Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Evanston: drifting; quiet; muscle man

 Several of you have sent me links to a man trying to ‘sail’ from San Francisco to Hawaii in a, I think, 9’ boat.  Had you not I would not known of this because as noted before I don’t read much about sailing any more.  A lot of what appears about sailing is reinventing the wheel and solving problems that I solved decades ago and a lot is about eating and shopping ashore.

I do not know this man’s motivation.  What I do know is that he won’t sail to Hawaii; he will, as do all the extremely small boats that cross oceans, drift.  If you put something in the water off northwest Africa and it breaks free of the coastal weather and currents and stays afloat, it will end up in the Caribbean.  Last year a Frenchman crossed the Atlantic in a barrel.  If you put something in the water off California and it breaks free of the coastal weather and stays afloat it will end up somewhere near Hawaii.

The very small boats average a knot or maybe two.  GANNET under bare poles does more than that, and when I was adrift in an 8’ inflatable tied to the swamped CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE we made over 300 miles in two weeks.

I just checked and this man has covered 60 miles in his first 52 hours.  

I like small boats, but I have always had boats that sail well and GANNET is, of course, a joy. 

If this man makes it to Hawaii it will be a feat of endurance, but it won’t be sailing.  It will be at best a controlled drift.

After an early active hurricane season, for almost a week at what should be the height of the season, the National Hurricane Center’s map has looked like this.  This morning there is an area of low pressure south of Jamaica with a less than 40% likelihood of development.  Very odd and very welcomed.

Fall has come to the upper flatlands, with temperatures dropping into the 50sF.  I have been spending most of the time indoors and had not caught up with this reality until yesterday when I had to bike to drop off a package at a UPS store.  I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  As soon as I pushed my bike out the back entrance to our building, I knew this was a mistake, but continued on.  Upon my return and after my weight workout, I showered and changed into Levis and a long sleeved shirt.

Carol went to the office yesterday.  When she came home she saw me and exclaimed with what I consider unseemly surprise, “In that shirt you look like a muscle man.”  With a sigh of resignation I replied, “I am a muscle man.”

Prophets, as you may have heard, are without honor in their own country and in their own home.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Evanston: beauty and time; food; a new Moore; a troubling poem; virtuous

 Steve Earley took the above beautiful photo, which he has captioned ‘Before Sunrise’, a few mornings ago during his ongoing fall cruise.  Steve and I have mutual permission to repost anything from either of our sites.  I thank him for that.

Steve retired earlier this year from his long career as a newspaper photographer.  He enjoyed his work and and initially had what I observe is a common unease at the transition.  ‘Observe’ because either I retired the day I graduated from college as my grandmother liked to say or I will never retire at all.  I told Steve, “You are not retired.  You are free.”  And on this fall cruise with no date he has to be back at work he is sensing that.  The greatest wealth is time.  That we have so little is our dignity, if we make something of it.

You can follow Steve’s cruise here:

I just finished reading THE SECRET LIFE OF GROCERIES and I’m giving up food.

I learned of the book from a front page review in the NY TIMES.

The book is fascinating and I don’t even care much about food.  I like good food when I can get it, but obviously can live indefinitely on cans and freeze dried.

THE SECRET LIFE is not muckraking in the Upton Sinclair style, but reveals the details and hidden side of the food supply chain from fisherman and slaughter house, to truck driver, entrepreneur, worker at the fish counter at Whole Foods.  People and things that most of us, including me, take for granted and never consider.

I came away from the book impressed by the attention to detail, the complications, the competitiveness, and particularly to the squeeze of those on the lowest levels of the supply chain, some of whom are victims not just of wage slavery but real slavery.

A couple of statistics.  Once 90% of the US population was engaged in producing food.  Now only 3%.  And as you can read in the review, the average American spends 2% of their life in supermarkets.

Assuming you eat, you will find this book of interest.

This morning at Sailing Anarchy I learned that a new 33’ Moore is going into production.

She will certainly be fast.  

I notice that there is no mention of price, but whatever it is, sorry, Ron, but I won’t be buying one.

I’m sticking with GANNET on whom during the past few weeks I have once again spent more than I originally paid for her.

I came across a troubling poem the other day.  I will let it speak for itself.  That is what poems do.

