Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Evanston: home early

        Just after 5 p.m. Monday evening I moved Sportaseat and Megaboom speakers on deck, made an air temperature tequila and tonic, and sat down in the shade of the nearby mangroves to sip and listen; but when I picked up my phone to choose the music I found an email from United Airlines cancelling my Wednesday flight.  Houston is United’s second biggest hub so they were disrupted more by Hurricane Harvey than other airlines.
        A link to alternate flights showed only two on Tuesday and they only stand by.  It showed nothing for Thursday and with the Labor Day weekend coming I feared I would be stuck.
        Although the boat yard office was closed for the day, Karen, who works in the office, lives with her husband, Flip, on the boat ahead of GANNET.  Their last name is the same as my first:  we form a web of Webbs.  I walked over and knocked on the hull of their 50’ REVERIE and asked Karen if the yard could haul GANNET without my being present Wednesday morning.  To shorten this story, Karen made a call and arranged for the yard to haul us at 8:15 Tuesday morning.  I then called the Keys Shuttle and changed my pick-up from Wednesday to Tuesday.  Or so I thought.  
        Everyone at Marathon Boat Yard has been great, and Karen most of all.  She has found space for GANNET in the water and dry storage and now not only worked after hours to change our haul-out but invited me to an excellent dinner.  REVERIE is not only more than twice as long as GANNET, she has air conditioning and ice cubes, necessities not luxuries in the Florida Keys.  
        After dinner I went up and did my laundry in the boat yard facility.  The least expensive ever:  an honor system $1.00 a load wash and another $1 to dry.
        Laundry finished, I returned to GANNET and searched for flights on other airlines.  Spirit had two that met my timing for a bare bones fare of $51 Ft. Lauderdale to Chicago.  I bought the ticket.  Having already paid $54 to United, even if I never got a refund, I still would fly cheaply.
        My rules not to do things at the last minute and to leave ample time for the unexpected proved themselves.  I was very glad that I had lowered the jib Monday morning and, except for laundry, was ready to go two days in advance.  
        Tuesday morning, the little boat was raised from the water  by a fork lift at 8:15.  A little after 9 she was power washed and secured on stands in a corner of the yard.
        Showered, in clean clothes, with messenger bag and travel vest, I sat in the air conditioned yard office until 10:35 when I went outside to await the shuttle’s 10:45 arrival.
        At 10:45 I watched the shuttle approach and blast past without a pause.  I got on the phone.  Got voice mail.   Left a message.  Dialed again.  Got a human being, who told me my reservation was for Wednesday.  I said I had called and changed it the night before.  She got in touch with the driver who returned to pick me up and told me my reservation was for Wednesday.  Obviously the person I had spoken to Monday evening had not put it in the system.  
        The rest was, thankfully, more or less routine.
        I had never before flown Spirit Airlines which has the lowest level of customer satisfaction of any airline in the U.S. and that is saying something.  You pay extra for everything, even a normal carry-on bag, but I didn’t need anything, except a drink on board—they have Buffalo Trace—so I flew for $51 and thought the flight quite satisfactory.  
        So I am here when I still expected to be there.
        Evanston is pleasant.  76ºF/24ºC.  Sunny.  Slight breeze.
        Home is the sailor.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Marathon: dispossessed; a new video

