Saturday, February 27, 2021

Hilton Head Island: Steve Earley is on his way; the better half


Steve Early and his 17’, Welsford Pathfinder, SPARTINA, have embarked on their longest cruise yet.  

Steve launched yesterday in Charleston and as you can see is heading southwest toward Hilton Head Island, which is near the lower left hand corner of the above image, and beyond.  It looks to me as though he will be here in two or three days.

You can follow his progress as I do at:

You have often heard me say that the Southern Hemisphere is the better side of the Equator, but I have never before seen so clearly how much more land there is in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern, and therefore more people, and therefore more problems, than in a new world map projection.

Look at all that water.  No wonder I like it down there.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hilton Head Island: seventh circumnavigation 2

 We drifted for a few minutes before a slight exhalation filled the sails and GANNET began to slip along at two to three knots.  At least there were no waves to collapse the sails.  The Atlantic was as smooth as had been the sheltered water on the landward side of the island.  I wished for more wind, but at least we were moving, and there are worse places to be on a sunny winter afternoon than on a small sailboat gliding across glassy water.

As the hours passed I watched the shore a couple of miles to port and two ships a few miles to starboard heading for the Savannah River and began to consider where I would spend the night.

GANNET’s outboard is an electric Torqeedo.  I like it for several reasons.  It breaks down into three parts and is easy to mount and remove from the transom.  It is quiet.  It is clean.  It precludes my having to carry gasoline and oil on board.  It’s battery can be charged from GANNET’s solar powered electrical system.  But it has drawbacks in that it is expensive and has limited range.  Just what GANNET’s range was at that moment I was uncertain.  I had three Torqeedo batteries on board.  One was ten years old and hadn’t be used in a long time and might be dead.  The other two were probably good for 6-8 miles each powering at 2.5-3 knots in smooth water and not against wind or tide.

At 5 PM we were nearing the north end of Hilton Head Island and the entrance into Port Royal Sound.  Sunset would be at 6.  I could certainly lower the Torqeedo back into the water and power into the sound and anchor there for the night, but the Atlantic Ocean was as smooth as a good harbor and I was reasonably certain that the night would be calm.  Ten minutes before sunset we were in 35’ of water a mile and a half off the northeast corner of the island and a half mile south of a buoy marking the dredged channel into the sound.  I went forward, pulled the Spade anchor and deployment bag onto deck and anchored.  As I made my way back aft I l was facing east.  The nearest land was Bermuda eight hundred miles away.  I figured it would provide sufficient shelter and went below to turn on the masthead anchor light and pour myself a drink which I took on deck with Boom 2 speakers and sipped and listened to Bach.

Dinner was freeze dry beef stew bought three years earlier with the water heated on the JetBoil stove.  Old times.

At sea I sleep on the windward pipe berth.  Well we were technically at sea, but neither berth was to windward and I had removed the berths to have the covers replaced, so I retired for a  quiet night on the v-berth.  A few years earlier the eye of Force Five Hurricane Matthew passed near where we were anchored.  Timing is almost everything.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hilton Head Island: seventh circumnavigation 1


On Tuesday morning I went down to GANNET at about 9 AM to prepare her for another epic voyage.  Well, not really so epic.  

Getting ready took longer than usual.  GANNET is no longer self-sufficient.  When really voyaging I could leave and return to the little boat with nothing more than the devices I carried in my messenger bag.  No longer.  I’ve removed as much from her as possible, including the Jordan drogue, clothes and most food.  I had to fill various water containers, stow things, fit the Torqeedo and check that it started.  It did.  Fit the tiller pilot.  Put the Velocitek in its mast mount.  Move the anchor and rode deployment bag from the bow to beneath the forward hatch.  Remove the mainsail and the tiller covers and the covers for the compass and the depth finder.  In all it took me more than an hour, but at 10:30 I was ready.  I undid the line to my new pile float and realized that I had placed the bracket on which I intended to hang it too high on the piling.  I tried tossing it up there two or three times and gave up and dropped it in the water.

