Thursday, February 4, 2016

Evanston: definitely not out; fast; small world; collective

        You may recall that last September Doryman’s Stone Horse, BELLE STARR, broke her mooring and was driven onto the Washington shore and sank.  The damage was so extensive that any insurance company would have considered her a total write-off, but Doryman, who is a professional boat builder, said that she was down, but not out, and would be repaired by spring.  As he has just posted, she largely is.  To me, who does not possess even a fraction of Michael’s skills, this is wondrous and wonderful.  I am so pleased for him and for BELLE STARR.
        Photographs of the repair progress can be found here.


        A post by his shore team—what’s a shore team?— just before he was inevitably slowed in the Gulf of Panama, revealed that he and JZERRO were averaging about 7.7 knots and 184 mile days.  Ryan wrote to me that their best day’s run was 250 miles; and that he is very pleased by how strong the boat has proven to be, going to windward well in 20-25 knots and launching off steep 10’ to 15’ waves.
        I measured the distance he still has to sail to New Orleans after transiting the canal as about 1500 miles.
        I congratulate him on a successful sail south and wish him an uneventful sail north.


        As I have often noted, the sailing world is small, and I have been in it a very long time.  Noah and I were on a first name basis.
        A couple of recent examples:
        If you scroll down on Doryman’s site to the entry headed, ‘SimLim Club’, you will find mention of Anne Hill.  
        I happen to know that it should be ‘Annie’ because in the past week I typed the following from the chapter in A SINGLE WAVE, “The Island That Would Not Be Passed.”

 Clouds began pouring over the mountains, blotting out the sun.  Gusts of wind scurried about the harbor.  I let them push us closer to the yachts.  A woman rowed out from one of them.  Someone standing near the fishing boats yelled something and gestured toward a vacant mooring.  As she came within hailing distance, the woman said, “Webb Chiles, I presume.”  I cannot pretend not to be pleased at being recognized, though of course she had recognized CHIDIOCK, not me.  Her name was Annie.  She asked where I had come from.  I asked what the weather had been like in the harbor and in what depth the yachts were anchored.  As we drifted I saw that there was no room for me among the other yachts.  There was space for the hull, but not enough for CHIDIOCK to move about as much as she likes, even if I put a stern line ashore.

        That was at Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, 1983.  Same Annie, who now is lives in Whangarei, New Zealand.  We’ve exchanged emails, but have not yet been able to get together.

        Then, this morning, I received the following from Ken, an American who now lives in Perth, Australia, and is one of the most diligent proof-readers of A SINGLE WAVE.

The strangest thing about Perth is how very connected I feel here at the ends of the Earth.  A good example would be a funny thing that happened to me last night.  I was attending a regular meeting of my amateur boat building club and after the presentation about the history of an old pearling lugger I was talking to the gentleman who was seated next to me.  He's a new member, having moved to Perth recently from Brazil. He gave me a thumb drive and said his book was on it and asked if I would distribute it to the other members.  As the conversation progressed he mentioned something that reminded me of you and I said I'd been reading a book lately by a gentleman named Webb Chiles.  He brightened a bit and said something to the effect of "Yes - He and Carol spent time at my house!"
     Roberto Barros says hello.  He's another expat in Perth these days.  You meet the nicest bunch of people here.

        Carol and I met Roberto, who is a yacht designer, and his wife, Eileen, at Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro in 2002, have indeed been at their home, and have kept in touch via email.
        I consider Perth to be one the the relatively unknown great cities on the planet, and I did meet nice people there.


        I do things mostly alone, but the proof-reading of A SINGLE WAVE is obvious proof that sometimes a group does things better.  I continue to receive corrections, and I continue to be deeply grateful to those of you who are taking the time to send them to me.
        Here’s a link to an updated PDF with all corrections made thus far and a note to the e-edition appended to the Introduction.
        I may upload the book to Amazon and perhaps iBooks some time next week.