Thursday, July 18, 2024

Hilton Head Island: MAN OF ARAN; joys of travel; early bird.

 


For months I have read about ten pages of Tim Robinson each morning.  First the three volumes  of his Connemara trilogy and now PILGRIMAGE, the first of the two books he wrote about the Aran Islands just off the Connemara coast.  When I finish it I will start LABYRINTH.  PILGRIMAGE describes walking the edge of Inishmore, the largest of the three islands, eight miles long and two miles at it widest.  In LABYRINTH  he explores the interior.  At ten pages a day I have two more weeks with Tim in PILGRIMAGE and two months with him in LABYRINTH.  I will be miss visiting him and western Ireland when it ends.

Tim Robinson writes about a famous film about and filmed on Inishmore by Robert Flaherty in the early 1930s.  Flaherty is better known for his earlier NANOOK OF THE NORTH.

I found the film at YouTube and Carol and I watched and enjoyed it last evening.

There is controversy about the film mostly by revisionists who dislike any effort that is inconsistent with their political or religious agenda.  I consider them irrelevant.  A work should be judged as it stands by itself, and on that basis, MAN OF ARAN, does very well as a depiction of people living a hard life in a hard world.

Above are two of the posters promoting the film. Here is a link to an article about Flaherty and the film.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_of_Aran

And here a link to the film itself, which runs an hour and fourteen minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwmc05qW0xc

From what I have read it depicts life as it was lived on the islands, though not at the time of filming, and it includes dramatic and spectacular footage of a sea swept coast.

Flaherty praised the courage of the local fishermen, particularly those in the scene toward the end when they are trapped between lines of breaking waves.  He commented that in one filming the men were not able to make it through the surf and had to row twenty miles to Galway Bay on the mainland to reach land until the seas diminished.


I am also reading TRAVELS WITH MYSELF AND ANOTHER by Martha Gellhorn, a talented war correspondent and writer who was also for four years Ernest Hemingway’s third wife.  The ‘another’ in the title is Hemingway, who is not mentioned by name.  I am not far into the book, but am enjoying it.  Here is a selection that you may enjoy too.





I have been dutifully biking to GANNET around 7 AM each morning.  In doing so the early bird disturbs the birds.  I am the first human about the docks and birds who are diligently seeking their breakfasts are not pleased.  Egrets, both great and snowy, often hold their position as I bike past.  So does a Great Blue Heron, but the numerous smaller green herons vehemently express their displeasure as they take flight, often landing five yards ahead of me and taking flight again and again as I herd them toward A Dock.

This morning I applied a second coat of Deks Olje to the interior wood and chipped some loose paint on the deck between the pads of Raptor nonskid.  Then, it still being relatively cool, I took a five mile bike ride before returning to the condo and a cup of coffee.

l have not yet marked ‘oil interior wood’ off my list because the floorboards and the wood around the companionway are going to require a third coat, but I have reduced list by more than half, and again have the illusion that I am in control.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Hilton Head Island: three marriages

I have written that no one can judge a marriage from the outside, although we all do.  Societies.  Courts.  Neighbors.  Co-workers.  Casual acquaintances.  Celebrities we don’t even know.  And we are always wrong.

Even when we’re right, we’re wrong, because our opinions are based on inadequate information.  Marriages are too complicated and too subtle.  They turn over the years on words said and unsaid, tones, pauses, touches gentle or rough, welcomed or shunned, sex or lack of it, money or lack of it, gestures, expressions, a face turned toward or away.  Thousands and thousands of bonding or eroding moments.

Sometimes I wonder if marriages can be understood even from within.  This came to mind recently from an email from my friend, Tim, suggesting a piece of music by Max Richter, and a section in a book of poems by Thomas Hardy.

My reply to Tim’s email first.

Sitting at the bedroom window, a bit of Laphroaig at hand—the bottle was almost empty and begging to be so.  The sun has just set behind Pickney Island and is heading your way.  Actually it is stationary and we are spinning, but it doesn’t seem that way.

I just watched and listened to the Max Richter.  Pleasant, but I think that is all.  Not equal to his splendidly daring version of The Four Seasons, the score of The Hostiles,  The Waves, Return 2.  And perhaps others.

