Wednesday, July 31, 2019

San Diego: miss

        Although today was another perfect day, I did not go sailing.  I did not feel enough enthusiasm to tack out the channel, sail along the beach for an hour or two and turn back, so I sanded the cockpit.  I will paint it tomorrow.
        I am long on the record as not liking to daysail.  I like to go out and not come back.  I am going to have to think this through now that I am in the third part of my life.  Perhaps, Iike my friend, Steve Earley, I am going to have to plan week or two week cruises, though I will admit that I have thought of another voyage, and I am only three months from the completion of GANNET’s circumnavigation.  I don’t know that it will happen.  It is not a circumnavigation, but it would be epic. 
        I am feeling my way into the dying part of my life, as I expect that all of us who are aware do.  My situation may be unusual in that I believe I have already fulfilled my destiny and perhaps outlived it.  A Ulysses far older than any other great poet ever imaged, and perhaps more aware of Penelope, which I will write about in time.  I don’t believe I have to do more, but perhaps I do.  Perhaps as I wrote in the first passage of GANNET’s circumnavigation from this very basin to Hilo, Hawaii, “Use yourself up, old man.  Use yourself up.”  It may be my pride and curse that perhaps I still haven’t used myself up.  And perhaps as Milton wrote about his blindness, “And that one talent which is death to lodge in me useless.”  I am aware of the religious interpretations of that.  But there are powers some of us are born with that demand endless expression.
        As I say in the video not yet uploaded I have a lot of history in this basin and within a few miles.
        I lived aboard here in the late 1960s.  I began my second circumnavigation from here.  I began my sixth from here.  And my grandparents’ house where I spent my teenaged summers was two miles away.
        Quivira Basin would be an honorable end.  But maybe it isn’t.  I don’t know.

        I was asked recently what I miss in moving from a 37’ boat to a 24’ one.  A good question that I had not been asked before.
        I thought for a moment and said, “Other than living with Carol on a boat, which she doesn’t want to do anymore, nothing.”
        GANNET suits me alone perfectly.  I go to the monastery of the sea.  She is the perfect monk’s cell, and better at this instant than she has ever been now that I have gotten rid of unnecessary debris.
        I can fit every essential part of my life on GANNET’s small space:  I can write; I can sail; I can read; I can listen to music.  Every essential part of my life, except Carol.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

San Diego: the owl myth and more

        The above shows something I should have done a long time ago and a gift that makes me smile.
        On my last trip to West Marine I bought three feet of black 5mm shock cord.  Back on GANNET I cut it into two pieces, drilled four holes, and in less than five minutes had mounts for the Boom 2 speakers.  This has been surprisingly pleasing.  I can reach over and turn them on or off while sitting at Central, set them to play in stereo from an app on my iPhone, and due to this ease have been listening to more music than ever.  I can also easily remove them to take on deck.

        Also in that photo is a GANNET billfold that is a gift Carlos made and sent to me.
        I hesitated to write about it because I do not want to seem to be soliciting gifts or turning every personal relationship public,  but I like it so much and appreciate the thought that I asked Carlos for permission to show it.  I have thanked him personally for the billfold and do so publicly.

        Some believe that sea gulls and other birds can be frightened off boats by hanging a plastic owl on them.  You can see how effective this is.

        High tech boats come and go from the boat yard.
        These two are there now.
        The trimaran has far too much beam for the travel lift and must be raised and lowered with a rented crane which probably costs almost as much as it did for me to get GANNET put in the water in Panama.

        I was asked to make a video of GANNET’s restored interior, which I did yesterday afternoon.  I also took the GoPro on deck to show my evening view.  I will not have a good enough Internet connection to upload it until sometime in the last half of next month.

        The GUARDIAN ran an interesting piece about the benefits of walking, both mental and physical, calling it a ‘super power’.

