Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Opua: moon; sextant; interesting; wit

        Reflections of the full moon on the water have  been 

beautiful here the last few nights. They won’t be tonight. A front is passing through with clouds and wind and rain. 
Although as you can see no rain was forecast for today, more is due tomorrow and Saturday.  And much more and much worse next Thursday the day I fly away. 

  Getting soaked to the skin on my arrival was one thing.  Once down below on GANNET I was able to change into dry clothes.  Getting soaked on my way ashore while leaving and wearing wet clothes for thirty-six hours and eight thousand miles is quite another.  
        There are several alternatives.  If it didn’t cost so much, I’d simply change my flights and leave Tuesday.  But it does.  I could go ashore and spend the last night at a motel.  I’ve done that a couple of times in the past.  But I think I’ll stay aboard and hope for a break in the rain Thursday morning.  I only need ten or fifteen minutes to row in, deflate and lock up the dinghy.  And if there isn’t, I’ll wear my lighter set of foul weather gear and take it all the way to Evanston with me and back.
        Because of the forecasts, I’ve closed shop.
        Yesterday afternoon I lowered the furling jib and stowed it and the bow sprit down below.  I still have laundry and a few other things to do to prepare GANNET for my absence.  
        I won’t try to sail to Roberton Island this weekend.  If the weather is nice, I’ll take a walk and row around Pine Tree Island.
        Jim and Brian wrote that the Navy’s concern about the GPS system is that the signals might be hacked or subject to interference, intentional or accidental.  I thank them.
        For reasons I’ve already given I don’t think a sextant is going to do a Navy ship much good, but this has caused me to rethink having a sextant on GANNET.
        Some of you will remember that I did have a sextant on board until it got in the way one time too often earlier this year and I gave it away.  Although there are something like a dozen GPS chips on simple GANNET—I could navigate with my camera which displays latitude and longitude—I have been slightly uneasy not having a sextant and will probably buy a new one when I’m back in Evanston.  
        If I do it will be a Davis Mark 25 plastic sextant.  
        While most of my sextants were metal, I did use a Davis on the passage from Vanuatu to Australia after my first David White was lost when CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE pitchpoled.  I found it accurate, but that the mirrors had to be readjusted after almost every use.  A nuisance, but good enough.


        Those of you in the United States and Canada will probably be familiar with ‘The Most Interesting Man In The World’ advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer.
        Following a comment I made in the previous post, Waid wrote a parody that brought laughter to GANNET’s Great Cabin yesterday morning:

        Winds have been known to change directions, simply out of respect.

        Officials ask him to clear them when arriving in foreign ports.

        Following his example, Father Time began doing push-ups.

        He often drinks scotch.  And when he does, it's Laphroaig.

        He is the most interesting man in the world.

        For the record, I don’t drink much beer, but when I do it often it is Dos Equis.


        Guy Dickinson read STORM PASSAGE recently, something that I myself am going to do again soon as the fortieth anniversary nears of my first rounding of Cape Horn, and made several suggestions that might be included on the Wit and Wisdom page.
        I did add:

       I believe in greatness, the heroic, the epic, pride, honor, and my dreams. And I believe the hardest people in the world are not cynics, but those romantics who will not compromise: who insist that their dreams become reality. I am an adamantine romantic.