        The slight wind died at sunset Saturday evening and the sea went flat.  I had a pleasant sleep.
        I woke 7 a.m. and had a cup of coffee standing in the companionway.  I snorkeled and came out of the water just as the first day trip dive boat arrived at 9:30.  Dried myself, deflated and stowed the Avon, and sailed off the mooring under jib alone.
        The wind was as light as the day before, but behind us heading back, so I didn’t set the main.  I gybed a few times to keep the jib full.  We didn’t ever see five knots of wind or four knots of boat speed.
        I had the bigger Torqeedo battery fitted and I was curious about its range.  On the iNavX chart I measured the distance from the outer channel marker to Marathon Boat Yard as one nautical mile.  I actually turned the Torqeedo on a hundred yards from that marker and then set our speed at three knots.  Initially the tiller display showed a range of nine miles, but by the time we were tied to the boat yard wall, the remaining charge was 84%, which would indicate a range of about six miles at three knots.  Less than I expected, but more than enough.  
        This morning at first light I went on deck and lowered the jib.  It came down easily.  The old jib was difficult to raise and lower.  I’ve always suspected that the sailmaker installed the wrong size luff tape.
        The deck was still wet with dew, so I left the sail to dry, before trying to fold it.
        I failed utterly.
        The sail is stiff.  Very, very stiff.
        I suppose I could have forced it into folds and then jumped up and down to compact it, but somehow that didn't seem to be a good idea.  
        Eventually I gave up trying and stuffed it unfolded through the forward hatch where it now fully occupies the v-berth,
        I am going to have to sleep on a pipe berth for the next two nights.


        I shot a brief video while beating to the reef on Saturday.  If you are interested it can be viewed here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sombrero Reef: this is so great

        8:30 p.m. and I have just come below to write.   My requiem playlist is playing on the Megabooms in the cockpit. A fuzzy first crescent moon is visible through hazy clouds,
         The last day trip dive boat left an hour and a half ago as I expected it would and since then I have been alone.  I breathed deeply and felt the light wind blow against my skin more essential than blood, as I have with poetic license written, yet for me it is almost true.
        If you were to meet me in person I hope you would find me friendly and reasonably socially adept; but I am an only child, a good preparation for a solo sailor, and it took.  I have spent eight or nine or ten years totally alone at sea, and I have a need for solitude.  And to be on the edge.  And for endless horizons.  Cuba is ninety miles to the south, but I am surrounded by water and open to Ocean,
        Occasionally people travel some distance to meet me.  One, a successful tech entrepreneur, said that as he was driving to our lunch engagement he thought:  I am going to meet the Steve Jobs of sailing.  Steve Jobs had many qualities I do not and I am not sure the comparison is valid, though I do like to believe that we are both originals,
        I sometimes wonder if those who meet me in person are disappointed with the reality of Webb Chiles, as I have sometimes been disappointed by reading biographies of writers and artists I admire.  Australia's Nobel Prize winning Patrick White particularly comes to mind.  Perhaps like Greta Garbo I should keep my distance and mystery,
        I love being out here,  
        I may return in January and, after swimming and looking at fish looking at me, sail for Panama from one of these moorings,
        The playlist is to one of the three renditions of Bach’s ART OF THE FUGUE.  
        The wind is blowing through the forward hatch against my skin and I am about to pour Laphroaig into a Dartington crystal glass and drink it standing in the night.

Sombrero Reef: sailed

        That is Sombrero Light above.  GANNET is tied to a mooring about four and a half miles off Marathon.  It took us three hours to beat out here.  Even with new sails, you need wind and we only had three and four knots.
        The new sails are beautiful.  Beautifully shaped; beautifully made.  I was impressed by the enormous difference in quality between the North G2 I bought in New Zealand and my old asymmetrical.  The new main and jib are equally better than my old main and jib.  All these years and voyages and I’ve been using third rate sails.  I did not know what I was missing.  Now I do.
        After picking up the mooring, I pumped up the Avon to facilitate moving from GANNET to ocean and back and snorkeled.  The water is almost too warm, probably very near air temperature.  I saw a lot of fish,  A lot of fish saw me. 
        GANNET’s bottom is remarkably clean, particularly since she sat in a slip for three months.  Only a little fuzz on the trailing edge of the rudder and a few other places.  
        The mooring is rolly.  No protection out here.  I am wedged in at Central and have to maintain a hand grip whenever I move around,   Four small powerboats are on other moorings, but I expect they will leave before sunset. 
        I am going to stay the night.  Go for another swim in the morning, then head back in.
        I shot a brief video while underway, but will have to wait until I have a better Internet connection to upload it.
       I am looking forward to evening drinks on deck surrounded by water,

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Marathon: passage

  I don’t recall ever before posting two entires on the same day, but it is now about 8:00 pm.  I have a plastic tumber of  Botanist to my left, and I so much wish I were thousands of miles from land in the middle of an ocean passage.