I pushed GANNET back out of her slip.  The wind was northwest at 8 knots, pushing her back in, but the tide was still ebbing which neutralized that, and I leapt on board and put the Torqeedo in reverse until we were clear enough to go forward.

We were heading around Hilton Head Island counter-clockwise.  The northwest wind was behind and perfect.  I unfurled the jib, feeling resistance from one of the lead blocks on the furling line that I need to replace, set the Autohelm to steer, stopped the Torqeedo and tilted it out of the water.  It had been on for about seven minutes and its job was over for the day.  Water began to ripple past the hull as I brought in fenders and dock lines.

Past the marina Skull Creek runs south for almost two miles.  I’ve only sailed this way once before and that was when I left Hilton Head for Panama two years earlier during my previous circumnavigation.  I was careful to stay between the Intracoastal Waterway markers and was navigating by eye and the iSailor app on my iPhone.  The water in the channel is twenty and more feet deep.  In places just outside it is only one or two feet deep

Familiar restaurants on the shore seemed to fly past.  Dockside.  Hudson’s.  The wind was on the beam and gusty, heeling and rounding up the little boat sometimes more quickly than the Autohelm could respond.  At the turn at the marker at the bend to the west, we came hard on the wind.  I sheeted in the jib and took the tiller myself.  Two power boats had just come under the bridge and were heading toward us.  I hoped they understood sailboats well enough to know that if I were headed I would have to cut across their bows.  I had no room to tack away.  But I was not confident that they did.  

GANNET was heeled well over and making six knots under her small jib alone.  Smooth water.  The wind held steady.  Fine sailing, but I was relieved when we could ease sheets and fall off for the opening beneath the center of the bridge which is the only way on and off the island.  Mast height on GANNET is not a worry.  A small power boat was tied to a bridge piling fishing.  A brief lull in the bridge’s wind shadow and we were through.  

A curving half mile past the bridge the channel turns south again.  I don’t know where Skull Creek ends and Calibogue Sound begins.  Perhaps at the bridge itself.  With the wind now on the starboard quarter I set the mainsail and our speed rose to six and seven knots.  And then GANNET went out of control, rounded up and headed for a nearby shoal.  I glanced down and saw that the plastic end fitting on the tiller pilot arm had broken.  I grabbed the tiller, got us under control and when the sound opened wider, turned GANNET into the wind, loosely hove to, and slipped into the cabin and forward where I grabbed another tiller pilot, returned to the cockpit and swapped the old one out.  Back on course and the sailing was glorious.  Good wind.  Smooth water.  Warm sunshine.  February.

My plan had been to anchor somewhere near the south end of the island, but we were off Harbor Town at noon and no sailor wants to waste good wind, so I decided to keep on going.

We passed Hilton Head’s South Beach at 12.30.  A woman walking on the beach waved at GANNET.  I waved back for GANNET who was busy sailing and unfortunately has no hands.

Hilton Head Island is eleven miles long, the second biggest barrier island on the Atlantic Coast—New York’s Long Island is the biggest—and shaped like a shoe running northeast-southwest.  We were rounding the toe and heading up the sole of the shoe which is an almost continuous hard white sand beach that is perhaps Hilton Head’s chief tourist attraction.  However you don’t make a sharp turn and you don’t sail close to the shore.  Shoals extend out two to three miles.  The channels are marked, but I kept close watch on our position on my iPhone. Finally we were able to make the turn to the northeast three miles offshore.  As soon as we did the wind went behind us and died.

To be continued.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Hilton Head Island: my seventh circumnavigation

 You may be surprised to learn that if I can get GANNET out of her slip tomorrow against expected NNW wind I will embark on my seventh circumnavigation.  This one will be more modest than the first six.  I propose to circumnavigate Hilton Head Island which is only eleven miles long.  If all goes well this will take three days.  Remember that I’m old and slow.  I plan to anchor for two nights and sip desirable liquids and listen to music without being concerned that I am bothering anyone and watch sunsets.  It will not be a great adventure, but if you have been paying attention you know I do not seek adventures.  I hope it will be enjoyable.  I am a married monk, but like other married monks in the past, I do seek pleasure.