Monday, July 29, 2019

San Diego: seven sea lions; a round the world boat

        I cleared the port pipe berth and slithered aft this morning.  I found to remove only the outboard mount for the Avon dinghy, a backup manual bilge pump which had no hoses, and a corroded folding cart.  
        I have now gone through GANNET bow to stern and she is much less cluttered and better organized.
        I have bought new towels and new stowage containers and waterproof bags.  The little boat is as clean and as mold free as she was 30,000 miles ago.
        I do not like to live in squalor, yet sometimes during a voyage I must.  I am very glad to have imposed order on chaos and slowed entropy.
        Later in the morning I Ubered to West Marine and spent a totally boring $240 on a replacement PortaPotti, a flotation cushion, dry bags, life jackets, and a replacement backup bilge pump.
        In the afternoon I rowed around Quivira Basin.
        Seven sea lions were clustered together at one end of the bait barge tanks almost sinking it.  
        One was a big male.  Six sleek smaller females sprawled around him.  Two more sea lions were on the big yellow float at the end of the line of bait tanks and two more swimming nearby.  This is the most sea lions I have seen.
        Quivira Basin is a sea lion paradise.
        Ample food.  No predators.  A protected species that we the greatest predator cannot harm and I am sure they sense this.  The bait barge and floats and the swimming platforms of boats to sun and sleep upon.  Without dying they have gone to sea lion heaven.
        Sea lions are amusing, but I am not impressed with them.  They lack grandeur and ambition.  

        While the Avon was in the water I scrubbed GANNET’s waterline.
        There was only slime and some weed.
        The antifouling is Pettit’s Vivid white.  It seems to me that they have made it harder and stronger.

        Tomorrow I will do laundry.
        On Tuesday I will have lunch with a friend.
        On Wednesday I will go for a sail and probably anchor for the night at Mariner’s Cove off South Mission Beach.

        Late this afternoon I was in the Great Cabin when kayakers came by.
        One, looking past GANNET, said, “That ODYSSEUS is a world rounding boat.  Look at that mast and cutter rig.”
        It never occurred to him that he was looking at the wrong boat.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

San Diego: time traveler

        This is a rare second post in one day, but Goggle notified me of a mention of Webb Chiles online.  It was a repeat in something called SF Gate of a piece that originally ran in LATITUDE 38.  What is amusing here is the caption.

Webb Chiles aboard ‘Gannet’ in Durban, South Africa, in 2106. “I [had] just arrived in Durban after the 6,000 mile passage from Darwin, Australia. You can see the Q flag flying. I was then a mere 74 years old.”  

2106?   I am amazing, but not that amazing.

I must confess that I do like this one’s “77 years old never looked so young.”

        My life is amusing.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

San Diego: ruddered; dancing

        A noisy night.  Not people, creatures.  A Great Blue Heron spent the night standing on the launch hanging from ODYSSEUS’s stern, sometimes screeching loudly, often merely grumbling to himself, and the sea lions were more vocal than usual.  

        With the dinghy in the water, I removed the other items stowed on the starboard pipe berth and slithered aft and pulled out everything stowed in the dead stern space starboard of the center line.  I’ll do the port side tomorrow.
        Among the items is my emergency rudder which, along with the Jordan drogue and my dry suit, I do not regret buying and am very pleased not to have used.
        I have not fit the emergency rudder since before the circumnavigation began and decided to do so.  It is heavier than I remember.  Or perhaps I have become weaker.  As you can see it did go briefly in place and is now again stowed below.
        I sprayed and wiped down all I could reach with my last bottle of New Zealand's Exit Mold.  There was not a lot of mold there.
        I found several objects that I enjoyed disposing of including a length of hose and the PortaPotti that came with GANNET which was moldy beyond redemption.  I have never used it, but will buy another in order to meet inspection if GANNET is ever inspected.

        Last evening I came across a quote at the beginning of a film about mountains and partially about climbing them.  “Those who dance are thought mad by those who cannot hear the music.”  I have subsequently found it to be well known and attributed to various people.
        I have noted before what I call the dog whistle effect of my life.  There are those who cannot see or understand it, just as we cannot hear sounds dogs do.
        This is why I don’t try to answer the question, “Why do you sail?”  People either hear the music or they don’t.
        However, I have agreed to write a short ‘why’ piece for Latitude 38.
        It is not likely that I will do so before September at the earliest.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

San Diego: painted; rowed; home

        This morning I painted the tracks that attach the pipe berths to the hull and I am now finished.  For a while.  The cockpit needs to be painted, but it will wait.  
        I shot the interior with my iPhone 7+, Nikon AW1, and GoPro Hero 5 Black.  The GoPro was the best and the above came from it.  
        Having moved the dinghy into the cockpit while I painted the track, I pumped it up and rowed once around the bait barge.  Sea lions were sunning themselves and sleeping on the big floats at each end.   Sea gulls, pelicans and cormorants crowded the bait tanks.  Sometimes there are also egrets and at least one Great Blue Heron.  The smell on the leeward side of the bait barge is breathtaking.

