Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Durban: the past; Bach and the universe; whisky and chocolate

        Evening of a cloudy and windy day.  Night has fallen, and from Central I look out at a black sky and the lights of high rise buildings ashore.  
        I Ubered to a shopping center today to buy a sleeping bag.  I also found a liquor store there that stocks Laphroaig and bought three bottles.  The essential stores are now on board.  
        Provisioning for a long passage is among my two least favorite aspects of sailing oceans.  The other is dealing with officials upon arrival.  I have seldom had problems—being imprisoned in Saudi Arabia a noteworthy exception— but when you arrive you are tired and you are dealing with bureaucracy that you know is meaningless.
        Provisioning for me is as probably as simple as is humanly possible.  I already have on board evening meals for five or six months.  My breakfast is uncooked oatmeal with trail mix and powered milk and water.  So that only leaves lunch, though trail mix is not easy to find in Durban and I will have to  concoct my own. 
        Tonight I dined on canned mackerel with crackers, testing it as a possible lunch.  It passed.  I’ll buy more.
        I’m at the end of a long dock.  A quarter mile from shore.  The marina offered me a place closer, but I like it out here.   Still it is a long way to carry stuff and I can only provision in stages.


        From Bob comes this photo of CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE  as she and I left San Diego at the beginning of our voyage. 
        Perhaps you can forgive me for stating that when I look at the photo I am decades later impressed by my audacity.  That little boat against the oceans--and I knew them--the truest leap into the unknown. 
        Within walking distance of where I am sitting is the boat that has been claimed to have made an open boat circumnavigation.  I have seen her before.  She is decked as far aft as GANNET.  I may walk down and take a photo.
        I thank Bob for permission to post his photo.


        From Chris comes this quote from Douglas Adams:  Beethoven tells you what it's like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it's like to be human. Bach tells you what it's like to be the universe.
        Douglas Adams wrote, among other things, THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, and if you google his quotes, you will find many that rival Mark Twain.


        Last week I found Laphroaig in a gift set with two small tasting glasses inscribed:  “A Storm In A Teacup?  A Volcano In A Bottle.”  Purists don’t need merchandising. 
        Prior to that, unable to obtain Laphroaig, I  bought a bottle of Glenfiddich.  I would not desecrate Laphroaig by doing this, but take a bite of dark chocolate and then a sip of Glenfiddich or perhaps any other whisky.
        You can thank me later.