If you want to follow I will set the Yellowbrick to update positions every hour while I am underway.  

Surely you have the tracking page bookmarked among your favorites.  In the remote chance you inexplicably have failed to do this the tracking page is:


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Hilton Head Island: how the other half lives

 Carol ventured from the Evanston condo yesterday and walked down to the lake where she took the above photos.  I thank her for permission to use them and for her not asking me to join her there.

Here is what Hilton Head looked like at about the same time.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Hilton Head Island: four small boats; longitude; and a poem

Yesterday I watched Pinckney Island appear and disappear in fog.  Today I watch it appear and disappear in rain.  But the forecast for next week is good and I have hopes of going sailing and anchoring out for a night or two.  Before I do I will have to inventory what is still left on GANNET.  

Steve Earley is coming this way next month.  With the freedom of retirement he is taking longer cruises and venturing into new waters.  He plans to launch SPARTINA in Charleston and follow the Intracoastal waterway to Jacksonville, Florida, or nearby.  I am looking forward to seeing SPARTINA from our windows.  Oh, yes, and Steve, too.

(Parenthetically I wonder how come I don’t get to retire.  My friend, Michael, has his date.  Carol has hers.  Steve already has.  Then I recall that my grandmother said that I retired the day I graduated from college, and that I have been free now for almost fifty years, and I have no desire to retire.  Time will retire me soon enough.)

In a recent post in his Log of Spartina Steve wrote of two appealing small boats.

One is COD, a 23’ dory being cruised by a young brother and sister on the Intracoastal from North Carolina to Florida.   Their story pleases me and I smile with admiration for them.

I copy the link Steve provides to an article about them which I believe you will enjoy.

The other boat is a sister ship to Steve’s Welsford Pathfinder, ELIZABETH, which has been built with a cuddly cabin.  I do not find the Drascombe models with cabins aesthetically pleasing, but ELIZABETH is.  The proportions are right and I think she is lovely.  I applaud Noah, the builder and I assume designer of the cuddy.

After receiving Ken’s email mentioned in the last entry, I have been thinking about navigation which brought to mind a very good book, LONGITUDE, about John Harrison who solved the problem of finding longitude at sea with his chronometers.

‘Genius’ is one of the most abused words.  I have observed that mostly it is nothing more than an exclamation of admiration, like ‘super star’.  A former President even claimed to be a genius which is clear proof of how debased the word has become.  But if anyone is a genius John Harrison is.  I prefer the word ‘original’ to ‘genius’ and John Harrison was certainly an original.

LONGITUDE, the book by Dava Sorbel, is well worth reading, but in looking it up I learned that there was a two part television series based on the book and with the same name.  I bought it for $3.99 from Amazon and watched yesterday.  While it is perhaps a little too long, the TV series dramatically depicts Harrison’s decades long struggle to obtain the £20,000 prize offered by the British Admiralty for the first to solve the longitude problem.  How important this was to the Admiralty can be judged by knowing that would be more than $3,000,000 in present day money.

The series moves back and forth from Harrison’s time to the 1920s and 30s when a retired British Naval officer, Rupert Gould, found Harrison’s chronometers in poor condition and his own struggle to restore them.

Carol and I have seen Harrison’s chronometers at the Greenwich Maritime Museum.  They are objects of beauty as well as technical marvels.  We all owe both John Harrison and Rupert Gould a great deal.

Read the book; watch the TV series; or do both.  You will be well rewarded.

Navigation from Harrison to GPS did not change much, although the means of obtaining accurate time did.  On my early circumnavigations I got time signals with a Zenith Trans-Oceanic Radio.  It was big and heavy and powered by 8 D cell batteries.  How I kept it dry on EGREGIOUS I do not recall.

I am rereading Yeats, among others, and last evening came across ‘Under Ben Bulben’ which I have admired since I was young.