        Yesterday a dingy boat slightly larger than GANNET pulled into the space behind her.  Surprisingly for a boat that size she has an inboard engine, a noisy and odiferous inboard engine.  After it was turned off the man on it, aged I would guess somewhere around fifty, and I talked briefly.  The conversation ended when he asked what kind of engine I have and I replied a Torqeedo electric outboard.  Rather aggressively he declared, “No matter how green you people try to be, the best, most efficient fuel is diesel.”  I said, “No.  You are wrong.  The most efficient fuel is this.”  I pointed to my mainsail.  
        His jib was lashed to the bow pulpit.  His mainsail to the boom.  Both were uncovered and in tatters and unuseable.

        While sitting last evening on deck I realized that a good caption for the photo I posted yesterday would be ‘Home is the sailor.’
         I did not remember that the source is Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Requiem’.
                    Under the wide and starry sky
                    Dig the grave and let me lie.
                    Glad did I live and gladly die.
                    And I laid me down with a will.

                    This be the verse you grave for me:
                    Here he lies where he longed to be:
                    Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
                    And the hunter home from the hill.  

        But what is a sailor to do if his home is the sea?
        (This has decided to double space and I am tired of trying to fix it)
        I have written that my home is where Carol is and where GANNET is.
        I have also quoted in the front of one of my books, Nikos Kazantzakis in his THE ODYSSEY:  A Modern Sequel, “My soul, your voyages have been your native land.”
        Time to shower and sit on deck.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

San Diego: almost finished

        I finished installing the last two replacement Blue Performance bags I use for stowage in the Great Cabin.  Naturally they were the most difficult, being placed between the main and partial bulkhead and awkward to reach, and today was sweat inducing.  The outside temperature was only 76º, but inside GANNET it was 89º.
        I used Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive to glue strips of wood to the hull and then screwed the supplied hooks into the wood.  Many of you know far more than I about boat construction and may be aware of better products, but I have found Gorilla Super Glue, duct tape, and now Construction Adhesive very useful.
        Tomorrow I will apply another coat of oil to the wood and paint the black rails that attach the pipe berths to the hull and then I really will be finished.

        I thank my neighbor, Carlos, for the arbove photo which he took last night looking down from the deck of ODYSSEUS.
        I will be in the same pose in about five minutes.

Monday, July 22, 2019

San Diego: finished; differences; a failed drogue

        I finished painting the interior a few hours ago.  There is still some detail work to do and I still have to mount four of the Blue Performance bags that I use for stowage.  The one that attaches to the forward side of the main bulkhead is already in place.  But the job is almost complete and the little boat’s interior is much improved.  I did not mind the painting, but I did get a bit tired of tearing the boat apart each morning and putting it back together each afternoon.
        I had a wonderful time with Susan and Howard in Julian this weekend.  So close and yet a completely different world.


        I measured the distance from where GANNET’s forestay reaches the deck to the forward edge of the mast.  It is 117”, which is 9.75’.  For non-sailors in measuring sailplans this is known as ‘J’.  Glenn measured the J on his GRENDEL, the prototype Moore 24, and found it to be only 104”, so my observation that her mast seemed farther forward than GANNET’s is correct.  
        GRENDEL’s sailplan differs from stock Moore 24s in other ways too.
        She is a masthead rig.  Stock Moores are fractional.  For non-sailors that means that the stay on which the jib is set does not go all the way to the masthead.
        And GRENDEL’s mainsail has a luff of 22’10”, where as far as I can tell GANNET’s is 25’.  The foot of the mainsails on both boats are about 9.5’.
        I am not sure where Glenn keeps GRENDEL.  It would be interesting to see her photographed beside a stock Moore.
        GRENDEL is an historic boat and, as I have said, Glenn has beautifully restored her.
        I thank him for taking the measurements.