Marathon: poems of wood; rained out; Error 30 redux; an accurate map

        Dave Skaife got away early and quietly Tuesday morning.  I didn't even hear his motor start, which is not surprising for he yulohs with an oar off the stern.

        Tuesday evening, Tom Head arrived in his beautifully built Pathfinder, FIRST LIGHT.  He tied alongside GANNET for the night and took me for a brief sail in Boot Key Harbor the next morning.  The wind was very light, but I enjoyed gliding and ghosting along in my first sail in an open boat in more than thirty years.  I thank Tom for the opportunity.
        Tom, like Dave, does not have a motor on FIRST LIGHT.  He rows.

        I have written that owners of wood boats usually want to work on them more than sail them.  I’ll stand by that, but there are many exceptions.  Doryman and a good many Pathfinder builder-owners among them.  Wood is the only boat building material with soul.  I’m not going to own one, but I admire these poems in wood.
        Here is a link to Tom’s construction of FIRST LIGHT.  I have not read all of it, but I have viewed all the photos, which reveal the quality of Tom’s workmanship and that FIRST LIGHT comes complete with an eager ship’s dog.


        There is nothing compelling left on GANNET’s to do list and I planned to sail out to the reef today and pick up one of the moorings placed there to prevent anchor damage to coral, and to snorkel, but I have been rained out.  A lake has formed in part of the boat yard.  Perhaps I could sail GANNET there.  The forecast for Saturday and Sunday looks better.


        A few mornings ago the boat yard needed me to move GANNET.  I dug out the new Torqeedo, placed it on the transom, connected the battery to the shaft, connected tiller arm to the battery and got the dreaded Error 30.  I wish I could say I didn’t believe my eyes, but that wouldn’t be true.  I did believe, though I couldn’t understand.  The only variable between the last time I tried the Torqeedo was my spraying the connections with anti-corrosion.  I disassembled, cleaned, re-connected and still got Error 30.
        Now, however, $5,000 in, I had an alternative.  I dug out the other tiller arm and battery, replaced the ones on the shaft and a chorus of angels appeared in the heavens singing Hallelujah.  No Error 30.  I moved GANNET to her new place on the dock.  Fussed with the first tiller arm and battery and got them to connect without error.
        GANNET is again a (two) motor boat.
        I had no motor on CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE.  Maybe  Doug and Tom are on to something I have forgotten.


        The traditional Mercator Projection results in distortion of land at high latitudes, causing among other things Greenland to rival the size of Africa.
        I thank Larry for this link to a new and accurate map created by Hajime Narukawa, a Japanese artist and architect.
        I have enjoyed studying it at length.
        What is most noticeable to me is the water covering 71% of the Earth’s surface.  
        As I have often noted, the ancients were right:  surrounding the land there is but Ocean and it does not know the  names into which we  arbitrarily divide it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Marathon: basic economy; unbelievable; a fourth solution; a co-circumnavigation; heads; absurd

        Politics is like airlines, I keep thinking it can’t get any worse, but it always does.
        Having said that, quite unexpectedly airlines, unlike politics, occasionally gets something right.
        When United announced basic economy fares several months ago I groaned and thought, here we go again.  No normal size carry-on bag, no seat selection, board last.  Yet when I fly from GANNET rather than to her, that suits me perfectly, particularly for a short flight such as from Florida to Chicago.  So I am flying home a week from Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale to Chicago, for the ridiculous fare of $54.20, of which only $37.21 goes to United.  The rest is taxes and other government fees.