The poem is too long for me to copy here.  You can read it at:

The ending provides Yeats own epitaph:

Under bare Ben Bulben's head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid,   
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago; a church stands near,
By the road an ancient Cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase,   
On limestone quarried near the spot  
By his command these words are cut:

               Cast a cold eye   
               On life, on death.   
               Horseman, pass by!

I had that in mind when I wrote the last words in STORM 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Hilton Head Island: waxed; faces; flags; a bargain

 Something remarkable is happening today.  The sun is shining.  There is not a cloud in the sky.  The temperature is 61F/16C.  And I biked to GANNET and finished waxing her hull.  With a 14 knot west wind blowing GANNET toward the dock, the stern line to the pile float saved me from constantly having to push her away.  Because Audrey has yet to gallop by on her horse—she is making lame excuses that the horse is needed to pull pods containing the Armada to their new home in Virginia—when leaving I looked back a boat length away.  I think GANNET passes the test, but then it may help that I am more than half blind.

Of vision, Larry noticed a similarity in GANNET’s face and mine in the photo posted yesterday of GANNET from astern.  I recall someone commenting on this years ago when I ran a photo of her being towed to San Diego.  GANNET and I are both old and one-eyed, but she is prettier.

Mark noticed in the background in another of yesterday’s photos a boat flying a Confederate flag.  I don’t know the owner of that boat, but having become aware of it, I glanced over today and found that the boat now flies not a Confederate flag, but two United States flags.  And a Trump banner.

An email from Ken, an American living in Perth, Australia, about sextant navigation caused me to wonder if one of the books I used to learn celestial more than fifty years ago, Mary Blewitt’s CELESTIAL NAVIGATION FOR YACHTSMEN is still in print.  Amazingly it is.  Now in its 13th edition.  There even is a Kindle edition.  I am going to buy it to see what if anything has been changed.

Below is a screen shot of the Amazon listing page.  Note the edition in the middle.  A bargain.  “Only 1 left in stock—order soon.”  

Monday, February 15, 2021

Hilton Head Island: ringed; PATHS OF GLORY; digital sextant


From 7 PM Friday until 11 AM this Monday morning the temperature here has been 45º or 46ºF/7.5ºC and most of the time it has been raining.  Not quite Chamber of Commerce weather, but there is worse.  Carol just experienced a white out in lake effect snow in Evanston where the wind chill is below 0ºF/-18ºC.  

Rain has ceased here for a few hours.  High tide was near 11 AM, so under continued solid low overcast I carried the pile ring down to GANNET and easily fit it over the top of the piling.  GANNET now has lines at four points and should not rub against the dock.  

That was quick.  I only saw the pile float on the other boat a week ago.

I watched PATHS OF GLORY on Amazon Prime yesterday, or rather re-watched because I saw the film when it was first released in 1957.  There is a recent unintentional pattern of my rereading or re-watching books and films that influenced me as a teenager.  I have no fondness for my childhood and no desire to return to those less than golden days.  I am enjoying being an old man.  

Kazantzakis disappointed, but Joyce Cary’s THE HORSE’S MOUTH, both novel and film, and PATHS OF GLORY most definitely do not.  I have long believed that most soldiers do not die for a cause; they die because of the egos and stupidity of generals and politicians.  And once kings.  That belief is based in part from my reading history, but in part from PATHS OF GLORY.

Stanley Kubrick directed the film shot dramatically in black and white and is listed as one of the three screenwriters.  Kirk Douglas stars in perhaps his finest performance.

Set in WW1 1917 France, the story is of the motivations and consequences of a forced hopeless attack on a German position.  I am not going to say more except that PATHS OF GLORY might be the best film you have never seen.

From Zane comes a link to a digital sextant for which I thank him.  This is an intriguing idea, but I expect not cost effective and I wonder about its durability at sea.  As the article states, price is not yet available.

I navigated by sextant on my first two circumnavigations.  I still carry a plastic one on GANNET, but haven’t taken a sight in decades.  