        I do not follow the round the world races or any longer read much about sailing, so I thank Bill for a link to an interesting analysis of the failure of a Jordan drogue in one of those races.

        GANNET’s was custom made by Ocean Brake because she is far lighter than their smallest standard drogue.  It is presently in the dock box.  I will pull it out and look at the bridle connection one day.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Julian: 4,000’ up and 34 miles inland

        The view from Susan and Howard’s home.
        Quiet and peaceful here.
        Though the coast near Encinitas is only thirty-four miles to the west, you have to drive considerably farther to get here.
        We have driven and walked, seen a deer and many birds, including two wild turkeys.
        A sign beside one trail warns not to leave the trail because of the danger of rattlesnakes.  The sign is too far from the trail to read without leaving it.

Friday, July 19, 2019

San Diego: almost finished; outdoor concert

      I am almost finished painting GANNET’s interior.  Only the spaces between and under the pipe berths and beneath the two small counters beside Central remain.  They will wait until Monday.  Friends are coming by in an hour to take me up to their second home in Julian.  I have been there before.  Although only about an hour’s drive inland, Julian is at more than 4,000’ and has a completely different climate.  Hotter than San Diego in the summer and with an average of 2’ of snow in the winter.  I like it up there.
       After painting I will replace all five of the Blue Performance bags I use for storage in the Great Cabin.  The old ones are moldy beyond salvation.  I had a slight shock when I ordered the replacements because each costs $60-$70 and the order total was well over $300.  Ah, well, it is for a good cause:  a boat.
        While most of the US is brutally hot with temperatures that are or feel like more than 100ºF/38ºC, San Diego of course remains delightful.  The coastal clouds have burned off early the past two mornings and my evening drinks on deck have been perfect.  Two nights ago I was listening to Bach Cello Suites and two kayakers on their way in stopped to enjoy the free outdoor concert.  I am pleased to be a public service.
        I love GANNET’s location, but it is not one for a boat with a high priced paint job.  Kayakers run into the little boat with distressing frequency, sometimes hard.  There is lots of room and no excuse for this.  I accept it.  Usually this happens when youth groups come out in fleets.  
        GANNET’s does not have an expensive paint job.  Her topsides need repainting.  I did it before myself and will again sometime.  I don’t do professional quality work, but I can afford my wages.

        I thank Ants, who is preparing his Moore 24 for the Race to Alaska, for sending me information about the narrow catamaran I photographed a few entries ago.  He believes her to be a Gougeon 32.  The Gougeon brothers were behind the WEST system of boat construction, which has nothing to do with West Marine.  The boats were narrow for ease of trailering and had water ballast as well as a masthead float to keep the boats from inverting when they capsized.  Maybe I should put one on GANNET.

Monday, July 15, 2019

San Diego: Rustoleum and me; three hypotheses; flat

        GANNET’s interior is painted from the bow to the main bulkhead.  The bilge is also painted.
        I did the bow to the partial bulkhead and the bilge yesterday and the rest of the forward area today.
        The bow is difficult requiring long awkward reaching.
        Many of you wrote that you have used and recommend Rustoleum.  Jim and Steve and Glenn, in addition to Kent.  How is it that I have gone all these years without knowing this?  I’m still learning.
        James wrote about a special extra hard Appliance Epoxy Rustoleum.  I found it in a spray can and used it on the bilge.  For the rest I used flat white Rustoleum from a can.  
        The fumes from the spray can were intense even with the hatches open.  Fortunately GANNET’s bilge is small and didn’t take long, after which I sat on deck until fumes dissipated  below brain damage level.  I hope.
        Painting while living on board is complicated by having to move everything out of a given area and then back in at the end of the day.  San Diego’s lack of rain makes this easier.
        Glenn, who beautifully restored GRENDEL, the prototype Moore 24, wrote that he used Rustoleum inside and out down to the waterline and sent along these photos which I am permitted to share with you.
        Looking at them, it seems to me that GRENDEL’s mast is farther forward than is GANNET’s, but I am not certain this is the case.

        I expect to have the interior painted to the end of the pipe berths this week.  I don’t think I am going to paint the stern area.  I got stuck back there last time I did.


