On my return I locked the bike to a light pole in the parking lot because I wanted to scrub GANNET’s deck, which I did.  This was her first wash in 5,000 miles and she looks better for it.  
        I later moved the bike to GANNET, who has in addition to being the only Moore 24 to circumnavigate become the only Moore 24 to be a bike rack.  Obviously I will have to leave the bike locked in the parking lot when I go sailing.  If I am gone overnight, it might not be there on my return.  I have suffered greater losses.

        You may have noticed that GANNET in the above photos is not where she was yesterday.
        This morning I went up to the marina office and asked Lindsey what type and size of boat was in the space in front of me, which was vacant when I walked down to check it out on Wednesday and when I docked yesterday.  She told me the space is empty and I could move forward if I wanted to.  Indeed I did.  This is even better.  It is the best possible place for me in the marina.  A view that can not be obstructed.  More exposure to the prevailing wind.  I could easily sail out, though less easily sail in.  Excellent.

        Although I am not aware she has any damage, the little boat needs a lot of cosmetic repair.  I am quite happy to do that, but unexpectedly I have found a sense of peace and ease.  I don’t actually have to do anything.  I have done enough.  If I time and chance do not end me, I expect I will do more.  More words.  More voyages.  But that does not matter.  I have proven Webb Chiles to Webb Chiles.  I am at peace as I never have been before.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

San Diego: voyage’s true end

         Ah, the mellifluous sound of sea lions ‘arkking’, the sweet smell of fish breath.  Several sea lions are arkking out on the bait barge.  One is sleeping on the swimming platform of a power boat at the end of the next dock.
        Above you see GANNET in her new home at Driscoll’s Mission Bay Marina.  The boat in the foreground in the top photo is in GANNET’s old slip from which she sailed on May 20, 2014.  While she had been in San Diego Bay before and it seemed just to call her entering the bay the completion of her circumnavigation, she is now almost exactly where she began and the flat earth fools have another problem to explain away.
        I left Driscoll’s Boat Works on Shelter Island at 8 a.m.  I know that the wind in San Diego usually doesn’t come up until 11, but GANNET was in a corner from which she had to ease stern first through a space not much wider than her modest 7’2” beam between two power boats, one of them 80’ long, and I wanted to get out in flat calm.  Two boatyard men took GANNET’s bow and stern lines and walked us through the bottleneck.  I was on board and fended us off the bigger power boat.  We had only inches of clearance on either side.
        Once free, I put the faithful Torqeedo in reverse and backed into open water.
        After taking in the dock lines and fenders, I raised the mainsail and we powered at 2.4 knots down busy and noisy San Diego Bay.  Quivira Basin’s sea lions are nothing compared to military helicopters, power boats, a huge car carrier, tugs towing a submarine, and Navy hovercraft, which challenge the helicopters as being noisiest of all.
        Keeping an eye on the rate the Torqeedo battery was discharging, I powered until 9:30 when with the battery at 80% there was slight wind for a half hour off Point Loma. Clear of the shipping channel and a mile off land, I let us drift when we were becalmed for an hour.  That seemed familiar.  At 11 punctual light wind came from the west and we had a pleasant sail the six miles north to the Mission Bay entrance channel.  The sun burned off low coastal overcast around noon.  The temperature was 68ºF/20ºC.  The little boat skirted kept beds mostly at 4 knots with an occasional 5 in about that much wind.
        I made a U turn to tie up facing out.  Even for GANNET, there is not a lot of room to do that.  Now that I know the cleat spacing, I’ll prepare lines with loops in the end that can just be dropped over them when docking.
        I like it here.  I always have.  I am glad to be back.
        Tonight drinks on deck will be accompanied by Bach and sea lions.
        Tomorrow I buy a bicycle.