He Sits Down on the Floor of a School for the Retarded

I sit down on the floor of a school for the retarded,
a writer of magazine articles accompanying a band
that was met at the door by a child in a man’s body
who asked them, “Are you the surprise they promised us?”

It’s Ryan’s Fancy, Dermot on guitar,
Fergus on banjo, Denis on penny-whistle.
In the eyes of this audience, they’re everybody
who has ever appeared on TV. I’ve been telling lies
to a boy who cried because his favorite detective
hadn’t come with us; I said he had sent his love
and, no, I didn’t think he’d mind if I signed his name

to a scrap of paper: when the boy took it, he said,
“Nobody will ever get this away from me,”
in the voice, more hopeless than defiant,
of one accustomed to finding that his hiding places
have been discovered, used to having objects snatched
out of his hands. Weeks from now I’ll send him
another autograph, this one genuine
in the sense of having been signed by somebody
on the same payroll as the star.
Then I’ll feel less ashamed. Now everyone is singing,
“Old MacDonald had a farm,” and I don’t know what to do
about the young woman (I call her a woman
because she’s twenty-five at least, but think of her
as a little girl, she plays the part so well,
having known no other), about the young woman who
sits down beside me and, as if it were the most natural
thing in the world, rests her head on my shoulder.

It’s nine o’clock in the morning, not an hour for music.
And, at the best of times, I’m uncomfortable
in situations where I’m ignorant
of the accepted etiquette: it’s one thing
to jump a fence, quite another thing to blunder
into one in the dark. I look around me
for a teacher to whom to smile out my distress.
They’re all busy elsewhere, “Hold me,” she whispers. “Hold me.”

I put my arm around her. “Hold me tighter.”
I do, and she snuggles closer. I half-expect
someone in authority to grab her
of me: I can imagine this being remembered
for ever as the time the sex-crazed writer
publicly fondled the poor retarded girl.
“Hold me,” she says again. What does it matter
what anybody thinks? I put my arm around her,
rest my chin in her hair, thinking of children,
real children, and of how they say it, “Hold me,”
and of a patient in a geriatric ward
I once heard crying out to his mother, dead
for half a century, “I’m frightened! Hold me!”
and of a boy-soldier screaming it on the beach
at Dieppe, of Nelson in Hardy’s arms,
of Frieda gripping Lawrence’s ankle
until he sailed off in his Ship of Death.

It’s what we all want, in the end,
to be held, merely to be held,
to be kissed (not necessarily with the lips,
for every touching is a kind of kiss.)

Yet, it’s what we all want, in the end,
not to be worshiped, not to be admired,
not to be famous, not to be feared,
not even to be loved, but simply to be held.

She hugs me now, this retarded woman, and I hug her.
We are brother and sister, father and daughter,
mother and son, husband and wife.
We are lovers. We are two human beings
huddled together for a little while by the fire
in the Ice Age, two thousand years ago.

—Alden Nowlan

I am virtuous.  No one else will say so, so I must.

I did my full workout yesterday for the first time in eight weeks.  I can do the workout on GANNET’s foredeck, but for whatever reasons this time in San Diego I didn’t.

I managed to do one foot push-ups, keeping my weight on my left foot while my right barely touched the floor.  I only went to my age plus one, which I will have to do in a couple of months anyway.  I’ll do weights today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Evanston: cleaning up after Sally; the weaponization of Bach; short time


From indomitable Kent and Audrey:

Some things around here are getting back to their original habitat. I'm not sure how Sally did it but she put a lot of things in the front yard that were supposed to be in the back yard, and things in the back yard that were supposed to be in the front yard. One huge score a few days ago was we found ONKAHYE's (their Drascombe Lugger) previous floorboards, they were getting cracked so we replaced them and kept them to use to convert a boat trailer to a utility trailer from time to time. I went over to the neighbor's house to see if he had seen anything boat shaped and he said maybe, so we dug through a 6 foot pile of debris and found them. Audrey came walking up and started crying when she saw them. 

We have most everything in small piles, we are dragging our feet on making the big pile out by the curb hoping that a gent who might do ours and several neighbor's dock work can haul it off soon, but my guess is we will be doing the hauling. There is about a dump truck load, of other people's pier parts and vegetative debris. And some pier pilings, stand by to see how we move those.