I think that there is something to be said for any sailor going offshore to know how to take a noon sight for latitude which is quite easy and can also give a rough idea of longitude.  I googled ‘noon sight’ and found some explanations for how to take one that were incorrectly simple and many that were way too complicated.  Maybe someday I’ll write out my own.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Hilton Head Island: fog

 Our second successive foggy day.  

I biked to GANNET yesterday afternoon when it partially cleared and tried to wax the hull.  With near 100% humidity, the wax didn’t dry and was almost impossible to remove.  I soon gave up.

Today the fog remains dense into early afternoon and I won’t even try.  

continue reading IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE and am half way through.  Reading the novel while an impeachment trial is underway is illuminating.  Fact and fiction blur and merge.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Hilton Head Island: a ring and a prayer


I walked out to the end of the dock a few days ago and saw the pile ring above.  I had never seen one before.  This is an excellent idea which enables use of four dock lines instead of three and prevents a boat from rubbing against the dock.  When I got back to the condo I googled and found they are manufactured by a company based in Auckland, New Zealand, and for sale in the U.S.  The inside diameter of this model is 15”.  I measured the piling today.  It is 12” and I placed an order.

I do not pray, but if I did, this would be a good one.  The poet is William Butler Yeats.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Hilton Head Island: you are what you do; the eighth continent; painted; THE ODYSSEY: A Modern Sequel

 The heading of an opinion piece in yesterday’s NEW YORK TIMES:  Remember:  What You Do Is Not Who You Are.  I could not disagree more.

As you undoubtedly know on the lines page of the main site can be found:  What matters is action.  Not to think about writing, but to write.  Not to think about sailing, but to sail.  Not to think about loving, but to love.

You are exactly what you do,  No more.  No less.  No excuses.

Some of you may already know that scientists have decided that there is an eighth continent which they have named Zealandia after New Zealand which is almost the only part still above water.  I only learned this recently from an article on the BBC site.  I am oddly pleased to think of New Zealand as a continent.

I hear rain falling on the roof.  I see it splashing on the deck and on Skull Creek.  Rain is forecast for the next week.  I suppose that goes with living in a swamp.

Yesterday was sunny and I went down to GANNET and touched up the paint on the port side of the hull.  I have no idea when I will be able to wax and polish it.

The other side of A Dock is used mostly by transient catamarans on side-ties.  There have been four or five there for months.  Around February 1 they all disappeared.  I asked one of the dock masters about this and he said it was just chance.  They all decided to move on at the same time.  With Arctic cold covering much of this country to the north, I did not ask which direction they took.  Only the derelict ferry boat remains on that side of the dock.  I received some slight good news in that it may be being sold and moved.  Why anyone would buy it except for scrap I do not know, but I hope they do.

I started to reread Nikos Kazantzakis’s THE ODYSSEY:  A Modern Sequel, one of the most influential books of my youth.  I read it first when it was translated into English in 1958.  I was still in high school then.  And I read it again in college a few years later when I wrote an English Literature paper on it.  At both readings I had no experience of sailing oceans and little of women and of life beyond an unpleasant childhood.  

Certainly the poem is epic.  At 33,333 lines for whatever mystical reason it is three times longer than Homer’s ODYSSEY and that is part of the problem.  It would be better if Kazantzakis had stuck to Homer’s length.

I struggled through the first third of the poem in which Kazantzakis’s Ulysses leaves Ithaca with five followers, sails to Sparta where he lures Helen away from Menalaus—the poor man just couldn’t hang onto that woman—continues to Crete where he overthrows the King and then moves on to Africa.  There I had had enough.  To me now the poem is over wrought and repetitive and simplistic. And while it may be the translation, I do not find the poetry the equal of other epics.  

It might also be that I have learned a bit in the past sixty years in light of which what appealed to me at seventeen no longer does at seventy-nine.