        You will have seen this news by now, but I thank Wayne for first bringing it to my attention.  Another US Navy destroyer has been involved in a collision with a merchant ship.  How this could happen only days after a scathing preliminary report of the investigation of the FITZGERALD collision truly is beyond comprehension.  One naval expert compared it to a collision between a Formula One race car and a garbage truck, asking rhetorically, “Which can get out of the way more easily?”


        A fourth solution to August heat in Marathon has just presented itself:  a solar eclipse.  
        It definitely works, but in between them, the library is good.


        Above you see Dave Skaife's fourteen foot Paradox, now named VIKING FUNERAL.  For a long time she had no name, but Dave had to fill out forms that required one, so finally gave in.  For me the name conjures up Kirk Douglas being given such a funeral at the end of the 1958 film, THE VIKINGS.
        Behind her here at Marathon Boat Yard is GANNET.
        Since then GANNET and I have sailed westward around the world to here.

        Thus GANNET and VIKING FUNERAL have at Marathon Boat Yard completed a co-circumnavigation.  Of sorts.
        VIKING FUNERAL makes GANNET seem luxurious.


        Several of you have written to me about marine heads.
        I thank Beau for telephoning the manager of the Key West mooring field who affirms that PortaPottis are legal in the Florida Keys.
        I thank David for searching and sending me a link to the relevant sections of the Marathon Municipal Code which do not forbid PortaPottis.
        And I asked the local West Store if PortaPottis are illegal in the Keys, and if so why do they have several for sale?
        So, for whatever reasons, the bureaucrat in the Marathon moorings office told me something that is not true.  While that has become common practice  among government officials, elected, appointed and hired, he simply is what he is, and ‘Be As You Are’ is perhaps not universally good advice.


        From David comes a good quote from the Spanish writer, Miguel de Unamuno, “Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.”
        I thank him.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Marathon: duck; deck; three solutions to Marathon in August

        I thank Larry for sending me a link to several splendid photos, including the above which is captioned:  World’s Coolest Duck…Ever!


        I finished painting the deck yesterday.
        Usually this is a one day job, but because I can’t work in this heat for more than a couple of hours in the morning, I did it in two days, starting at the bow and working aft to between the mast and the companionway the first morning, then starting at the stern and working my way forward the second.
        This is actually a much better plan, enabling me to avoid painting myself into awkward positions and to finish the mid-section standing in the companionway.
        GANNET’s rub rails need to be touched up.  I may pump up the dinghy and do that in the water.
        Her topsides also need to be repainted.  That won’t happen until this voyage is completed.  I had planned to wax and polish the hull when on a mooring.  GANNET is presently side tied to a wall.  I may do one side from the dinghy and then turn her to do the other.

        Carol and I have both wondered how we endured the summer heat in Marathon.  
        THE HAWKE OF TUONELA did have better ventilation than GANNET.  We were at anchor, away from obstructions and swinging with whatever breeze.  And we got off the boat during the hottest parts of the day, eating lunch ashore or grilling steaks or fish at the shaded facilities at the nearby beach.
        I have now figured out how to beat the heat on GANNET.
        Solution One:  I am typing this at the Marathon Branch of the Monroe County Library, located a half mile from the boat yard.  Air-conditioned.  Quiet.  Free wi-fi.  Ice cold drinking fountain.  Bike rack in the shade.  Truly a great public service.
        Solution Two:  go sailing for a few days.  I hope to, but need to wait until the canvas man takes my current mainsail cover for measurements and returns it.  This is supposed to happen next week.
        Solution Three:  go home.  Air-conditioned.  Better food.  Carol.  Ice cold Botanist.  I will in two or three weeks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Marathon: Carol: a love story

