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Anthem Adrift
Base Base
04/17/2014, Islas Galapagos

Thursday 17 April 2014

When finally graced by the official host, very polite all, cockpit was chockers with jack-booted multitude. Animated Spanish conversation and pointed questions from translator elevated angst for potential imminent expulsion, but, as the fellow who fell from a tall building thought to himself passing 25th floor, "so far so good!". We were allowed ashore for sustenance and requisite, previously alluded to, medicinal ministrations. However, snorkeler due 0900, may impose grievous recompense for befouling pristine World Heritage Site environment. Despite highly toxic anti-fouling treatment in Grenada, thorough cleaning of bottom was prohibitively prolonged after using a tankful of air at La Cruz Huanacoxle (additional juvenile cackle)and bulk of speed-robbing encrustation was removed, but with some soft growth remaining and heavy barnacles on bottom of keel.

Although wifi is reputed to be available by virtue of free, but highly censored government network, this has been another wicked deception, perpetrated, no doubt, by the forces of evil that pervade all human activity and have invade our brains to... Ouch... Jan just slapped me, so I'm OK now.

After bottom inspection, must deliver ourselves ashore to present at immigration as able 1000. Assuming no finding of moral turpitude (records have been sequestered) expect to be allowed to stay for maximum 20 days without official autografo.

- Later

Just got word that bottom of keel sufficiently encrusted with barnacles it may be necessary to remove boat 40 NM offshore to chisel them off, then get reinspected. Awaiting Port Captain decision. Of course, tomorrow is a holiday and then the weekend. Guess the critters know not to spawn until later next week.

Satisfaction with Sea Hawk ablative including TBT (stuff that's banned due toxicity for private yachts (but not the Navy) in US, New Zealand and Australia) at lowest ebb. Further info as story develops.

Jack

Sealed With a Kiss
04/16/2014, Islas Galapagos

Wednesday 16 April 2014

GRIB (Ghastly Reminder of Idiotic Buffoonery) was wrong. Disgruntlement remains at bay because, except for six hours overnight of no wind, had beautiful sailing to destination; 40 to 60 degrees off the apparent wind with 10 to 14 averaging 6 knots. Good thing it's not always like this or every Thomas, Richard and Harold would be out here playing loud hip-hop and dragging down on us.

Repeated calls to Capitan de Puerto on approach at 1345 were futile, but our agent's agent came round before the anchor was set to say inspection was a mere 45 minutes hence. This was a cruel hoax, but his heart was probably in the right place and, having dealt with multitudinous, disparate, entry officials over the years, we've learned to be pretty mellow about delays. Primary concern is burden of finding, before adverse symptoms eventuate (huh?), nearest happy hour ashore to catch up on scurvy/malaria medication. It's a health issue.

Only passage of time will determine if blockade of reverse transom steps has been effective in thwarting kind attentions of the noble sea lion.. the noisy, fat, stinky, cantankerous, noble sea lion. They're darn cute in those National Geographic films, but you just don't want one loitering on your home, falling in love with a fender or using the dink as an air bed. Think fish poo.

Jack

Fancy That
04/15/2014, Day 7 to Galapagos

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Seems we've gotten through the convergence zone mostly unscathed in just two days. A foul wind of 15 - 18 knots riding down our rhumb line most of yesterday eased off last night and with it the accompanying bash-on waves. Unfortunately we were set back sufficiently to make arrival during business hours Wednesday iffy. Have to email agent to see if authorities get cranky if boats come in late and clear in next day.

One consequence of the rough seas was waves rolling over the deck so solidly into forward cowl vents that dorade boxes, completely overburdened, cascaded seawater down into the "guest suite" (sounds way more impressive than forward bunk). Bugger. Note to self: turn vents around or cap them on passage.

Unperturbed by sogginess (WE don't have to sleep on a manky, mildewed mattress), we proceeded on with full moon shining down from a clear sky and, finally, cooler temps. There's something wrong about having to get closer to the equator to cool off. This morning, close-hauled under full sail, we're headed toward Isla Isabela rather than San Cristobal, our prospective destination, but have supreme confidence in GRIB (Good Reason to Imbibe Bourbon) prediction that wind will veer tonight allowing a tack over to starboard (somewhat before impacting that other place), taking us straight into Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (you may include this in fanciful stuff mentioned the other day).