I started Sinclair Lewis’s prescient 1935 novel, IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE, instead.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Hilton Head Island: ensnared

 I downloaded a GRIB a few afternoons ago covering Hilton Head to Bermuda for a week and saw that indeed there is no prevailing wind in these waters.  It was forecast to come from every direction and flip 180º almost daily.  This was verified by Windfinder Pro and Windy.  Interesting, at least to me, is that the wind at Islay and Reykjavik was forecast to be constantly from the east all week, and in both places rising to gale force.  The temperature is already pleasant in Bermuda:  lows 70sF/low 20sC.

I have an appointment for my first COVID shot on March 10.  The new pipe berths and v-berth cushions are scheduled to be made at about the same time.  It was my plan to sail around Bermuda after my second vaccine shot which should come three or four weeks after the first.  But then my phone rang.  It was the dermatologist’s office.  The biopsy of the lump that had been removed a week earlier shows it to be another squamous cell cancer and the doctor needs to chop me again.  With resignation I asked, “When?”  After a long pause while she checked the schedule, she said, “March 30.”  I have become used to this in HIlton Head.  Work can never be done for months.  GANNET’s canvas was ordered last October.  I waited for the bumbling rigger for almost three months.  Shelves in the closets three months.  Replacing screens on the porch two months.  I expect that the tourist sector of Hilton Head’s economy is hurting, but those serving the permanent residents are in a golden age.

I managed to negotiate the surgery to March 25.  An improvement, if only a slight one.

I cannot go to sea immediately after the next chopping.  There will be follow up and probably stitches to be removed.  And I cannot go to sea where my hygiene is less than optimal with an open wound.

I tell you this to explain why I may not do what I said I would when I said I would.  I might still be able to sail in April or May or even June, though that is the start of the hurricane season.  But I am suffering from a severe attack of captiaterraphobia, which long time readers may remember is fear of being trapped by land.  At least I am not surrounded by it.  I am on the edge, but I am ensnared.

I very much need to sail into the monastery of the sea.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Hilton Head Island: Hits; coffee; an old friend

I thank Carlos for a link to an amusing site that shows the number one hit song in the US on your date of birth, assuming you are not much older than I, which amazingly a few of you are.  It only goes back to 1941.

On my birthday the song was ‘Piano Concerto in B Flat’, a big band version of Tchaikovsky.  I never would have expected that.

On Carol’s it was ‘Twilight Time’ by The Platters.  I do remember that.

If you want to find your own:

I am smiling this morning, not just becaue of the above view from where I am sitting by our bedroom windows in which I take constant pleasure, but in a quote from astronaut, Jessica Meir, about a tank on a new space station toilet that recycles urine into potable water:  “Today’s coffee is tomorrow’s coffee.”  And for a comment made about Monday’s journal post.  In the likely event you have not read it, I repeat it here.

Dabbler wrote: "I’d rather be around skeptics. Skeptics hardly ever kill those who disagree with them."

I've read and enjoyed your blog for some time now but never felt the urge to comment. If you don't mind, I'd like to have that put on a mug, with attribution of course.

‘A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind’ already graces coffee cups.  

With this addition I will haunt breakfast tables long after I am dead.

Can a poem be a friend?  I think so and from time to time I come across one that I have liked for a long time and sometimes quoted in my writing.  That happened last evening when in the SEASHELL ANTHOLOGY OF GREAT POETRY I came across ‘Western Wind’ which I remembered quoting in one of my books when writing about a storm at sea.  I thought it was STORM PASSAGE.  I was two books off.  It was in THE OCEAN WAITS when CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE and I were  in a gale being blown backwards up the Red Sea. 

 After forcing down another dinner of uncooked freeze-dried food, I settled in to wait out the miserable night. I was wet, and colder than I had been at sea for several years. I recalled hearing over the radio a week or so earlier of 50º temperatures in the Persian Gulf. Somehow I had never thought of cold as being a problem in the Red Sea, although I have lived close enough to deserts to know that they cool off at night. My arms and shoulders and neck were stiff from steering all afternoon. It was, of course, far too wet to take out the radio. I watched the running lights of the ships a few miles away and thought of an old sailor's poem:


Western wind, when wilt thou blow,

That the small rain down can rain?

