The less than two hour flight from Hilton Head to Chicago was uneventful. The best kind. I put on my noise cancelling headphones, read some of Machiavelli’s THE PRINCE and some of a novel, WINTER JOURNEY, by an Australian, Diane Armstrong, and we landed, and after a mere $120 taxi ride I was home. I knew it would be expensive. Lake Forest is twice as far from O’Hare as is Evanston, but the real difference is that Lake Forest is beyond the standard Chicago taxi zone and the meter is multiplied by 1.5. It is considerably cheaper to prearrange for a limo, which is what I will do on my few remaining returns to the upper flatlands.
There is more adjusting to be done than in the past. I was here at the Lake Forest apartment only briefly when we moved in and since then Carol has reorganized and moved things around. She is presently at the office and I am mostly finding what I am looking for and mostly remembering how things work.
At 1:30 PM the temperature is a pleasant 73F/22.7C which feels like 73. Hilton Head is 92F/33.3C which feels like 112F/44.4C. This is very much to the point.
Recently published research shows that parts of the world are becoming too hot and humid for humans to survive.
Here is a link to a WASHINGTON POST article.
Here is a graphic from that article.
And here is more detail of the part of that graphic covering the United States.
The darker red the dot, the more dangerous the heat combined with humidity. One of the darkest red dots in the US is over Hilton Head.
If you read the article or one of the many similar others online, you will learn that the problem is heat combined with humidity so high that sweat doesn’t evaporate to cool the body. I have twice experienced this in Hilton Head during the past few weeks. One was serious. Once less so.
When Carol and I returned to the slip after our brief sail I removed the Torqeedo from the transom. This is not arduous. The electric outboard breaks down into parts, the heaviest of which, the shaft, weighs only twenty pounds. Yet by the time I had done so and moved it into the cabin, I was in trouble. I could not stow it in the stern, but had to leave it on the cabin sole, close the boat and walk back to the condo. Normally an easy ten minute walk, I almost didn’t make it. Obviously I did and was saved by air-conditioning, drinking cold water, and ice on my neck and forehead supplied by Carol while I sat collapsed for an hour.
The second time was less severe and occurred during the last quarter mile of a bike ride to and from the supermarket. I was not riding hard and I was fine on the way over and almost all the way back, but an invisible threshold was crossed as I neared home. I had no choice but to keep on going, locked up the bike, took the elevator instead of the stairs, got into the air-conditioned condo and recovered quickly.
Part of this is my age. Unquestioningly I can handle heat less well than when I was younger. I spent years sailing in the tropics in my thirties, forties and fifties without problems. But I believe the science. Part of this is that the world is rapidly becoming too hot and humid.
I have learned that I am going to have to be careful in the summer in Hilton Head. My directions for sailing from San Diego to Cape Horn are sail south until the rigging freezes over, then turn left. I don’t think the rigging will freeze over on the way to Iceland, but having to consider being too cold next July is increasingly attractive.
Recently I wrote to a friend a year older than I that I have never believed in the good old days, but maybe he and I have lived them.