        Several readers inquired about the ‘Three Hypotheses’ post.  Apple never had a way to search iWeb, but I googled ‘Webb Chiles three hypotheses’ and got an instant link.

        That was even before fake news.


        Michael sent me the following which he saw on a friend’s Facebook page.  


Friday, July 12, 2019

San Diego: sanded; pumped; simplify

        I finished sanding GANNET’s wood today.  In the process of doing so I have sufficiently sanded my fingertips so that Touch ID no longer works on my iPhone.  There is now one coat of Deks Olje on the forward side of the main bulkhead and floorboards, two coats on the aft side of the main bulkead and the counters, and three on the companionway bulkhead.
        I took the floorboards onto the dock to sand and in their absence cleaned the bilge as well as I can.  The very aft part is unreachable except by a loose hacksaw blade that I use to try to push debris forward to where I can reach it.
        Steve Earley wrote that he uses Rustoleum on his generally immaculate SPARTINA and Jim wrote that he has used it and recommends it too.  Tomorrow I will go to Home Depot and buy a couple of quarts, rollers, brushes, etc.
        Above is San Diego’s seven day forecast.  Perfect working weather.


        My bicycle pump arrived today.  It is a very nice pump.  Sigh.  I will keep it in the dock box.  I will probably have another bicycle here eventually.  Carol and I both have good bikes on the other coast, where they are doing us no good whatsoever.


        The dock box is almost full.
        I have continued removing stuff from GANNET.
        My plastic sextant.  A duffle bag of clothes and my heavy set of foul weather gear.  The Jordan Drogue.  Various cans of paint and polishes.
        Running out of dock storage space I have started to throw things away.
        I also decided not to buy another pair of harbor shorts and Levis.  I found a pair of Levis that are good except for a small stain on one knee that probably no one will notice.  Two pair of harbor shorts and Levis are enough.  On GANNET and in the marina I can wear passage/work clothes and change into better when I go ashore.
        I learned that some entrepreneurs have set up wi-if covering this basin.  Driscoll Marina has none of its own.  I thought about signing up, but decided against it.  I would watch sports on TV instead of listening to music and reading.  I like sports, but music and reading are better.  I don’t like TV news.  I don’t need TV weather.  So I am keeping it simple.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

San Diego: home improvements; earthquakes; Revolutionary War Airports

        The other day while my bicycle was being stolen, I bought new dish towels, pillow cases, and a new plastic measuring cup to eat out of.  Target as I have mentioned before has the best plastic measuring cups I have found.  They now come with red handles.
        I had already ordered new pillows.  Mine was still wet from the passage and exceedingly moldy.
        At Home Depot I continued my ongoing tool replacements, buying a selection of screw drivers and pliers.        
        Today I again sanded and oiled.  I will be through sanding tomorrow, though more coats of oil will be applied on subsequent days.
        Next it is on to cleaning and painting the inside of the hull and the overhead.  GANNET has no liner so these are exposed.
        Long ago someone advised me to use latex house paint because it ‘breathes’ and reduces mold.  However, in reading his site, I noted that Kent, who professionally repairs small boats and maintains a fleet of about twenty of his own, including my favorite canoe as seen above—note the lee boards—often writes about using Rustoleum.  I emailed him for more information and will use Rustoleum myself.  Kent suggested that latex paint instead of reducing mold, may increase it. 


        Several of you have asked if I felt the earthquakes.  I did not, but Carol and others around me did.
        Carol and I were in our hotel room when the first one occurred.  She immediately said that it was an earthquake.   I felt nothing.
       The bigger one occurred the next evening.  We were at a friend’s condo a few miles inland for dinner.  Again, all three of the others felt the quake.  Again I felt nothing.
        San Diego is about 250 miles/400 kilometers from the center of the quakes, so there was not much motion.  That I did not feel them may be due to my senses having been blunted by old age or it might be that I am so used to feeling motion on GANNET that I don’t notice it.  In fact being still seems unnatural to me. 


        You have probably seen this, but I can’t let it pass.
        I have long been on the record as believing that democracy has never worked except perhaps on the village level.   Somewhere in the journal is a post “Three Hypotheses”.  I can’t find it and am eager to go on deck for libation and music.
        For those unfamiliar with American history.  The Revolutionary War took place between 1775 and 1783.  The attack on Fort McHenry was in 1814.  And the Wright brothers first flight was in 1903.