Let's see, a few musings. 
1. We learned to not loan out our tools until we are done using them...maybe to not loan at all. Audrey has her Special Reserve that no one will ever get, her Grandma's ball peen hammer and regular claw hammer. 
2. We bought a trailer and lawn mower and fired the yard crew. They came by right after the storm and offered to do cleanup, took a deposit check for half and left. Cashed the check. 4 days later we have the work done so we called and told them to mail us a refund and they are no longer needed. Audrey got a John Deere with 22 hp motor and a cup holder for her grog. She also got a matching dump trailer. And another garden cart with big tires.
3. We went and rescued the flag off the end of the pier. Long story follows. Audrey tried to take it down while I was running other pre-storm errands but it wouldn't come down. It had a small rip and needed to be replaced, and we ran out of time to get it down. The flag was shredded and tangled during the storm, but both neighbors told us afterwards that they kept looking out to the end of our pier to see if the flag was still there, even taking photos and videos. I love the flag and hate that it got shredded, and hate those videos on Weather Channel of shredded flags. 

The flag flew until Sunday when I had enough and couldn't look at it any more. So I rounded up Audrey, a new flag, a folding ladder, a drill, a crowbar and the Sharknoe SCOUT and we headed out. Winds were blowing about 15, whitecaps, and surprisingly the bay water was cool, I was in the water and towed Audrey 250 feet out to the end of the pier so she could Skippervise and be an extra set of eyes while I worked on the halyard. tied SCOUT off to pier remnants I extended the 20 foot ladder and stuck it in the muck of the bay bottom, did I mention the jellyfish, both deal and live? Laid the top of the ladder against the piling that the flagpole (sunfish spar) was attached to. Went up the ladder, which was fun carrying flag, crowbar and drill, stowed that gear as best I could, undid the halyard and the flag only came down about halfway, as the shredded strips had snagged on piling hardware. I tugged enough so the stripe would finish shredding, and eventually got most of the bits of the old flag down. Part of it will be out there for a while. I hooked up the new flag, top snap shackle and raised the flag a bit to clip on the bottom shackle and found that the old flag had re-shackled itself by a few threads. Got that clear and raised the new flag, it snapped steadily the rest of the day. Gave Audrey the old flag which got tucked into her jacket, loaded the rescue equipment back onto SCOUT and mucked our way back to shore. 

We will keep that flag, maybe have it framed after we recover the other remnant.

4. When buying lumber and bags of paver stone, load lumber first.

We are doing great and enjoying the workout. Over 16,000 steps per day for the last few days. Today was some pressure washing, re-landscaping and changing out a few cabinets in the garage. 

Kent and Audrey

As I said:  indomitable.

After showing five storms recently, the National Hurricane Center chart of the Atlantic is surprisingly empty this morning.  Good.

From Tim comes a link to an article about the weaponization of Bach.  As you know Bach is the soundtrack of my life, but he frightens others away.  Rap ‘Music’ would do that to me.  I prefer my end of the spectrum.

Evanston is lovely today.  76 and sunny.  It is pleasant to be here for a while, a short while.  I’ve already made my reservation to fly back to the Low Country on October 19.  

I placed an order online at Binny’s, the local liquor chain store, and when I received notification that it was ready for pick-up I biked out, stopping first at a nearby Walgreens to get a flu shot, only to find that they are out of flu shots.  So I biked a mile farther to a CVS which had the vaccine.  I asked if there is a shortage and was told that there is not, but there are problems with distribution, which of course is true of most of the world’s resources.

I had noticed when I placed my order at Binny’s that my favorite liquid which recently has been $50 a bottle in Chicago and sometimes even $45 is now $65 a bottle.  I asked and was told as I expected:  Trump’s tariffs. 

I am out of shape.  You probably would not think so if you saw me, but I know.  I don’t know if I can do one-foot push-ups.  I know I should start resuming whatever of my workouts I can.  Tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Hilton Head Island: A Night in the Cabana

 Jason, who wisely migrated from the US to New Zealand with his family six years ago, emailed me an article, A Night in the Cabana, that I wrote for SAIL magazine thirty years ago. I had completely forgotten it, though I did remember the place and the story once I started reading.  I thank him.  It may be that the best gifts cost nothing.  I am very appreciate of this one and that Jason remembered the article all these years even if I didn’t.  I suppose I have forgotten a lot of what I have written over the past half century.

I have photographed the pages and reproduce them below.  I hope you can enlarge and read them. 

