Saturday, November 9, 2013

San Diego: strike the set

        I have accomplished all I planned to on GANNET, and no sea lion has dared touch a flipper to this dock for weeks.  My work here is done.  So I am flying back tomorrow to spend some extra days with Carol.
        It is possible that the person you know who has been most alone, is also the person you know who has been most married.  I don’t know if that indicates complexity or inconsistency.

        I went sailing yesterday.
        A lovely day, particularly for November in most places, but merely normal here.  Sunny, temperature in the low 70sF/22C, and, of course, light wind.  GANNET topped out at 5.7 on a close reach in what was at most 7 knots of wind; but mostly sailed around 5 in 5 or 6 knots of wind.
        This was my first sail with the new tiller on which I’ve made a different tiller pilot attachment point than on the old one.  This worked  as expected.
        It was also my first sail with the two new solar panels in place.  I made the right choice.  It was easy to step over or around them.  I observed that the windward jib sheet naturally lies on them and will have to remember to move it away.
        Last sail I noted the difference in COG between the Velocitek and the Garmin Quatix watch.  I said incorrectly that the Garmin was set to true, so the Velocitek was reading magnetic.  When I later checked I found the Quatix was magnetic and so changed the setting to true.  With both reading true, they mostly showed exactly the same COG.  I expect the small differences of a degree or two were due to different refresh rates.
        I used the Quatix to guide me back to the waypoint at the mouth of the Mission Bay entrance channel.  It did so perfectly, showing distance, bearing, and estimated  remaining time to arrival.  The distance was in nautical miles to the hundredth, until the last one thousand yards were shown in feet.  It was right on.  I could have entered the channel in zero visibility.  But I wouldn’t have.
        Last evening I was standing in the companionway watching the last light fade from the western sky, when I heard a sound behind me and turned to find a great blue heron on the next dock doing the shimmy, shaking his whole body side to side.  I assume he had just gotten wet.  I laughed aloud, and he stopped and looked embarrassed.


        I have written before of NO PROMISES, the charming album on which Carla Bruni sings poems set to music.  I like it very much and listen to it often, but sometimes I hear something familiar as if for the first time, as I did last evening when she sang from W.H. Auden’s, “Lady Weeping at the Crossroads,”

        Wear out patience in the lowest
        Dungeons of the sea
        Searching through the stranded shipwrecks
        For the golden key

        The entire poem can be found here, along with a video, which because of my limited data plan I have not watched.  She is a distractingly beautiful woman, so I recommend reading the words first.
        Scrolling down to the second poem on the page by Keats is worth your time as well.


        The NY TIMES ran an article the other day with a heading stating that people are deciding not to be artists because of the high cost of housing and health care.  
        Any tepid soul who thinks he or she is deciding whether to be an artist on the basis of housing and health care is deceiving him or herself.  They aren’t.