I look out at Skull Creek.  Completely still.  The Spanish moss is hanging motionless.  The sky has some gold to the west, but I see mostly gray and sliver and green.  I am often amazed that I am alive at my age and living in the presence of such beauty and with Carol.  And yet if I am still alive and healthy in two and a half years I will leave this and go to sea.  Risking a life that almost all would desire, but risking much less than I did when I sailed out fifty years ago.

To life.

The reference to The Waves is what is relevant to marriage.

Here is a link to a YouTube video.


The words at the very beginning are Virginia Woolf’s suicide note to her husband of almost thirty years, Leonard.  If you can’t understand them as spoken:

Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can't fight it any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been.  V.


Although it is not related to marriages, permit me to suggest a second video of music by Max Richter, Return 2, in which I believe the sepia images match the music perfectly.



I have the collected works of Thomas Hardy, but he wrote so much that I also have some volumes of his selected poetry.  I recently reread THE POEMS OF THOMAS HARDY SELECTED BY CLAIRE TOMALIN.  Of these almost fifty pages out of one hundred and fifty seven are devoted to poems about Emma, Hardy’s first wife, most of them written after her death in 1912. Here is just one.


You can find many more, all full of nostalgia and regret for what has been lost.  You imagine a great love, until you read about what from the outside seems not to have been at all a happy marriage.  


I find myself wondering what Hardy in his 70s was remembering fondly other than early physical passion or the first real love he knew breaking into his isolation from other humans.  Perhaps I read too much of my own life into his.



I have continued to go down to GANNET each morning and get some work done.  I go earlier each day to avoid the heat.  I have found that 9 am is too late.  So is 8.  I usually wake at 6 or 6:30 and like to take a glass of juice and a cup of coffee back to bed and read for an hour or so.  No longer.  I woke at 5:30 this morning and biked down to GANNET a little after 7.  Sunrise this morning was 6:27.  I completed three of the tasks on my list before drowning in sweat at 8 and biking back home.



Friday, July 12, 2024

Hilton Head Island: a growing to do list

I went down to GANNET a few days ago to hook up one of the outboard batteries to charge from the ship’s batteries overnight.  That charger plugs into a cigarette lighter type outlet.  I was able to slither aft on the port pipe berth and bring the battery forward into The Great Cabin and attach it to the charger.  When I did a green light came on on the charger and a red light on the battery to indicate it was charging.  When fully charged the light on the battery turns blue. 

I returned the next morning expecting only to have to disconnect the battery and charger, but found no lights on either.  I plugged two other electronics into the lighter and established that the circuit was dead.  I wired GANNET except for the mast so I traced the wire and found that the positive cable to one of the two ship’s batteries had corroded through and was no longer connected.  I had a crimp end fitting of the right size and was able to reconnect it.  However it was not quite that quick or simple.  I had to remove and move half the interior in the process which necessitated contortions that provided definite proof that I am healed from my surgery.  In the end I plugged the charger into a new cigarette lighter outlet.  The green light came on.  Plugged the charger into the battery.  The red light came on.  And left.

When I returned the next morning.  The green light was still on on the charger and the light on the battery had turned blue.  Good.

While on GANNET numerous small needed tasks came to my attention.  My to do list is now twice as long as it was a few weeks ago.  So I have established a routine of biking down relatively early each morning to avoid the worst of our heat and doing one or two of them.  However it seems that while doing one task, two more appear.  Here is the list as it stands today.  The last five on the list need to be done by others, but the rest I can and will do myself, and hopefully if it does not continue to grow too extravagantly in a couple of weeks the list will be tamed.


Some of these I have already done.  Or at least think I have.  I have ordered two new flashlights after I found the two on board were irreparably dead and I think I have cured the compass leak. I have also waxed the stern and starboard side of GANNET’s hull and will do the port side after I go sailing and bring her into the slip bow first.  I will order new sheet bags today.  The Blue Performance bags in the cockpit have rotted beyond disgrace and repair.  The first set of these bags lasted for many years and I replaced them at the end of the circumnavigation only because they had become exceedingly moldy.  Sometime after I bought the first set Blue Performance went to cheap materials and production.  The ones inside the cabin remain satisfactory, but I will never buy Blue Performance again.




Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Hilton Head Island: possible explanations; relapse; death by moon; two poems

I wrote to Craig, the developer of LuckGrib and an American sailor I met several years ago in New Zealand, asking about the discrepancy between the wind I was seeing in the GRIBs and what was being reported by the National Hurricane Center.  Here is the relevant part of his prompt response:


Craig also advised checking the resolution of the GRIBs.  This is usually set to 0.5 of a degree of latitude, which is 30 nautical miles.  I did check and mine were set to 0.5.  I changed that to 0.25, which is 15 nautical miles, and subsequent GRIBs, while still showing less wind than reported by the National Hurricane Center, were much closer.


Bill in the UK suggested that the woman I mentioned who described ocean passages as sensory deprivation might have done so because she was more or less a passenger on boats, rather than responsible for sailing them herself, and upon reflection I agree that this may well be true.



After being told by the surgeon that I could resume normal activity, including going swimming, I did.   A few days later Carol and I swam in the condo pool, which is not huge.  I swam eight laps without any pain or problems, until the next day when I started having intermittent irregular sharp pains on random movement.  After five days they ended and I now again believe I am good.

To test that I walked down to GANNET this morning and stowed various items and brought the outboard battery from the area aft of the port pipe berth forward into The Great Cabin to charge it.  As you know GANNET imposes contorted positions and awkward lifting.  All went without pain or difficulty.  Maybe a sail and a night at anchor on Port Royal Sound is in my future.


Li Bai, 701-762, is considered one of China’s greatest poets.  I have mentioned him here before, but happen to be rereading some of his poems now in the CLASSICAL CHINESE POETRY ANTHOLOGY.  I like the legend of his death.


Here is one of my favorite of his poems, which I have posted here before, but is worth reading again.  This is the enhanced translation by Ezra Pound.



I am also now reading a collection of poems by Thomas Hardy and read this one this morning.




Sunday, July 7, 2024

Hilton Head Island: books read

As is my custom here is the list of books I read in the past six months.  I am always reading, starting one book as soon as I finish another, but for some reason so far this year I have been reading even more.  The list numbers fifty-five books.  Of these twelve are books of poetry. 

All are readable or I would not have finished them.  I have no problem with putting aside a book fifty or a hundred pages in if I find it not worthwhile.  There is a cliche that life is too short to drink bad wine.  Even more so to read uninteresting books.

Many of these are books I was reading for the second or third time.

Eleven are about war.  I have noted that I read a lot about war.  Unfortunately it is one of the most fundamental human activities.

Of particular note are:

EIGHT DAYS IN MAY.   Nazi Germany between Hitler’s suicide and the country’s unconditional surrender.

UNKNOWN SOLDIERS.  An excellent war novel about WW2 Finland against the USSR.

THE FATAL SHORE.  Australia’s early days as a penal colony.

THE LUSIADS.  Camoes epic poem about the voyage of Vasco de Gama.

LISTENING TO THE WIND.  THE LAST POOL OF DARKNESS.  A LITTLE GAELIC KINGOM.  Tim Robinson’s peerless Connemara Trilogy.

BUNKER HILL.  VALIANT AMBITION.  IN THE HURRICANE’S EYE.  Nathaniel Philbrick’s American Revolutionary War trilogy.

WEST WITH THE NIGHT.  Beryl Markham’s nominal biography probably ghost written by her husband, mostly about her early life in Kenya.

THE DEMON OF UNREST.  Charleston, South Carolina, and the beginning of the Civil War.

L’ASSOMMOIR.  Zola’s great novel on the evils of drink.

CONQUERORS.  The brutal founding of Portugal’s overseas empire.

ARABIA FELIX.  The true account of a disastrous Danish scientific expedition to Yemen.

THE MIDDLE PARTS OF FORTUNE.  Said by some to be the greatest novel of WWI.  I am not sure that is true, but it is among the best.




Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Hilton Head Island: discrepancy; sensory deprivation

 





Each morning during the hurricane season I visit the National Hurricane Center site and I  also download GRIBs, both the European model and the US NOAA model, using the LuckGrib app. The European model has the reputation of being slightly more accurate.