Oh, that my love were in my arms

And I in my bed again.


I didn't want a west wind, but the love and bed would have been most welcome.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Hilton Head Island: ENDANGERED SPECIES; the self-righteous; weather; big money


No. This is not my new boat, but she is a boat I have long admired and by chance I have come through email to know her current owner, Todd.

Many of you know of John Guzzwell, an Englishman born in 1930 who relocated to British Columbia as a young man.  Trained as a carpenter he built a 20’ boat, TREKKA, and sailed her alone around the world, meeting along the way Miles and Beryl Smeeton, whom he accompanied on their 46’ ketch, TZU HANG, on their attempt to round Cape Horn, during which TZU HANG was capsized and dismasted.

Of small boats I like TREKKA which was an advanced design for her time.

In I believe the 1990s John built the above 30’ cold molded sloop, ENDANGERED SPECIES, for himself and sailed and raced her.  I remember seeing photos of her back then and thought that she was what I would have built for myself if I were a boat builder, which I most decidedly am not.

She is something of a scaled down Ocean 60 racer with a 10’ beam, 7’ foil keel, displacing 5,000 pounds.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Todd about solo sailing in which he mentioned that he now owns ENDANGERED SPECIES, so I asked him for photos and permission to post them.  I thank him.

Todd says that the name is not about homo sapiens, though I think it apt, but about boat building in wood that John Guzzwell thinks is a craft that is endangered.  I agree.  I have only owned plastic boats because I want to sail them more than I want to maintain them, but wood is the only boat building material with soul and wood hulls finished bright have unequalled beauty.

I asked Todd if he does his own varnishing.  He does.  The job needs doing every two or three years.  But he also relates that he has a custom cover that cost more than I paid for GANNET.

Todd intends to sail ENDANGERED SPECIES in the Solo TransPac this summer, assuming the pandemic has eased and the race is run.  I hope it is and I wish him well.

Permit me to direct your attention again to the lines page of the main site where you will find:

The self-righteous are always willing that others suffer for their beliefs.

Unfortunately the self-righteous are increasingly active.  A few days ago those who are against the COVID vaccine blocked traffic and shut down for a while the vaccination center at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles imposing their will on those who wanted to be vaccinated and preventing them from being so.

Now I don’t actually care what anyone believes so long as they do not seek by force to impose their beliefs on others and do not persecute or kill those who do not share their beliefs.  But many of the self-righteous do persecute and kill and have throughout history and the world.

I do not know what is going on with life beyond that DNA seems to ‘want’ to project itself into the future in an endless passing of the buck.

A great many others are certain they know ‘the truth’.

I’d rather be around skeptics.  Skeptics hardly ever kill those who disagree with them.

I have added places I might sail to in the next two years to my weather app, Dark Sky, and to Windfinder Pro.

Today Hilton Head is overcast, intermittently rainy and 48F.  Wind 16 knots WNW.  I look out and see a few rare white caps on Skull Creek, though only 4” wavelets.

Bermuda:  some rain, 61F, wind 18 SSW.

Freeport, Bahamas:  70F, broken cloud cover, wind 12 knots W.

Reykjavik, Iceland:  28F, sunny, wind 11 knots NE.

Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland:  39F, cloudy, wind 12 knots E.

I’ll be keeping track from now on.

Those who follow U.S. football will be aware of the ten year $503,000,000 contract the young Kansas City Chief’s quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, recently signed.  A lot of money indeed, but not even close to the contract just revealed of the Argentine born soccer player, Lionel Messi, with the Spanish club, Barcelona, which is for $672,480,000.  For four years.  

Messi is in the conversation for the greatest soccer player of all time.  Personally I don’t agree with any GOAT.  No one except perhaps Shakespeare and Bach is clearly the greatest.  It is enough to say of anyone that in his field of endeavor no one is greater.  

Messi has had great success over a long career.  Patrick Mahomes success in a short one and may end up being considered one of the all time greats.

Are they worth such extraordinary money?  Is anyone?  I do not know.