If not, Douglas has provided me with the text which I have added beneath the images.  I thank him

In the 1980s when Vilamoura Marina was being developed there was a shanty town of mostly Angolan refugees along the beach to the east.  The Cabana was located there.  When Carol and I were in Vilamoura in 2001, all that had been replaced with high rises. 

A night in the Cabana

By Webb Chiles

The Cabana is a restaurant — well, perhaps an eating place is more accurate—in the old section of Quartiera, about a mile east of Marina Vilamoura in southern Portugal. It consists of one large room with a high, thatched roof, an open fireplace where the food is grilled, and four rows of rough tables. In the five years between 1983, when we first visited the place, and 1988, when we returned after a circumnavigation, the only changes were that the rows of tables had been moved to right angles from where they had been; some improvement had been made to the chimney, for the place was less full of smoke; and the thatched roof had been covered with tin. Not replaced, but covered. Also, some of the people who live permanently aboard boats at Marina Vilamoura seemed to have developed a snobbish attitude toward the Cabana, which, one British lady sniffed to me, is “rather basic.” These people do not sail; they just reside on a boat tied to the dock. Basic, such as on a boat during rough weather at sea, they do not know.

I assume they mean that if you go to the Cabana you will find yourself sitting with— perhaps, horrors, even next to—Portuguese fishermen, which is the essence of the place. Although the boys who wait on the tables speak some English, the Cabana isn’t for us; it is for the Portuguese fishermen and laborers. And that means the food is good and inexpensive. Our poverty far exceeded our snobbishness. When in Vilamoura, we ate there a lot.

One night we took a group of people with us. This is necessary. You will never find the place on your own. Five years ago someone else first took us. And while waiting for the food, we began, as sailors will, to tell sea stories. One man volunteered the following. Perhaps I should comment at this point that in matters other than this story, he is a seemingly reasonable man of mature years and good judgment.

“Three of us left English Harbour, Antigua, the same morning for Bermuda on the first leg of our Atlantic crossings. Our boat being a little bigger and quicker, we pulled away and didn’t see the others again until Bermuda. But the other boats were both about 35 feet long, heavy, with full keels, and moved at much the same speed. Both, as I recall, were British, and neither had a radio transmitter.

“For the first few days, they remained within sight of one another, but then it got squally and they were driven apart and didn’t see one another again until port. Even so, they arrived only a few hours apart.

“The first to come in were Bill and Linda on Plentiful. When they got settled, we went over to them. Both were subdued—more than just the usual fatigue at passage end. ‘We lost Clarence overboard during a squall,’ Linda finally said. ‘He was sleeping beside the cabin when the wind came up suddenly. Plentiful heeled in a gust, and then there was some heavy rain and he was gone.’

“ ‘How far out?’ asked stupidly, for it made little difference.

“ ‘In the middle. A long way from anywhere. We reduced sail, but the rain lasted until dark. There was simply no visibility. No way we could find him.’ Bill smiled sheepishly as he continued. ‘I even released the man-overboard pole and buoy. Just to mark the spot. I don’t think I’d ever realized how difficult it would be to recover anyone in those conditions.’

“We arranged to meet later for a drink and went back to our boat.

“A couple of hours later we heard some noise. Susie went on deck and called down, ‘Lola Too is coming in.’ This was the other boat that left Antigua with us. We didn’t ever know them very well. Frank and Joan, I think they are.

“Well. anyway, they powered slowly by Plentiful, and the woman called something, which we couldn't hear; apparently, neither could Bill and Linda. But instead of continuing on, Lola Too powered in circles until finally they used their fog horn, which got everyone’s attention, and Linda’s head appeared in the companionway.

“Joan pointed at something sitting contentedly at her feet. ‘Here’s your cat.’ she called.

“Clarence!” Linda cried and all but leapt across the water. But Clarence merely stared at her inscrutably. It was in fact a very long time before he forgave them.

“Just before dark the mid-passage squall had ended for Lola Too, and Joan caught sight of a man-overboard pole. The waves were not big, and they changed course, not expecting to find anything. They assumed the pole had fallen off some boat by accident and they might pick it up. As they approached they saw one wet, unhappy cat clinging grimly to the float. Naturally, they recognized Clarence and spent the rest of the passage contemplating how surprised Bill and Linda were going to be when they arrived in Bermuda.