Above you have images of downloads made about two hours ago this morning.  The top two are European.  The third NOAA.  The information in the upper right hand boxes of each are that of the crosshairs which I have centered on the highest wind I could find in each image.  You see a range of 72-77 knots.  At the very same time the National Hurricane Center Advisory stated sustained winds are 165 mph which is 143 knots.   Part of that considerable discrepancy may be due to the updating of the European model only every twelve hours and the NOAA model every six hours.  Both of the GRIBs were issued at 0000 UCT which was eleven hours earlier than I downloaded them.  Still the difference is dramatic.

Whatever its winds, Hurricane Beryl has by its rapid intensification again proven the present limits of our science which is incapable of predicting such intensification.  Perhaps AI will discover causal relationships not yet understood.


The other evening I heard a woman who has sailed as crew thousands of miles, including several crossings of the Atlantic Ocean, describe ocean passages as sensory deprivation.  I was  surprised and initially puzzled until I realized that she like almost all our species is a land and social animal to whom the ocean is an empty foreign element to be endured until land can be reached again.

As I expect you know that is not true of me.  I know I am repeating myself, but I am at home out there.  I want to be making progress.  I want to hear and feel the boat sailing well, but all my senses are fulfilled: the sight of the waves and sky, clouds, sun, moon, stars, and the books I choose to read; the only sounds natural ones of wind and water and the artificial ones of whatever music I choose to play; the iodine salt smell of the ocean; the touch of lines and winch handles and tiller; taste may be deficient, but then food is not of great importance to me, and some of what I eat at sea tastes good, and do the liquids I drink.  I am fulfilled at sea.

From time to time I am told that I seem most alive when I am at sea.  That is not completely true.  I am alive with Carol and I enjoy living here on the edge of marsh and continent, but that it is the edge is important.  Perhaps because I was born so far from the sea and took so long to reach it, I really do fear being trapped by land and am sustained by the hope and belief that I will yet again experience the monastery of the sea.


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Hilton Head Island: incomprehensible excess; finished with Connemara; the virtues of poitin; the ruined maid; cleared


Above is the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day from June 24.  Here is the explanation:

What if we could see back to the beginning of the universe?  We could see galaxies forming.  But what did galaxies look like back then?  These questions took a step forward recently with the release of the analysis of a James Webb Space Telescope image that included the most distant object yet discovered.  Most galaxies formed at about 3 billion years after the Big Bang, but some formed earlier.  Pictured in the inset box is JADES-GS-z14-0, a faint smudge of a galaxy that formed only 300 million years after the universe started.  In technical terms, the galaxy lies at the record redshift of z=14.32, and so existed when the universe was only one fiftieth of its present age.  Practically all of the objects in the featured photograph are galaxies.

The underlining is mine.

It is now thought the universe is 13.7 billion years old, so the light captured recently by the James Webb Telescope was emitted more than 13 billion years ago.  

I noted the inhuman scale of ‘only 300 million years’.  Nothing really.

And that practically all the objects in the photo are galaxies.  

There are differing opinions as to how many stars are in a galaxy.  Estimates of those in our Milky Way vary from 100 billion to 200 billion.  Quite a variance.  Though both numbers are beyond our comprehension.  As are the number of stars in the photograph which covers only a tiny fraction of the universe.

You may think you know what is going on.  I don’t.

As it happened this morning I read in CLASSICAL CHINESE POETRY ‘The Question of Heaven’ written about three centuries before Christ by a poet whose name is variously translated into English as, among others, Chu Yuan.

The poem is too long to publish here completely and I have not found a satisfactory translation online, so here is only the beginning.



We have been asking those questions a long time and must still, perhaps forever, live with uncertainty.

As I have said here before, all I think I know is that consciousness resists unconsciousness and DNA seems to impose an imperative that it be transmitted endlessly into the future.

There is no meaning there.



Of DNA being transmitted, I became an adult coincidentally with the use of the birth control pill.  A most fortunate coincidence.  That was sixty years ago and there has not yet been discovered an effective birth control for men other than vasectomy.  An article I recently read suggests an unusual method of rubbing a gel on one’s shoulders may change that.  I know.  I too thought ‘What?’
Here is the link:


A second ‘What?’ came to me on reading that reducing sperm count to one million sperm per one milliliter of semen is considered effective at preventing birth.  Now you may have observed that nature or the elan vital or whatever you want to call it does not proceed economically.  It proceeds by throwing a lot against the wall with some tiny proportion sticking, but even by that inefficient standard this is ridiculous.  The article states that normal sperm count is 15 to 200 million per milliliter of semen.  Unless I have this wrong, it only takes one.  Talk about wretched excess,




This morning I finished the third and last volume of Tim Anderson’s incomparable Connemara trilogy almost with regret.  Actually there is regret, but it is tempered by my having his two books on the Aran Islands, where he lived and wrote before he moved to Connemara on the mainland, still to read.  

