Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Hilton Head Island: from the porch: dust; 51 years to catch up; horde

On an intermittently rainy day that has thus far remained comfortable, we are confined to the screened in porch.  The screens are floor to ceiling and some rain has blown in.  Radar shows a band of heavy showers due in an hour which may drive us inside.  The forecast also mentions possible waterspouts.  Not, I think, on Skull Creek.  Work inside seems confined to the laundry room, so we should be able to find refuge somewhere out of the way if we must.  Until this place is finished, assuming it ever is, I will be glad to be in control of my own space elsewhere.  We fly back to Chicago tomorrow morning.

Sahara dust has reached as far as Chicago.  I thank Jimmy and Jay for the above photo of a dust enhanced sunset.  Considerably more boats in the water than in the last photo from Jay and Jimmy of Monroe Harbor for what will be a very short sailing season.  

Sunrises, sunsets, and the moon are often beautiful over Lake Michigan.

As some of you will know, Scot, the owner and editor of the Sailing Anarchy website, has just bought an Ericson 35 Mk 2.  I know Scot.  He even once bought me a fine lunch at the San Diego Yacht Club.  I wrote to him under the subject:  congratulations on catching up.

I knew you talked about buying an Ericson 35-2 and see that you finally did.  It has taken you 51 years to catch up with me, who bought off the plans and had the second one in the water in 1969.  Well, most never catch up with me at all, so you have done well.  

And in reply to a question on how I liked the boat:

I lived on board with a beautiful woman at Harbor Island Marina in the early 70s, sailed as much as one can in Southern California, which has the best climate in the world, but as you know usually not much wind and few, almost no anchorages, and prepared for breaking away forever.  When Ericson came out with the 37 in I think 1973 I traded up and had a 37 built without lifelines or engine or through hull fittings below the waterline.  The 37 had engineering problems with the rig, particularly the bolts through the mast below deck level in lieu of tie rods, and on the passage in which I became the first American to round Cape Horn alone the hull cracked and in five months at sea I ended up bailing seven tons of water out with a bucket every 24 hours.  I have occasionally wondered if I might have done better to have stuck with the 35 for my first circumnavigation.  She was a fine boat and a pretty one, which boats should be, though I was not sailing her as you will.

All the best from the other coast.

The cover story of the July issue of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC is about an expedition to try to recover a camera carried by Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine, who disappeared near the summit of Mt. Everest with George Mallory in 1924.  Since then there has been a question of whether they died on the way up or down, and if down, whether they were the first men to reach the top.

I was struck by several aspects of this expensive presumably for TV endeavor, among them how unlikely it ever was to succeed and how disproportionate the effort and cost even if it were successful, but most by the statement that as the team was waiting to summit, 450 others were also waiting on the Nepal side of the mountain and 200 more on the Chinese.  Almost all of whom had paid according to Google $45,000 and up.  In some photos illustrating the article Levittowns of tents despoil the mountain.  Not quite an edge of human experience.  

Spoiler:  the camera was not found.  The ‘crevice’ seen in an aerial photograph in which Irvine’s body was ‘certain to be’ proved to be a dark rock that only looked like a crevice.

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