Friday, May 1, 2015

Opua: a good day's work; immensely and profoundly; migration


        GANNET is transformed, or at least her interior is.
        I have not disposed of the Torqeedo, but I have banished its shaft and the outboard mount to the stern.  Not using the engine, there is no need for it to reside between the pipe berths where it takes up too much space.  When I have time to see which of the two batteries holds the higher percentage of charge, that battery will go back there, too, and the other will be placed in the trash. 
        Having removed the two largest objects formerly stowed between the pipe berths—the Spade anchor and rode to the bow; the Torqeedo the stern—has imposed neatness and order on what was cluttered chaos.  
        Torqeedo relocated, I removed the floorboards and the various waterproof boxes and bags beside them, and cleaned, wiped down with acetone, and then painted the bilge and surrounding areas.  That was last done almost four years ago.  On most boats, the bilge is unseen.  On GANNET it is always visible and had become unsightly.  
        Obviously on GANNET the surface to be painted is small and did not take long, but did require complicated contortions.
        Others might not notice much difference, but I who live here do.  In the past few weeks I have reorganized, reduced and improved GANNET’s interior in many ways that cumulatively are very satisfying.  She is lighter, better organized and less cluttered.
        I am pleased.

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        THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD is usually a local, home town newspaper.  This is reasonable for a country whose population of 4.5 million is that of a moderate size city, about the same as the Boston metropolitan area and less than half of what is oddly known as Chicagoland.  But on occasion THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD achieves greatness.  They did so a few years ago with a supplement on the WWI Battle of Passchendaele in which New Zealand lost a thousand dead during two hours one morning.  And they did so again last week on the one hundredth anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli with a sixty page supplement titled Letters from Hell.
        Letters from Hell is composed mostly of letters written home from the soldiers, photographs, and some propaganda, which is to say lies, intended to conceal the truth and boost morale on the home front.
        The New Zealand and Australian men fought at Gallipoli with great courage.  They were willing to die, but they didn’t want to die pointlessly.  The campaign was a complete failure.  It is said that the only successful maneuver was the withdrawal after almost eight months of slaughter.
        Letters from Hell is immensely and profoundly sad.

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        April 30 is considered the end of the cyclone season, though later storms are possible and seem to be becoming more common.
        I noticed an almost constant procession of boats to the fuel dock last week.  A loud horn while I was working this morning caused me to stick my head out the companionway.  An annual rally for those who for reasons beyond my comprehension want to sail in a herd was leaving for the islands.  More than a dozen boats.
        Had I not torn my rotator cuff I would have already left.