From photographs Tim Robinson was built like me.  A lean and physical man who biked and walked all over the lands of which he wrote.  He said that he learned Connemara through the soles of his boots.

He must have been an engaging man for he was an outsider, an Englishman in a part of the world that has reason not to care for the English, and an unbeliever among people with so deep and divisive religious beliefs that they often killed one another for them.

In one of the books he mentions that he and his wife, Mairead, had obtained pills from a physician friend that they intended to use to die on their own terms when faced will final illness.  I was sorry to learn that it did not happen that way.  COVID caught him off guard and he died at age 85 in a London hospital probably with a ventilator stuck down his throat.



Near the end of the trilogy Tim Robinson quotes a song about the virtues of poitin, the local illegally distilled moonshine:

What a fine thing is poitin in this land,
It would pay the rent and the poor-law tax.
It would cure the night-time cough,
And straighten the bent old man.

Slainte.



I am now reading a book of some of Thomas Hardy’’s poems.  Hardy is among my favorite writers.  Among those I read this morning was one of his most famous, ‘The Darkling Thrush’, a fine poem, but you probably read that one in school.  Here is one you probably didn’t read in school.





On Tuesday I had a routine follow-up visit with Dr. Culpepper, the surgeon who repaired me.  We both pronounced ourselves very satisfied with the results.  I am told that my repair is better than factory specs.  Not his exact words.  I asked if the bulge at the surgical site is permanent and was told that it will soften and reduce some with time.  I asked when I can go swimming and was told ‘Now.’   However I haven’t yet despite having a choice of four swimming pools.  Maybe tomorrow.

I biked to GANNET yesterday morning at 7:30 and touched up the starboard rub rail.

Like most of this country the marsh is hot with heat index numbers day after day over 100F.  Our temperatures and humidity are both often above 90.  Outside physical activity must be performed early in the morning.  I will go sailing when we get back to only normal summer heat.










Thursday, June 20, 2024

Hilton Head Island: waxed

As is to be expected the marsh is getting seriously hot.  Outside activity during the day must be planned.  Heat indexes must be considered.   Other signs of the change of season are that each morning I again check the National Hurricane Center site and download GRIBs.  But the past two days have been pleasant with highs only in the low 80sF and a cooling breeze strong enough to cause Small Craft Advisories for near coastal waters, though no more than ten or twelve knots on Skull Creek.

So this morning I biked to GANNET at 9 AM intending to wax as much of the starboard side of her hull as my body and the heat permitted.  Both cooperated and I waxed the entire side.  Another of the many virtues of small boats.  GANNET has only 2’/.6 meter of freeboard so there is not a lot of area to wax.

Here is what I use:


It is a very good product.  There may be better, but I wanted to buy another quart and found no one had quarts in stock so I bought a gallon which is a lifetime supply for me and would be even if I were considerably younger.

I apply it with a plastic scrubbing pad and remove it with paper towels.  I have a buffing attachment for my drill but do not like using it with the boat in the water.

GANNET’s hull is far from perfect, but when I left to go home I walked around to the next dock and looked back and she passes the viewed from a boat length away test.  She has battle scars.  They are honorable.  She has been in battles.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Hilton Head Island: quick; No Ears on moving; surviving the TITANIC with regret

I have observed and often noted during the past several years that I heal more slowly than when I was younger.  However, I seem to have healed from my recent slicing unexpectedly quickly.  I’ve had no discomfort since last Thursday.  On Saturday I rode my bike.  On Monday I carefully did fifty of each exercise in my standard workout.  I certainly do not want to rip anything apart inside me.  Yesterday I did my full weight workout, which of course is mostly upper body, but includes 100 crunches with 20 pounds of weight on my chest and two minutes of planks.  And today I did my full workout without a twinge.  Tomorrow I plan to go down and wax some of GANNET’s hull.