          “The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown,” he said. “Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare, it had nothing but victory.”

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

San Diego: robbed; ODYSSEUS

        Many problems are self-solving.  Finding a place to leave my bicycle when I go sailing is no longer a problem.  The bike was stolen this afternoon.  
        I sanded the companionway bulkhead this morning, then biked to a large shopping center across from the Sports Arena to go to Home Depot, Target, and Ralph’s, a supermarket.  I locked the bike to a bike rack between Ralph’s and an Old Navy store, was gone about fifteen minutes and returned to find it was gone.  I didn’t have my phone with me so couldn’t Uber and walked the 2.3 miles back to GANNET.  This is not a big deal, even with a full knapsack on my back.  As you know I walked almost twice that far yesterday without leaving the marina.
        I am sorry to have lost that bike.  I liked it.  It rode well and was comfortable.
        I will not be buying a replacement immediately, if ever.
        Partially that is because of the marina rule prohibiting leaving bikes on the dock.  I didn’t like having the bike on the deck or having to find a place for it when I leave the dock, though two neighbors have told me I could leave it on their boats.  Partially it is that I am in a strong simplification phase and want to get rid of everything I can live without.  And partially it is because I can ride Uber about thirty times for the cost of another bike.
        So I will Uber, perhaps take buses, and walk.
        The good news is that I now have one coat of Deks Olje on the bulkhead which looks dramatically better than when I started work this morning.


        This morning I met Jim, who maintains ODYSSEUS, GANNET’s huge neighbor.
        He said that despite the Swan cove stripe, she is not a Swan.  She is 88’ long on deck, but with the small launch hoisted on the stern, 100’ overall.  She was built in France, sailed across to the East Coast of the US, then through Panama to the West Coast, where she has gone as far north as San Francisco.  The current owner is 75 years old and finds that sailing takes too much time.  He prefers to fly places.  
        You may or may not forgive me for taking satisfaction that GANNET has sailed far farther than ODYSSEUS.
        ODYSSEUS is for sale.  GANNET is not.  Some old men have time to sail.  I thank James for a link to the listing for ODYSSEUS.  Although the price shown is $549,000, Jim said the asking price has been dropped to $499,000.  If her systems are sound, this is a bargain.  I am not interested.

Monday, July 8, 2019

San Diego: around the marina

        Another quiet evening in Quivira Basin.
        I have come below at 8 PM after sitting on deck listening to music and sea lions, watching birds, and sipping tequila.
        A pelican gilded past not far off GANNET’s bow reminding me of an evening a half century ago when, while living on board my 26’ Excalibur on the other side of this basin still in the ‘longing’ part of my life, I rowed around the bait barge and a pelican flew by almost within reach.  I heard the sound of his feathers touching the air.
        According to my Activity app I walked 4.3 miles today and I didn’t leave the marina.
        It was laundry day and I did walk from GANNET to the shore buildings many times.  I also went ashore to check for packages and to shower.  Living on a boat is obviously a naturally active and healthy life.
        Along the way I noticed several boats of interest, including the above.
        There are two of these, side by side.  ‘Ships In a Bottle’ they are called.  They run short day and evening trips for tourists.  They are even more than most sailboats powerboats with masts.  The benches can seat three adults on each side.  When so laden they ride very bow down.

        This boat was in this slip when I left five years ago.  I never saw her used then.  It does not appear she has ever been sailed since.  The deck house is wood.  You may be able to see that the seams are opening.  Slip rent would run at least $5,000 a year.  So $25,000 in five years for what?  A friend recently suggested that 90%-93% of boats in marinas are never used.  I concur.

        I also pass what might be the world’s narrowest catamaran.
        I thought catamarans gained stability by beam.  
        This one has the virtue of fitting in a normal slip, but I don’t think I would want to sail her.

       This is a good boat that is being neglected.  Look at the bird droppings on hatch and mainsail cover.
       I think she is a Contessa 26.  Not exactly my kind of boat, but one in which I would cross oceans.  She appears to have been prepared to do so, with a self-steering vane on the stern, the same Anchorman windless I had on THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, and other equipment.   I have seen no one on her and do not know her story.

