Anthem Adrift

21 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
18 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
17 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
15 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
14 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
13 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
10 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
09 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
02 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
01 April 2017 | Key West, Florida
01 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
29 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
27 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
26 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
21 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
20 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
14 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
12 March 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina - Not
23 February 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
10 February 2017 | Cullen Bay Slipway, Darwin

Some Fit, Some Fiddling

21 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Wednesday 19 April 2017

Visit to surgeon this morning helped allay some concerns and Jan is scheduled for additional excavation tomorrow afternoon, assuming open slot in burn unit schedule that allowed immediate response to her biopsy, isn't needed for an emergency. Another night of hospital food and excellent narcotics. Invasive margins were clear of cancer, but some of that had already found its way into most upstream of, as it turns out, 5 removed lymph nodes. Any additional cancer cells are confined inside ducts. Full chemo, radiation and herceptin treatments will be necessary. Not great news, but not awful either.


Decided to pass on full axillary node removal as new evidence indicates no better prognosis and potential for lymphedema and nerve damage, i.e. because it doesn't help, didn't rip out all the tissue under her arm, which could result in long-term swelling and some loss of motion. Threat to lash her into bed (no Cal, this isn't S&M, it means restrain) for rest when we got home this morning unnecessary - usual healthy, perky self, but tired. Pathology report may be quicker this time if huge memorial holiday, Anzac Day on Tuesday, doesn't screw it up. Surgeon and GP appointments Wednesday, oncologists Thursday. Probably start chemo in four weeks.

Professional help nearly stymied by corroded bits on pedestal, but now all done. Sand blasting to prepare surfaces has already done wonders for appearance. Rest of cockpit will look shabby with beautiful, new centerpiece. New winch stems ordered. May take several weeks until arrival in which to enjoy ignoring both future work and pile of parts in forward head. Two major projects now in train after which (OK, during which too) fiddling and diddling should become mantra. Day projects only (defined as taking no more than than a week without adult supervision).


The girl slept all afternoon, all night and now, late morning, at it again. Longer op probably required more anesthetic that needs to wash through system. More work was done including some plastic surgery making everything more sore, probably staying that way longer, but results and prognosis good. She's tired, but feeling fine under the circumstances with plenty of happy pills. As for balance of crew, although distraught and guilt-ridden due inability to do any work on boat (what are YOU laughing at?) that might cause noise, have to bow to ingrained altruistic nature (quit it, your eyes are watering and your face is turning red) and learn to tolerate sloth (OK, get up off the floor you miserable cynic).

Awning remains off causing ACs to struggle while barely keeping interior comfortable as new tropical low builds northeast. Darwin without rain little better than with. Goofing off using numerous available excuses, however, doesn't suck at all.


Contemptible Cadliness

18 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Tuesday 18 April 2017

Finally noticed, after nearly 4 days, that doxycycline had begun working. Many would consider this good news, despite loss of excuse to goof off. Albeit comparatively miniscule, witness another in a current series of yin/yang moments. This one ostensibly with yang in ascendancy. If one does a bit of research, yang is masculine and light; generally considered positive, yin is feminine and dark; generally considered negative.

Odd that nobody seems terribly put out about gender chauvinism implied in the yinyang concept, perhaps because it's Chinese philosophy, but, depending on one's imputed "tribe", many individuals get serious heat, sometimes justified, for similar type references. Makes you wonder about the capriciousness of aggressive indignation engendered by names, comments, looks and even inferred thoughts. Suggest that outrage shouldn't be a social mechanism to elevate one's moral status, but should rather be reserved for actual offensive acts. It's about the behavior, not the observer. Microinsults look an awful lot like microbullsqueeze and being a perpetual victim like being a perpetual loser, which seems a poor way to proceed through life. Suggest that when we expect tolerance to be required of producers as defined by receivers we create exactly the opposite of what a liberal society once considered tolerance. Come on guys, get a grip. All outraged, victims of this ofay, white bread, honky stream of consciousness, which has chased its yang tail through the above paragraph, should make a report of scandalous injustice to the PC police and organize a protest march on Washington (or the local, state, provincial or national government of your choice).

Since this is a "cruising under sail" blog, there will be precious little of that for the next year, an idle mind is a playground for intemperate thoughts and someone (who shall remain unnamed) has apparently lost the forbearance necessary to censor his dark thoughts, offended parties should probably just tell him to shut the hell up until back underway and ignore concerns such imprecations might cause for psychic damage (see previous paragraph). However, since this exercise is primarily for personal amusement, such advice might be ignored.


Ups and Downs

17 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Monday 17 April 2017

Chisels, wedges, blocks of wood and working the pedestal back and forth eventually got the thing off. Think to wait on professional help for removing bolts still implanted in base as "bigger hammer" method using biggest hammer available was ineffective. Hope to never remove it again, but expect to use butyl as sealant this time.

Absent primary winches and steering apparatus including chart plotter and autopilot control, cockpit is open, airy and uncluttered with sufficient room for a stroll - a sleek, modern look. Perhaps we'll keep it this way, motor everywhere so sail handling is unnecessary, use a remote autopilot control to steer and an iPad for navigation. Absent a morse lever for engine management, we could hire a brownie to live in the engine compartment and change direction and RPM using an engine order telegraph like on older ships. Problem is that while really cool and wonderfully nautical, they're also a significant chunk of hardware, undermining original point. Plus the help would probably belong to a militant elf union, make extravagant demands and be off to the North Pole for a month every December. Dang, if it weren't for that we could have had a perfect setup. There are sometimes no easy solutions for the simplest of life's desires.