I just finished reading Larry McMurtry’s BUFFALO GIRLS.  Light entertainment, I thought, until an unexpected twist at the end gave it greater depth.  Many of the characters are historical:  Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody;  some are not, including as far as I know an old Indian, No Ears, who got his name when at age ten his people were attacked by French trappers who killed everyone except him and cut off all their ears.  He was shot but survived.  You know that I would like this passage.




I am nearing the end of A LITTLE GAELIC KINGDOM, the last volume of Tim Robinson’s Connemara Trilogy.  Fortunately I have his two Aran Island books still to look forward to.

Yesterday I read of Bruce Ismay who hid himself away in Connemara after the sinking of the TITANIC.  Ismay was the President and Chairman of the White Star Line, which owned the TITANIC, and was on board when the ship sank.  According to an official inquiry, he helped women and children into lifeboats and when finally there were no other passengers around got into the last lifeboat to be launched and survived.  There were many who thought that he, like the ship’s captain, should have gone down with the ship.  In public disgrace, even slandered that he had put on women’s clothes to get into the life boat, he and wife exiled themselves to isolated Connemara for a quarter century.  After his death his widow had a chunk of limestone placed in their garden as a memorial to him.  On it is inscribed:  He loved all wild and solitary places where we taste the pleasure of believing what we see is boundless as we wish our souls to be.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hilton Head Island: biked; wrong; buoys


The sun as it was fifteen minutes ago.

I am still sitting by the bedroom window, but the sun is now below Pickney Island and the sky is not so dramatic, though still quietly beautiful.  Shades of lavender, silver, gold and blue.  Skull Creek is glassy and the Spanish moss is hanging limp.

Eight days after being sliced I am pretty much my old self.  Emphasis perhaps on the old.  And have been since Thursday when I walked to GANNET and climbed on board.  I did not attempt the long step down into the cabin, which almost requires doing the splits, but will in a day or two. 

Today I went for bike ride.  Only a couple of miles.  I did not want to go too far in case I had problems and had to limp home.  It was good to use muscles I have not for more than a week.  On Monday I will see what parts of my workout I can perform.


I recently read ARABIA FELIX by Thorkild Hansen about a Danish scientific expedition from 1761-67 to what is now Yemen.  Arabia Felix translates from Latin as ‘Happy Arabia’.  I have been there, completing what still might be the longest non-stop open boat passage ever, 4,000 miles from Singapore to Aden.  I wondered at the ‘happy’, as have others.  The book explains the confusion in the name and is an interesting account of an extraordinary expedition from which only one of the six men who set out survived.  I very much enjoyed it, but am writing because of a sentence near the end.

Of the survivor who advanced science in profound ways without much recognition in his lifetime, the author writes of him as he became old, “All men, when they grow very old, babble about going home.”

I know of at least one very old man for whom that is not true.  


I was sitting on the deck yesterday morning eating my uncooked oatmeal and listening to Yo Yo Ma playing the Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suite Number 3 in C Major, looking beyond the live oaks and Spanish moss to the marker buoys on Skull Creek when I wondered if there are places where on inlets or rivers the buoys are reversed and the sailor does not have red right returning or as here on the Intracoastal red right to starboard while heading south.  So I emailed Steve Earley who has much more experience on the Intracoastal than I and found that does indeed occur.  I thank him for his reply.

Steve wrote:

Yes, there are handful of places where the markers switch sides.  The one that has always baffled me is inside Cumberland Island near the sub base.  In the top photo you can see (going north to south) red is to starboard until marker 78, then switches to port at 44.  It took me sailing through this stretch three times, and finding myself outside the channel, before the light bulb went off over my head on this most recent trip.  No doubt this is the red right returning for the subs and boats coming off the ocean and heading to the base.  The second image shows where the markers switch back at the St. Mary’s River entrance and match the red to starboard on the icw  (also being red right returning for Fernandina Beach).

And provided these images.









As you may know the world has two contradictory buoyage systems.  One for North and South America, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines in which it is red right returning and another for the rest of the world in which it is green right returning.  We are a most logical species.

I knew an American boat to sail through the pass into Apia, Samoa, whose owner had never been offshore before and after anchoring asked if the channel markers had dragged.  At least he had the sense to stay in the deeper blue water regardless of the ‘misplaced’ buoys.