Thursday, October 10, 2013
San Diego: territorial dispute; harvest
6 a.m. this morning, still pre-dawn darkness, found me hunting sea lions with a flash light.
At too repeated intervals during the night I heard them close by. They barked and grumbled and groaned. I woke up. After a while they stopped and we all went to sleep. Then they started again.
Despite the disturbance--and though I brought ear plugs with me to block my fellow humans, they were not conveniently at hand--I was too comfortable in my sleeping bag to get up.
However when I woke for good just before 6, I dressed and went hunting.
I thought I had heard three different beasts, but about 100' away, at the end of the finger between the two 90' slips perpendicular to GANNET’s, currently occupied by a 70’ power boat and an 88’ sailboat, I found not three, but five sea lions, all of moderate size, perhaps adolescents or young adults.
I walked toward them, waving my arms and shouting, and they slid into the water, the first three quickly, the last two reluctantly.
During the day I have subsequently chased sea lions from that location three more times, once two, the other two times a single lion. One of these was larger and stood his ground, er, dock, so I took a nearby dock cart and ran at him. Responding to the noise and aggression, he, too, left.
I think conditioning is going to take a while; but here is the ineluctable deal: I stay off the bait barge; and they stay off this dock.
Predicted rain fell last evening, well after I reached GANNET in early afternoon. Not much, but enough for me to close the hatches.
I found the little sloop in fine condition, other than a grimy deck with a few bird splatters, and a jungle growing along her waterline,with tendrils two feet long in the diamonds of VC17, a fresh water anti-fouling paint that I could not reach when I anti-fouled GANNET on her cradle in April of last year.
I’m having a diver come on Saturday, but I lay down on the dock and cleared the waterline growth with a putty knife this afternoon. It looked too slovenly to live with for even two more days.
Returning to GANNET now has become routine. I leave enough on the boat so I don’t need to go to a supermarket immediately, which is just as well because I didn’t get to one today. Everything is in place. And in San Diego there is no mold or spiders.
After checking that the bilge is dry--it was--and the batteries kept fully charged by the solar panels--they were--I filled the water tanks: my half gallon plastic jug and one liter drinking flask, then settled in to listen to the baseball game on the radio, with a glass of red wine from a box opened a couple of months ago--it was no better nor worse than then--and a dinner of freeze dry Chicken Dijon, before retiring to a sea lion serenade.
Today San Diego’s one day aberration has passed and the weather has returned to expected perfection.
I scrubbed the deck, and after it dried bent on the furling jib, put the bow sprit back in place, and reattached the tiller extension.
I also charged speakers and my electric razor.
Unless I’m forgetting something, GANNET is ready to go.
The top photo was taken from Central in GANNET’S Great Cabin, post seal hunt dawn.