“‘By the way, Joan called, as they powered off to tie up Lola Too, ‘we also have your cat-overboard pole.’ ”

Just then the boy brought our food. “It is a true story,” the man who told it declared. “I swear it.”

As I have said, he is otherwise a reasonable man. If you are ever in Vilamoura when we are, we will take you to the Cabana and show you where he sat.

Circumnavigator Webb Chiles is sailing along the U.S. East Coast.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Hilton Head Island: Sally; a find; ready


Storm Radar shows the remnants of Sally now out to sea.

In her time she dropped heavy rain on Michael and Layne and Rusty in the Florida Keys, then caused significant damage to Kent and Audrey’s Armada near Pensacola, Florida—the above photos are from Kent, passed well to the west of Hilton Head where we had only light to moderate rain and 20+ knot wind, then caused Steve Earley to pause his fall cruise on the Chesapeake for the comfort of a hotel room for a night or two.

 I am sure many of you also experienced Sally, but these are the people I have heard from.

Kent and Audrey felt the full force of the storm.  Kent wrote to me:

We drove the RV 90 miles East on Monday while they tried to figure out where the storm was going, intensity, etc...Spent the night in an RV Park. Got up yesterday morning and they forecast it to go 150 miles to the West around Biloxi. So we knew we'd get a lot of rain and came back to the house. Then last night the track started changing, 90 degree turn to Alabama. We rode it out in the house, over 20 inches of rain with gusts to 57 last night. The fun began today, the storm surge got bumped up from 1-3 to 4-7 and arrived at high tide, wind driven. We got a foot of water in the garage but none in the house. The pier sustained heavy damage and 2 of Audrey's Sunfish got whacked, but we can repair those, and she has 13 more to pick from. ONKAHYE got a little water on her tires, but otherwise stayed totally dry, which she wasn't happy about..

Looks like the weather station went underwater a couple of hours before high tide.

Sharknoe is fine, but WAVE needs a new nose job.

I think there should be a lawn and a pier out there somewhere.

I thank him for permission to share his email and photos and naturally am glad that he and Audrey are safe and wish the Armada full restoration.

The other day at Bed, Bath and Beyond—one of the lessor moments in an epic life—I saw a small battery or USB operated Treva fan.

Having become disillusioned with Calframo fans, I bought one.  Thus far it is perfect on GANNET.  So much so that I just ordered another, this one from Amazon who, naturally sells them for about a third less than Bed, Bath.

This is the 5” model.  They make others, including a 10” model that might be better suited for bigger boats.

Today in the wake of Sally is pleasantly cool.  76ºF at noon.  I have just come back to the condo after preparing GANNET to be left for a month or two.  I hope never again to leave her for long.  

Some problems are self-solving.  I had pretty much decided not to bend on the jib, but it was too windy yesterday anyway and there seemed no point today.  

My life is less complicated that it was a week ago.  San Diego has been eliminated and the flight between Chicago and Hilton Head Island takes less than two hours.  I leave the little boat with regret tempered by the knowledge that I will be back soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hilton Head Island: GANNET is again GANNET; Moore 24 video

 A rainy day here in the Low Country with moisture steadily being pulled in off the ocean by distant Sally.  Our rain is light to moderate, unlike the deluge falling on Alabama and northwestern Florida.  I ate my morning uncooked oatmeal on the screened porch, enjoying the rain falling a few feet away.

Although you are going to have to wait for a photograph, GANNET is again GANNET.  Her boom, boom vang and mainsail are all in place.  The wires to the steaming light and masthead tricolor/anchor light reattached.  The deck scrubbed.  Halyards sorted out.  Interior organized and soon when I can bring to the condo two duffle bags of clothes will be even neater than usual.  Only the jib and jib furling line are not in place.  I had decided to do that today, even though I am leaving the little boat during the hurricane season, simply out of a desire for full completion.  Maybe it will get done tomorrow.  

I had considered going for a day sail sometime this week,  but have decided against it because my ankle might make docking hazardous.

Several of you have emailed of a video about Moore 24s that has recently appeared at Sailing Anarchy.  I thank you all and particularly Pat who was first.

Scot, the editor of Sailing Anarchy and whom I know personally, wanted to make a video of GANNET this last time I was in San Diego, but I moved too fast for him.

