My leg is sufficiently healed so that I biked down to GANNET today, although I did ride the condo elevator instead of taking the stairs as I usually do.
Once carefully on board GANNET I found the v-berth cushions to be exactly as desired. These are 5” thick, two inches thicker than the old ones, and fit much more snugly.
I restowed the stuff that belongs in the forepeak, but did not try to fit the pipe berths which requires contortions I did not want to risk. Maybe tomorrow. They, too, look to be perfect.
I am tired of being sedentary and will do some weight exercises this afternoon that only involve the upper body and try some crunches.
I thank Tim for a link to a piece about Alberto Torroba who crossed the Pacific Ocean in a 15’ dugout canoe that makes CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE seem luxurious. As you know I don’t read much about sailing, and the highly publicized big money events and races don’t interest me, but I am impressed by Alberto Torroba’s voyage, though it is not one I would have chosen to make. I don’t think his dugout sailed well enough to meet my standards.
If you read the piece you will find that this happened more than twenty years ago, back in the 1990s. Alberto obviously possesses rare qualities, but then he met a woman, had a child, and seemingly gave up the sea. I wonder how that is possible. How the sea can be so much a part of your life, and then it isn’t? I met women, and lost some because of my voyages. I always knew that I could not have children and live as I wanted to live and so I didn’t. I lost a woman or two about that as well. But give up the sea? Not unless I am physically or mentally incapacitated. I am 79 and in the dying part of a life which has gone on far longer than I ever imagined and I sit looking out at Skull Creek and consider what I ought to do next. I hope Alberto Torroba has found contentment as in a way I have.
A few days ago I finished an exceptionally good novel, WOLVES OF EDEN, by Kevin McCarthy, which came to me via BookBud. I suppose WOLVES OF EDEN is a western in that it is set in 1866 mostly in what is present day Wyoming and was then part of the Dakota Territory during what is known as the Red Cloud War after the Sioux Chief of that name. But this is no mere western. It is a fine novel.
As you would expect from his name, Kevin McCarthy is Irish, and three of the main characters in the novel are Irish immigrants who joined the Union Army during the Civil War because that was the only work open to them.
I am not going to say more, but if you are seeking something good to read, I recommend WOLVES OF EDEN.
After I finished WOLVES OF EDEN I started reading DRACULA, which I never have before. It is much different and much better than I expected. Even knowing what Count Dracula is, as almost everyone now does, the story is told with fascinating skill. An enjoyable and deserved classic.
FACING THE MOON: THE POEMS OF LI BAI AND DU FU has caused me to buy three more books of classical Chinese poetry. In them I often find significantly different translations of the same poem.
‘The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter’ which I posted here early this month
is in another anthology titled ‘Song of Changgang’ in a translation that is not I think equal to Ezra Pound’s.
I read that another poem of Li Bai’s, ‘Quiet Night Thoughts’ is the most famous Chinese poem, still memorized by Chinese school children today thirteen hundred years after it was written. Here are two translations.
A pool of moonlight on my bed this late hour
like a blanket of frost on the world.
I lift my eyes to a bright mountain moon.
Resigned, remembering my home, I bow.
Rustoleum makes a line of marine paint. I did not know that when I painted GANNET’s interior with Rustoleum and so used the widely available standard paint. I need to report that it has not held up and is flaking off. I will probably touch it up for a while, but will have to repaint the interior years sooner than expected. So, if you use Rustoleum on your boat, I strongly advise you find their marine paint.