Jack

Are You Sirius?
04/14/2014, Day 6 to Galapagos

Monday 14 April 2014

Based on "Sitemeter" there are several poor souls out there who are unable to fight an aberrant compulsion (this assumes there are normal ones) to look at this nonsense or who, unknowingly, chance upon it by accident or who think they may actually enhance their own base of knowledge or understanding of the cruising lifestyle by so reading. Good luck with all that.

Due our ever-present concern, however, that a reader will be so horrified that occupants of this boat, lacking the cognitive tools to do so, are allowed to roam freely, unsupervised and may consequently inform "competent" authority and have said occupants confronted by burly men in white coats who will confine them to a pleasant and possibly padded environment, a restatement of the purpose for this blog may be in order.

This disclaimer was included in the 25 January 2009 edition and remains essentially true to this very moment, to wit: "While I will be delighted if anyone else enjoys these excursions into blogospheric silliness, the primary purpose is personal amusement. This is not travelogue, cruising guide or philosophical exploration of anything in particular, merely random musing of a slightly twisted mind. Despite what, to most sane, rational readers, is obtuse verbiage and obscure references, I am often aware of what I mean and occasionally enjoy a chuckle."

In addition, despite above statement and although the author renounces all culpability for misleading anybody about anything, all assertions, data and references, except those obviously fanciful, are true to my best knowledge and research. Corrections are welcome and solicited. All expressed opinions should be skeptically examined for irony and satire or understood to be due to mental warpage and pathological Peterpanism. If anyone perceives from reading any of this malarkey that cruising is the most enjoyable and satisfying lifestyle this side of Alpha Canis Majoris, he should either immediately undergo psychiatric evaluation and therapy to be re-educated and re-assimilated or sell everything and buy a boat.

Jack

Ignorance To Consequences Zone
04/13/2014, Day 5 to Galapagos

Sunday 13 April 2014

Because water has more mass than air and reacts slowly, surface movement early in a blow is restrained and sailors can rip along in relative comfort. This benign effect is paid for at the end as sails, now getting slammed on each roll necessitating furling, no longer stabilize the craft which exhuberantly dances all over the ocean, rattling occupants around like dice in a cup. Adding insult to this vexing situation is the subsequently necessary engine clamor. Now, however, sustained languid air has finally calmed the troubled waters so roll is kinder allowing higher onboard life forms, although still assaulted by motive cacophony, more comfort. Overcast and constant rain in the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) is also keeping all occupants cooler and has washed away a crust of salt.

This congenial circumstance, however, has failed to quell angst of equine contingent. Having no fingers or toes and therefore miserably incompetent at even the most simple arithmetic, they refuse to accept assurances that given diesel shipped, time to destination and usage, we are unlikely to be becalmed due to fuel starvation or to thus run out of hay and oats. Since pitching the ponies after wallowing for weeks unable to move is mainly a thing of the past, perhaps we should tell them that "horse latitudes" is shorthand for "happy horses prancing around in a pasture when we make landfall in a few days latitudes". It could forestall unpleasantness in the future and help keep the skittish rascals contentedly benighted in case drastic action actually does become necessary.

Jack

Whoa Horsey
04/12/2014, Day 4 to Galapagos

Saturday 12 April 2014

Meant to burden the blogosphere yesterday, but used the energy instead to remain upright. Had 20 to 25 (coming across from Bahia Papagayo) on the beam all day, and roared along in 3 meter seas at 8 knots fully reefed. When speed remained above 8.5 (maximum theoretical hull speed) for awhile, rolled in the genny and still made 7+ with staysail and a scrap of main. Yowzer! As predicted, wind went light and variable early this morning, so we've called on the god of internal combustion for help. At least the 1.5 to 2 knot foul current has moved abeam so we may still arrive Galapagos on the near side of prediction.

Jan's hot.. really hot, as are all hands. Thought temperature and humidity would decrease as we angled away from Central American coast, but didn't happen. Now we're approaching the ITCZ, so don't expect relief until entering cold Humboldt Current waters near the islands. All air movement comes across the bow from forward progress and scarcely refreshes. To provide heat relief to galley slave, the most culinarily incompetent crew made dinner Thursday night and pan de perdue this morning. Consequent health watch will remain in effect until further notice. Having the constitution of an opossum helps some of us, but concern runs rampant among others.

Forecast indicates doldrums now all the way to destination. Being selectively intelligent and widely read of sailing literature, the horses are understandably anxious. As they're given to hysteria, explaining that we have alternative propulsion besides wind to carry us through the latitudes named for their cousin's bloated carcasses is proving only minimally helpful.

Jack

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