        You are looking at the scene of one of the great passions ever known.  I did not say the greatest.  I am sure there have been equals.  I hope that you yourself have known such passion.  But I am confident that there have been none greater.
        Twenty-three years ago today, Carol and I left THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, who was anchored—this was before the mooring field existed—here in Boot Key Harbor, rowed ashore, and drove down to Key West where we were married.  I believe we have lived rather happily ever since.
        We had known one another for only two months,
meeting when I flew to Boston to take her and the man then in her life, a German born physician, and his Peterson 44 across the Atlantic.
        I don’t like to sail boats I have not myself prepared and have done only three boat deliveries.  One from San Diego to San Francisco.  One San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  And the one with Carol.  
        I did the first two because I needed the money.  I made the one with Carol to meet Carol.  There was then no woman in my life, and I agreed to make the delivery because I thought I might meet someone along the way.
        I flew into Boston on a Monday.  The three of us lived on the boat from the beginning.  Carol and Henry in the aft cabin.  I in the forepeak.
        Two evenings later, on Wednesday there was a bon voyage party on the boat, after which Carol’s best friend said to her, “Henry is a good match maker.”
        The three of us set off.  There was a problem with the self-steering vane, which I fixed.  We stood watches and during mine one night an NBA play-off game I was listening to on radio headphones was interrupted by the police chase of O.J. Simpson down an LA freeway.  By the time we reached the Azores, alliances had changed.  I flew back.  Carol continued on to Portugal, from where she flew back.
        It was a great risk for Carol to marry a much-divorced man.  I am so glad she made that leap into the unknown.
        We will share a video call this evening and a drink at distance.
        To love and passion.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Marathon: too damn many rules

        GANNET moved this morning, but not to a mooring.  She is tied along side the narrow channel leading to the travel lift at Marathon Boat Yard, where she will in a few weeks be lifted from the water and stored ashore while I return to Evanston for the rest of the year.
        She is at a right angle to her position at the Marathon Marina and there is more clear space around her, particularly to the east.  She is definitely getting more breeze.  Still at 2:00 p.m. it is 100ºF/37.7C in the Great Cabin.
        When I returned yesterday from the Marathon City mooring office the cabin which had been closed was 112.6ºF/47.7C.
        All went well at the mooring office until the petty bureaucrat asked about GANNET’s holding tank.  I told him that GANNET has no plumbing, no through hull fittings, and a PortaPotti.  He said that does not meet their regulations, which require a permanently fixed mounted head and holding tank.  
        As those of you who have viewed photos of GANNET’s interior, the only place such a device could be installed is on the floor of the Great Cabin, either directly under the companionway or where I am presently sitting at Central.  It would also require cutting holes in the deck and hull to vent and pump the holding tank.
        That I have sailed GANNET most of the way around the world as she is without encountering this problem, that in port I use shore facilities, which I do, counted for nothing.
        I am not going to repeat our entire discussion, which ended when I said, “That is a stupid regulation.  When you accept a job that requires you to enforce stupidity, you define yourself.”  And turned and left.
        Fortunately, Marathon Boat Yard again came to my rescue and found space for the little boat.
        Here is a warning, something of which I have long been aware, but this may happen in Panama, too.  And, if so, the attempt at sixth circumnavigation might be over.  I might just turn and sail back to the east coast of the U.S., though probably not to Florida.


        You may recall BE AS YOU ARE, the boat on land off GANNET’s bow at the Marathon Marina.  Roger heard a song with that title sung by Kenny Chesney that he thinks may be the source of the boat name. I thank him for bringing it to my attention.  He may well be right.


        A couple of evenings ago while listening to music and sipping warm boxed wine on deck, I watched a dragon fly clinging to one of GANNET’s running backstays.  He balanced there, elegant wings spread, for more than an hour before I went below.  Perhaps he enjoyed the music.


        This is one of Jackson Pollack’s paintings from his blue period, titled, “GANNET:  Water off port beam.”
        The image is dated last night, which is odd for Jackson Pollack died in 1956.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Marathon: a new record; 3Di; absurd; buffalo traces

        When I returned this afternoon from biking to shop the Great Cabin was 108ºF/42ºF.


