Friday, October 13, 2017
Evanston: havoc; HUE; restored; influx; queued
Greg, whose admirably named SOMEDAY FOREVER was GANNET’s neighbor at Durban Marina, sent me a link to a video of damage done to the marina by a recent storm. Fortunately SOMEDAY FOREVER was not seriously damaged. Boats aren’t safe anywhere, even in port. Perhaps particularly in port.
I suppose it is because we are at the fiftieth anniversary of some of the key events of what we call The Vietnamese War and the then North Vietnamese called The American War, that we have the Ken Burns PBS documentary and several new books. I just finished one, HUE 1968, about the fighting there during the Tet Offensive. The book is compelling reading. The author, Mark Bowden, also wrote BLACK HAWK DOWN.
I am not going to comment about the war. Several of you were in the military. Perhaps some in Vietnam. I will note that the casualties in Hue were staggering on both sides. A Marine company of 147 men was reduced in two days to 7. 17 killed. 123 wounded. And one North Vietnamese Army battalion went into Hue with about 800 and came out with 50.
Dave, who has been cruising in VIKING FUNERAL, his 14’ Paradox, which is up for sale, is presently traveling by bicycle through Vietnam. This is his second trip and he likes the place very much, as does my friend, Louise, who was there working with the Red Cross during the Tet Offensive, and has since been back.
In the epilogue, Mark Bowden writes: Beware of men with theories that explain everything. Trust those who approach the world with humility and cautious insight.
Kent and Audrey, who beautifully restore boats and have an armada of them, sent me tempting links about a Drascombe Lugger. This one about their restoration. This the sale listing. They are pretty boats that have been a special part of my life and from time to time I think about buying one again. This is not the time. GANNET and I are perfectly matched and I’m dubious about owning two boats again, even small ones. The asking price for ROAMER of $5900 is about $900 more than I paid for CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE new in 1978. However, I found an online calculator that shows $5,000 in 1978 to have the value of about $19,500 today.
James and Bob and Bev sent me links to a CNN piece about commercial flights that are finally due to begin from South Africa to St. Helena. I thank them. With one flight scheduled per week limited to 76 passengers, some of whom will be residents of St. Helena, “the sudden influx of visitors,” will hardly be overwhelming.
I’ve received several emails asking about GANNET’s keel repair.
After waiting what I thought a reasonable time after Irma I telephoned the boat yard Monday and am “in the queue” to get an estimate for the repair. Hopefully they will get back to me next week.
I asked the woman who manages service how things are there and was told “hectic.”