The boat in the video is the SC version with a wedge deckhouse.  These were built toward the end of production.  While the low deckhouse is not unattractive, I much prefer the original flush deck version.  I can’t image that the deckhouse adds much interior space and to my mind and eye it is a slight compromise in an uncompromising boat.  It is less expensive and often easier to modify yourself than your boat.  Accept the Moore 24 for what she is.  Embrace her and adapt yourself.  I have and I am 6’1” and old.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hilton Head Island: GANNET and the behemoth 2

Little GANNET has again docked next to the biggest vessel in the marina.  This one is named FATHOM THIS and reportedly started life, seemingly about when I did, though I am in decidedly better shape even with a sprained ankle, as an excursion boat in New York City, which is the home port written on her rusty stern.

I am told that she belongs to a middle son of a large family who were featured on a television series called Alaskan Bush People, or something like that.  I had never before heard of it.  The boat’s engines do not work and it was towed to Hilton Head from I believe Charleston by a shrimp boat.  Mechanics have subsequently not been able to fix the engines.  The owner’s plan is to take it south to Florida and then across to the Bahamas where it will function as I know not what.  I do know that it will cost a fortune to restore it to a useable condition—I deliberately choose not to use ‘her’—and while not a business man cannot see how this can ever be a profitable venture or a good idea.

In the meantime it is big and heavy and in a serious storm may destroy the dock.  I hope that it is gone before such a storm arrives.

This morning I notified Boat US that GANNET is again in Hilton Head rather than San Diego.  GANNET has been insured by Boat US ever since I bought her and I know that rates for the same level of insurance vary widely from state to state.  California, usually an expensive place, is not for boat insurance.  Illinois is also low.  Florida the highest and South Carolina also high.  

My premium in San Diego was $161 per year.  When GANNET was at Hilton Head in 2018 the premium was about $650.  Today I was told it will be $850.  Hurricanes.

I went down to GANNET Saturday morning and restored order to the interior and partially on deck.  I moved a lot of stuff, including the Jordan Drogue, that had been in the dock box in San Diego, to the dock box here, and sorted out halyards and other deck lines.

I will bike down in a little while and attach the boom and likely the mainsail and scrub the deck.  The mainsail is only ‘likely’ because we drive to Charlotte Sunday and I will be leaving GANNET with more than a month of the hurricane season to go.  I don’t intend to bend on the jib.

Medical Bulletin 3.  My foot is almost normal size, at least when I first wake up in the morning, but the ankle is stiff puffy.  I thank those of you who have expressed sympathy and advised that similar injuries you have experienced have taken a long time to heal.  There is no doubt in my mind that old fools heal more slowly than young fools.  At least I do.  The great news is that I was just down testing if I can ride a bicycle.  I can.  No pain whatsoever.  Far better than walking.

Pedal on.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Hilton Head Island: ocean to ocean

 GANNET has made it.  She Torqeedoed into her slip at Skull Creek Marina a little after 11 AM this morning, having spent last night a mile away parked near the ball field.  Three friendly and competent young men from Marine Tech Travellifted her off Sandy’s truck, propped her up in the boat yard, and we raised the mast.  I include the ‘we’ because I was more than just an assistant this time.

Once the little boat was in the water—and Sandy affirmed that she is one of the smallest boats they have ever transported—I fit the Torqeedo.  One of the young men rode around to the slip with me while another walked to take our dock lines.  Being less than nimble these days, I am appreciative of the help.

GANNET is a total mess, inside worse than outside, but I can sort that out.  She’s here; and she’s again mine.

I thank Chris and Sandy of US Boathaulers and the guys at Marine Tech.  

Of course GANNET will be hauled from the water from time to time for antifouling and perhaps other maintenance, but she has had her last truck ride.  From now on she sails.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Hilton Head Island: underway

 The only gannet in Texas is on the move.  The screenshot is from 2 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

GANNET tells me that she has enjoyed returning to her once home state.  She  went over to Billy Bob’s, did some line dancing, drank some beer, ate some barbecue.  But she has become a sea bird and is happy to be heading for the ocean.  Unloading anticipated for Friday morning.

I thank Bob for noticing that I have again been quoted in the aid of commerce.  The business of America is business and I am proud to do my small part.  This in LATITUDE 38.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Hilton Head Island: love and hate

 9:30 PM.  I am sitting on the screened in part of our deck with a plastic of Plymouth gin at hand. I have already had enough to drink, but it has been a frustrating evening.