        Several sailors have written that they were unaware of molded sails.  One wrote welcoming me to the 21st Century.
        The sails are made by North Sails 3Di process.  If you google that you will find lots more information. 
        Zach, the North sailmaker who delivered the sails to me, said that the process requires low humidity which is why they are made in a facility in Nevada.  He also said that 3Di sails have lasted two successive races on some Volvo round the world race boats.  That is 50,000 hard miles, which should be enough for me.
        Their finish is hard and slippery, and the mainsail does not flake down as compactly as the old sail and will require a new cover.  


        If you have been paying the slightest attention, you may have observed that life is absurd.
        Three small added proofs:  GANNET now has a Torqeedo outboard stowed at the end of each pipe berth.  And I noticed that my K-Mart bike is a mountain bike.  The highest mountain on Marathon is a curb. 
        Not long ago I received an email from a man writing a book about extreme sailing.  He asked several questions, including what I think is the difference between racers and cruisers.  Regular readers will know that I reject dividing all sailors into one of those two boxes.  One difference is that according to what I read the average cruiser uses his engine 25% to 33% of the time, and I got to wondering what percentage I have used GANNET’s Torqeedo since leaving San Diego.
        I am not sure of the exact number, but it is less than 1/1000th.  Our daily runs San Diego to Marathon total 23,339.  I have definitely not powered 23.3 miles total since then.  The number is closer to 5 or 6 miles, not counting one day of flat calm in the Bay of Islands when I tried to power from Opua to Russell.
        At that distance, now having bought two Torqeedos and two spare batteries, my motoring costs are a staggering $1,000 a mile.  Which I am sure you will agree is absurd.


        From the label on the now empty bottle of Buffalo Trace:

        The ancient paths of countless buffalo led America westward.  Legendary explorers, pioneers, and settlers alike followed these trails, known as traces, through rugged wilderness to new lands, new adventures, and new-found freedom.
        One such trace, called the Great Buffalo Trace, crossed the Kentucky River at a spot just north of present-day Frankfort.  Early pioneers settled here in 1775 and, with plentiful pure limestone water and rich bottom loam for growing exceptional grains, distillation quickly followed.  With unparalleled reputation for creating outstanding bourbon whiskey, the Buffalo Trace Distillery today stands as one of America’s oldest distilling sites.

        I have always thought of buffalo on the western plains and did not know they were once east of the Mississippi as well.
        I will buy another bottle.
        At present I am sitting on a pipe berth in front of a fan, waiting for the sun to go down.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Marathon: visitors; changing plans; too much stuff; Christmas in August

        Can you identify the above blobs which appeared off GANNET's stern this afternoon?  The following may help. 

If you are still stuck, they are manatees, similar to Australia’s dugongs.
        They had come a fair way in from the main channel to get to GANNET.  The little boat attracts attention and I suppose they wanted to see for themselves.
        They quietly bobbed around for ten or fifteen minutes, expressed no opinion, and disappeared.


        Being a man of steely determination, I changed plans three times in twenty-four hours.
        When I leave GANNET to return to spend the rest of the year with Carol, my preference is to store her ashore.  She has been continuously in the water for several years and I’d like to let her dry out.  However, on Monday when I checked with boat yards, including the one at this marina, there was no room.  So I decided I would leave GANNET in her current slip.
        No sooner had I told the marina staff that we were staying beyond August 16, the date through which I have already paid, than Tom, a fellow sailor, emailed offering free dock space in front of his house on another of the Florida Keys.  After determining that there was enough water for GANNET to reach his dock, I gratefully accepted.
        The following morning Marathon Boat Yard, which had said they had no room on Monday, called me and said they had checked more carefully and could squeeze GANNET in.  Another of the virtues of small boats.  So I biked over, signed papers and began paying for the yard space immediately so no one else takes it, though GANNET is not coming out of the water for another month.
        I am pleased to be so decisive.


