Monday, January 4, 2016
Evanston: captiaterra; accounting
Above was our view Saturday morning. We arrived back in Chicago after dark that evening. The flatlands were frozen and covered with a few inches of snow.
The interior of our condo is pleasant and we were both glad to be back in our own space. But when I looked out the windows the next morning I suffered a severe attack of ocean withdrawal.
Regular readers will recall that ever since my childhood in a suburb of Saint Louis I have suffered from a self-named disease, captiaterraphobia: fear of being trapped by the land. At present I am again trapped by land, but I have no fear because yesterday I went online and made reservations to fly to New Zealand on March 1.
One afternoon in Kill Devil Hills I saw a gannet hunting above the ocean. What first caught my attention was the unusual downward sloping angle of his head as he flew. Gannets are more interested in seeing what is below than in front of them. Potential food is below.
This photo was taken by Steve Early who has seen many gannets while sailing off Norfolk, Virginia. Hugh, who lives here in Illinois, wrote to me saying that he saw many gannets while recently kitesurfing in Florida. There are breeding colonies in Canada, but I am not aware of any in the United States. The birds range south depending on food supply.
Sitting on the balcony at dusk our last evening at Kill Devil Hills we watched a man about my age walk out from our building to the stick tree in the sand. I had noticed two small battery packs hanging from the branches. Obviously he flipped the switches because the lights came on. He walked back to the building, stopped at the edge of the beach to look back, nodded with satisfaction and continued on in.
We flew back from Norfolk and stopped and had lunch with Steve Earley and his wife, Liz, and were able to see SPARTINA, Steve’s homebuilt Pathfinder yawl. She is as pretty in person as she is in photos, as for that matter are Steve and Liz, and Jim, another fellow sailor with whom we had lunch one day in the Outer Banks.
In 2015 I worked out 81 times, which is quite good considering that they all came in the last eight months of the year. This totals 12,410 push-ups and crunches.
My Withings app awarded me the Sicily badge for having walked 550 miles, the distance around the island.
I was on GANNET for only four months and probably sailed less than a hundred miles. Here is the Yellowbrick tracking page for the year. I sailed a few times for short distances without turning the Yellowbrick on. I expect this year’s track to be somewhat longer.
And here is the list of books read in the last six months.
THE MEURSAULT INVESTIGATION Kamel Daoud
THE STRANGER Albert Camus
THE IONIAN MISSION Patrick O’Brian
CORIOLANUS William Shakespeare
A TIME OF GIFTS Patrick Leigh Fermor
MORIARTY Anthony Horowitz
NIGHT FLIGHT Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
ASPECTS OF WAGNER Bryan Magee
THE UNSUBSTANTIAL AIR Samuel Hynes
TREASON’S HARBOUR Patrick O’Brian
IMPERIUM Robert Harris
SOUTHERN MAIL Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD Patrick O’Brian
EMPIRE OF DECEPTION Dean Jobb
THE MARCH E. L. Doctorow
WIND, SAND AND STARS Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
THE REVERSE OF THE MEDAL Patrick O’Brian
KING LEAR William Shakespeare
THE FIFTIES David Halberstam
DECEMBER 6 Martin Cruz Smith
THE AENEID Virgil/RobertFitzgerald
RACING IN THE RAIN Garth Stein
ASTORIA Peter Stark
STORM PASSAGE Webb Chiles
THE LETTER OF MARQUE Patrick O’Brian
SPQR Mary Beard
THE THIRTEEN GUN SALUTE Patrick O’Brian
WARTIME WRITINGS Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE Philip Dick
LISTEN! THE WIND Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I think that brings us up to date.
On with 2016.