        Here is the behemoth next to GANNET.  
       She has the Swan cove stripe, but does not look like any Swan I know of.
       For non-sailors Swan is the name of a famous brand of sailboats built in Finland.
       Pacing her off, I estimate she is 85’-90’/25-27 meters.
       Here if you look closely Is GANNET beside her. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

San Diego: hiding in plain sight; books read

       Sunday evening and Quivira Basin is quiet.  A single kayaker is on the water.  Quite a contrast with July 4 and yesterday.  The holiday weekend is over and everyone—well, almost everyone—has returned to their unreal ‘real’ lives.   I have returned to GANNET.
        Carol had an early flight back to Chicago.  I stayed in the hotel room to watch the final of the Women’s World Cup.  The US women are superior and deserved the win.  I am not hung up on the nationalism.  The US spends more money on women’s soccer than any other nation and has the third largest population in the world to draw from.  That American women’s soccer is superior to American men’s, even considering that men’s soccer overall is much more competitive than women’s, is undeniable.
       I enjoyed being with Carol.  No surprise.  I always have in the twenty-five years I have known and loved her.  But I am glad to be back on GANNET.  No surprise.  I always have during the eight years I have owned her.  And I have always enjoyed being on the water.  Even somehow knowing I would during those long years of my landlocked childhood.
        Carol and I were on GANNET on July 4 and again yesterday afternoon.
        On the Fourth a kayaker came along side who recognized GANNET and by inference me.  We talked.  He displayed knowledge that he had indeed been following the voyage and he was complimentary.  As Carol, who is astute, noted afterwards, he did not offer and  I did not get his name.  A warning:  you are always welcomed to approach me, but in the future I will ask your name.  We are in this together.  I do recall that he grew up in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago not far from Evanston, and now lives in Colorado.  
        He said among other things that I am a rock star of sailing.  I have heard that before, but not liking rock music am ambivalent.  I want to be the Bach of sailing.
        I do not deny that it is pleasing to be recognized, but it is also pleasing not to be recognized, as none of the paddlers and kayakers who pass by GANNET, and occasionally bump into her, do.  I expect that they see a slim old man standing in the companionway or sitting on a Sportaseat on a small boat and think that it is nice that he still has these quiet moments of enjoyment on the water.  I am pleased that they have no idea of what GANNET has done.  That of all the more than a thousand boats in this basin, she has sailed the farthest.  And that I have sailed farther than everyone else in this bay and probably San Diego Bay combined as well.  And not just farther, but harder.
        Yesterday we rented a bike for Carol and rode Mission Beach from one end to the other.  I like being here so much.


       As long time readers know every six months I post the books I have read.
       I am a reader, but I read more on passages than on land when there are distractions such as the Women’s World Cup.  I observe of myself that I have finished only four books in the now more than two months since I reached land.  During the passage I often read one a day.  I am knowingly in one of the great transitions of my life and I am feeling my way forward as all of us do.
        So here is the list.  
        Of all these, the one you are most likely not to know and that I particularly liked is ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.
        THE AENEID is the equal of Homer and I had read Conrad’s ALYMAYER’S FOLLY so long ago that it was a new book to me.

January 2019

BABYLON BERLIN   Volker Kutscher
DECEMBER 1941   Craig Shirley
BIRDMEN   Lawrence Goldstone
LAST NIGHT   James Salter
MAYFLOWER   Nathaniel Philbrick
FACES AND MASKS   Eduardo Galeano
CENTURY OF THE WIND   Eduardo Galeano
  ANNAPURNA   Maurice Herzog
FARTHEST NORTH   Fridtjof Nansen
THE GUN   C. S. Forester
A TIME TO STAND:  The Epic of the Alamo   Walter Lord
ONE NIGHT IN WINTER   Simon Sebag Montefiore
MARCH   Geraldine Brooks
THE WRITTEN WORD  Martin Pulchner
THE AENEID    Virgil  translated by Robert Fitzgerald 
THE SILENT DEATH   Volker Kutscher
THIS GULF OF FIRE   Mark Moleskt
THE PLAYER’S BALL   David Kushner
APPEASEMENT   Tim Bouverie
ALMAYER’S FOLLY   Joseph Conrad