Sunday, March 8, 2020

San Diego: Come on!

Today has been golden, even by San Diego’s standards, after a predawn rain washed the sky clear.  Its pleasant pattering on the deck woke me briefly, but then I went back to sleep until 7:45 on our new daylight time.

As I believe I have noted here before, changing GANNET from stern in to bow in has been a greater revelation than I expected.  There might be something important to be learned about trying what seem to be small changes.  Above is an iPhone panorama of my new perspective from the cockpit.  I am much less in the shadow of the immobile behemoth to the west of me.

With the illusion of an extra hour of daylight I was sitting in the cockpit sipping Plymouth gin and listening to SANTIAGO, an album by the Irish group, The Dubliners, of music from the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  There is a Celtic connection between Ireland and northern Spain.  

The kayak rental place ashore also rents small catamarans that are propelled as though one were riding a bike.  

I sat watching a middle aged man on one of these devices—they do not deserve the dignity of being called boats—approaching GANNET.  He never looked up.  He was pedaling slowly and his eyes were glued to the phone in his left hand.

Now I try to be kind.  I do not expect anyone to live as I do.  That is my ultimate arrogance. But sometimes it is just too much and I called out:  “Come on!  When you are on the water you are on the water not on your damn phone.”  At the sound of my voice he came back to the present and looked a little sheepish.  A couple in a kayak just behind him heard and smiled and nodded affirmatively.

One might say that now that we are all going to die within weeks or even days of a snake virus, we should seize the day, the moment, but in fact we always should.  The next year.  The next week.  The next day.  The next minute.  Are not guaranteed.  Though most live as though they are.  They are fools.

Among my rare correspondents who are older than I is Peter who lives on a Sadler 29 on the French Rivera.

He noted the rumor that Webb Chiles might be content just being at anchor.  He also mentioned the Brisbane sailor who just completed a non-stop circumnavigation.

Here is my response:

Thanks for the link.  I have heard of him.  Going around non-stop always has a significant amount of chance no matter how careful the preparation.  This is not a competition I will ever be engaged in.

I feel a little dead in the water now, waiting for Hilton Head to be completed, assuming it ever will be, and moving GANNET there, probably just in time for the hurricane season.  We will see what happens next.  Maybe I will take up fishing.  Or knitting.  Or not.

And then my response to a subsequent email:

No fishing.  No knitting.  No pottering.  If I keep my health and have time, I will still sail oceans and may even set off around the world again, though that would require a rounding of Cape Horn in an extreme little boat.  That is off the record.  I have completed circumnavigations in five consecutive decades—two in the 00s—and going for six, competing with no one but myself, has an attraction.  I admit I am looking forward to some of the anchoring possibilities near our Hilton Head condo.  The land is all flat.  Locally it is known as the Low Country and I expect much of it will be below sea level by 2100.  But there are in places complete isolation and silence and a kind of beauty that I want to experience.