So lets deal with love first.

Several men worked today on our air conditioning,  There were thumps and screeches from the attic.  However they didn’t quite finish.  For the third or fourth day in a row it was said that they will be finished tomorrow.

The lack of air conditioning was not a problem today which was overcast and relatively comfortable with a high about 80.  

Carol and I had our morning coffee on the unscreened part of our deck, watching a Great Blue Heron seeking his own breakfast.  It was lovely.  

That the water is so close, that I have whatever I am doing only to glance up and see it is such a pleasure.  I am aware that that closeness may in a hurricane destroy this place and kill me.  I knowingly accept the trade off.

The marina office is a six or seven minute walk away.  Today I let Carol drive me to the parking lot about half way along and hobbled out and paid for GANNET’s slip for a year in advance.  This saves almost six hundred dollars a year and makes her slip here that much cheaper than it was in San Diego.  At the office I saw Fred, the former dock master, Marc, the office manager, and Ben, the current dockmaster.  There has been a change in ownership of this marina since I sailed away in January of last year, but the people here are the same and really nice.

This evening Carol made the maiden voyage on the kitchen’ s induction stove.  I observed.

If you have been here a while you know i am not technology adverse.  I am in fact often the world’s oldest early adapter, as I am with OpenWind.  I am willing to take a calculated chance and leap into the unknown  However as some of you know an induction stove doesn’t remotely look like a stove. It is a touch screen and as I observed it works.

Carol made us a one pan Greek gyro dinner that was very good.  

I learned enough so I can boil water, which is all I ever want to do.

From time to time today I checked with disappointment the Yellowbrick tracking page.  GANNET remained in the big rig parking lot near Weatherford, Texas.

Positions are updated GMT which with the East Coast being on summer time is 2 am/pm and 8 am/pm here.  I accepted the lack of motion until 8 pm this evening.  The last I was told was that GANNET would be here tomorrow afternoon.  The parking lot west of Weatherford, Texas, is 1120 miles from Hilton Head Island.  Now I am going to say something really vain, but perhaps excusable because it is quantifiable.  I don’t expect anyone to function as I do.  How many people do you know who do what they say they will when they say they will?  Much less do so while doing things no one else ever has.  So I try to make realistic expectations.  But when I saw GANNET still in the parking lot west of Weatherford, Texas at 7 pm tonight I became expletive deleted angry.  She was 1120 miles from where I was told she would be tomorrow afternoon.

I made a phone call to Chris, the owner of US Hauling and got an answering machine.  I said what is happening?  You told me the boat would be here tomorrow.  If not, why not?

A few minutes later I sent an email saying the same thing and saying I would rather have a response by email than phone.

I received one not long later.

Sandy's truck had a problem this morning. He left at 5 am to travel east. But had to turn back. Its good he turned around because we found he had a bad injector dumping fuel into the oil pan which could have caused the trucktch fire. They worked on the truck all day and already have the motor going back together. He should be on the road in the morning and will be arriving Thursday night latest. If his truck is not complete by 11 am tomorrow, I plan on connecting to the trailer myself and finishing the trip personally. The boat will be in SC for unloading no later that Friday AM garenteed. 

I replied:

I understand from my voyages that things happen beyond one’s control. It might have been better to have kept me up to date earlier. Another day or two doesn’t matter. I expect you can understand my frustration at not knowing what is happening. Just keep me informed. We do have to coordinate with Marine Tech at this end.

(This is automatically formatting in a weird way that I don’t want to deal with.  I just want you to know this is not my idea.)

The love is for Carol enjoying cooking on her new induction stove.  We gutted this place.  Only the shell is the same.  Everything single thing and surface inside is changed and all the changes are Carol’s.

The hate, and it is not too strong a word, is for me to be dependent on others.  I understand this.  It comes from my childhood,  I probably need to repeat what I have written before that of the almost eight billion homo sapiens on this planet I am the least deserving of sympathy.  As an aside I do get tired of having repeatedly to bridge the gap.  I long for the time that no workers are in this condo and I long for the time when GANNET is in her slip in Skull Creek Marina, mast up, and again solely mine.  I will have her hauled out of the water again from time to time to antifoul.   Use riggers and sailmakers again.  But I will never let her out of my control again as she is  now.  I truly hate it.

It is by the way really nice out here.