Thursday, January 9, 2014

Evanston: unvortexed; Yellobricked and screwdrivered; article added; the only place

        The Arctic Vortex has returned to the Arctic.  
        We reached 0°F at noon on Tuesday.  14F yesterday.  The 20s today.  And above freezing tomorrow.
        After I wrote about our weather in the last entry, I thought of my Canadian readers who might well wonder what we were complaining about.  I checked and indeed the temperature in one reader’s home town was -28°F/-33°C, and I doubt that is the lowest they have seen this winter.
        I heard on television a school principal in Fairbanks, Alaska, say that he lets the students go outside for recess until it gets to -20F.  
        Canadians and Alaskans were gracious not to point out what real cold is to us Southerners.


        The Yellowbrick arrived several days ago, and I’ve been working with it.  So far I’m impressed with the quality of the build, its performance, and Yellowbrick support.  I sent a couple of emails with questions and received prompt and useful replies even over the holidays.
        I’ve successfully paired it with my iPad mini, sent and received emails, and had the unit transmit positions to my map page, all with it sitting on the end table beside me, six inches from a window and a limited view of the sky.  Mounted on GANNET’s stern rail it should perform even better.
        With Bluetooth off, battery drain is negligible.  I will test this further next month in San Diego, but I expect a fully charged battery will last for all but the longest of passages.
        Here is the link to the map:  

        You won’t find anything there now except a world map.  
        Because I’ll be moving through time zones, I’ve set the time to UTC.  On passages I expect I’ll have the Yellowbrick send our position at twelve hour intervals.  This can be set on the Yellowbrick to continuous or intervals of five minutes to twelve hours.
        I also bought a MegaPro ratcheting screwdriver which ought to save some space and duplication.  I first read of this at The Wirecutter site, home of a wide range of useful product reviews. 
        And I found Spade anchors on sale and placed an order for a 10 pound aluminum one to be sent next month to San Diego.  The sale price reduction isn’t great, but enough to cover shipping.  
        The 10 pound Spade will cost four times what I paid for a 15 pound Delta.  I think Spades are better than Deltas, but not four times better.  Still I needed another anchor, and the Spade on THE HAWKE OF TUONELA was the only anchor I set in the last decade and circumnavigation and a half I owned her, and it never failed me.
        Of anchors and anchoring, my boats have always been of moderate to light displacement and low windage and therefore easy on anchors.  With the exception of CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE, flush decked, maximum 24” freeboard, ultra light GANNET should be the easiest.


        “The Cure”, has been added to the Articles page.
        A drastically shortened version appears in the January CRUISING WORLD.  Glancing at the issue’s Contents page, I didn’t even know it was there until, skimming through, I saw familiar photos.
        The version on this site is the way I originally wrote the piece.
        I do not know how much more I will write for sailing magazines.  Limitations on words and space have become so severe that I’m not sure I can squeeze my life into them.  Or want to.

        If you want to follow GANNET’s voyage, the only place really to do so is here.