        I spent this morning productively re-stowing stuff.
        GANNET has too much stuff on her.
        Clearly stuff multiplies spontaneously when I’m not looking.
        I am not a hoarder.  I take real satisfaction in throwing out stuff.  Yet still there is too much, now including two Torqeedo electric outboards and a bicycle pump.

        This is the new Torqeedo.  If you think It looks a lot like the old Torqeedo, you are right.  It differs only in that it has a short shaft.  My first had an unnecessary long shaft.
        It came this afternoon and was unpacked, mounted and started in a few minutes.  I checked and both old and new tillers work.  
        The bicycle pump was bought along with a $99 bicycle from K-Mart.  I was paying almost that much to rent a bicycle.  I will use the bike around here for a month, lock it to GANNET in the boat yard when I leave, use it again in January, then when I sail for Panama give it to a charity or church to pass on.
        The bicycle has eighteen speeds.  I use only one.  Marathon is flat, flat, flat.


        The new sails are to be delivered tomorrow.
        Christmas in August.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Marathon: changed plans; Battle of the Ants; rain scoop

        I have changed my plans and am going to keep GANNET here in the Florida Keys rather than sail north.  There are several reasons for this among them that, despite the heat, I like Marathon.  It is a convenient place to provision and prepare for the passage to Panama.  And GANNET is already settled in a safe slip in a marina run by friendly and responsible people.
        I would rather store GANNET ashore.  There are three yards where I might do that here, including this one, but as I expected all are already full until after the hurricane season ends in November.
        I am told that my new sails will be delivered not later than a week from today.
        Once I have them I will sail around some.  Certainly out to snorkel on the reef.  Possibly down to Key West and out to the Dry Tortugas and back.  It depends on the wind and the weather.
        Even though I will be paying for this slip, I also intend to rent one of the municipal moorings in Boot Key Harbor for a week or two.  Carol and I were living on THE HAWKE OF TUONELA at anchor there in 1994 when we drove down to Key West to be married. 
        Most of the remaining work on my to do list is cosmetic.
        I managed to get metal polished this morning.
        I apologize for creating expectations I will not fulfill.


        A few days ago I noticed that there were dozens, perhaps hundreds of tiny ants in the cockpit.  I usually have a plastic trash bag out there that I dispose of each day and sometimes it has food in it.  To reach it they made an epic ant trek.  By comparative size a thousand or even a ten thousand mile march.  There is no sign of an ant colony anywhere nearby ashore, and they had to make the final leg crawling along one of the dock lines.
        I don’t take pleasure in killing, but I was not going to live with these.
        One of the things I do not understand is that consciousness instinctively resists unconsciousness.  I also don't understand DNA's imperative to be projected into the future.  When I reached down with a paper towel to crush the ants, they took off, zig-zagging along the groves in the diamond pattern Treadmaster on the cockpit sole. 
        I now throw out the trash more quickly.  I bought ant spray and have sprayed the area they frequented, around the companionway, and the dock lines.
        I’ve only seen three lost survivors today, and they are no longer surviving.
        I may have won.


         An unexpected heavy shower at 2 a.m. established that my wind scoop is also a superior rain scoop.  Sleeping partially under the forward hatch, I was awakened by a splash.  Rather than go on deck, I released the four snaps that secure the bottom of the scoop and let it fly so I could close the hatch.  It was still attached at the top to the spinnaker halyard and a line running to the forestay.
        That was fine until the rain passed and the wind died and the scoop begin dragging across the deck.  I reached up, brought the tabs back in and rescured it.  Until a second shower a couple of hours later.  This time I went on deck and lowered the scoop.
        I put it back up this morning.
        I will check the forecast before I go to sleep tonight.


        In the above photo you can see some of the reasons little breeze reaches GANNET.   Boats stored ashore and beside her block most of it.  You can also see that for a while we were sitting in our own personal Sargasso Sea.
         I like the name of the boat stored off GANNET’s starboard bow.  BE AS YOU ARE. 
        I am about to go ashore to find a bowl of conch chowder, a big glass of ice tea, and shade.