- Later

Speaking of which, southeast monsoonal shift has occurred making weather perfect for off-wind sail to Christmas Island should anyone wish to go now. Rain has eased and blue sky predominates. However, more sun means more heat, it's still humid, area delights remain limited and we just received result of pathology. Margin at end of involved duct was not clear and one node was positive. Looks like another trip to surgery, perhaps Thursday, for more chopping and removal of all axillary lymph. After that, waiting another week or more for that pathology and probably at least four weeks to begin chemotherapy, which is now certain. Disproportionate Yin in the Yang. Bugger.


Resurrection Deflection

15 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Saturday 15 April 2017

Absence of reference last few days to pedestal disassembly has been apurpose. Grant, who will perform resurfacing of various aluminum parts for several of us, indicated he wouldn't be ready until Monday. Well... in the sagacious words of Ellen DeGeneres, "Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off."

Although not able to completely follow Ellen's advice, have merely fiddled with the project for last 2 days in 45 C, but at least to the point where every fastener and bit of hardware is removed and pedestal would come right off if it weren't a subversive, deceitful, cantankerous, perverse, evil antagonist intent on making life a living hell like every other piece of boat hardware!!! Oh... Sorry, got carried away. I'm better now. But still, where's the Incredible Hulk when you need him? Huh? Huh? Apparently the builder used 3M 5200 to secure it to deck and embed bolts. Past concerns about breaking the thing loose by falling against it in a seaway have been alleviated. Banging a putty knife all around between base and deck using polyurethane de-bonding liquid while creating some movement has proven insufficient. Crikey! Now considering 2-ton bottle jack to push up the one bolt of four that can kinda, sorta be reached or, alternatively, dynamite. Let this be a lesson to anyone planning to go cruising. Don't even think about it until you make enough money to buy a vessel with a helipad and keep full maintenance and engineering teams on standby. That's the plan for next life.


Because upper dates (left of location info on Sailblog site) don't show up on saved entries that are occasionally used for reference to figure out what the (expletive deleted) we were doing when, have tried (not too hard and so far vainly) to remove them and leave only the one. Since redundancy has existed for eight years and nobody's going back to change, one by one, the 1200 or so entries, motivation for continued effort is meager. If they differ, use the one you like. Lower is day begun. Upper may or may not be day of castation (not a real word and not to be confused with a painful, voice fixing procedure not banned until 1903) onto the airwaves.

Currently halfway though doxycycline series, still hacking up hairballs and getting exhausted from even modest amounts of whimpering. Oh sure, everybody likes to be sick now and again so he can skip school, lie on the couch in the den all day with a hot cup of chicken noodle soup under a quilt mom crocheted after work in adult night class and watch old Boris Karloff movies on the telly, but after awhile even that can get tedious.


Redemption and Recovery

14 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Friday 14 April 2017

Using finely honed observational skills have, after 8 years, cleverly noticed redundant dating on website entries. Seldom look at these things after posting, but one would think... I mean 8 years? Jeez! Perception precipitated only when pointed out by ex-pat Australian friend (Geoff on Beach House in the Caribbean) following discontinuation of position reports (Winlink insisted since they're now redundant too) which are on a separate page and the only place to provide date insertion. See, this is what happens when you start making snarky remarks (such as this one) about people who primarily use large, highly evolved brains to prevent their skulls from collapsing.

"Whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the glaring defects in other people's characters." - Margaret Halsey

Yesterday after four weeks of coughing up every toenail except ones on the little piggies that go wee wee wee, went to a doctor. She was a little bitty thing dressed up like a street dancer during Mardi Gras who listened for awhile though her stethoscope to the bacteria playing ping pong in my lungs before shipping me off to the chemist for doxycycline. Anticipate return to robust, studly fettle in two or three days.

Subsequently, normally empathetic, Canadian crew took us cycling around Darwin and nearby suburbs this morning as rest of peloton kept her in sight through a veil of misery then, upon return to boat, melted onto aft bunk in a twitching, protoplasmic blob, moaning plaintively and yet experiencing total indifference. Veracity of foregoing dramatization should be taken with a grain of salt from someone who thinks high sympathy is an exhortation to harden up.



13 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Thursday 13 April 2017

Like to send out a big huzzah to United Airlines and O'Hare cops for the entertaining performance that was delightfully captured in a video. Despite the uniquely splendid stupidity of a service company (some evidence exists that the airline may be unaware of this fact) treating a customer this way thus eliciting well-deserved condemnation, one might consider some context. Travel through an airport has been programmed to be as miserable as possible to assure the traveling public that everything is being done to make air travel safe. Many people actually believe this. Paying passengers aren't individuals with rights and dignity, but rather pawns in the more important game of politics. Although one wonders what algorithm was used to "randomly" choose bumpees after no one took agent's offers of $400 then $800 to wait for a following flight, the airline was operating in a more or less reasonable manner up to the point they allowed police goons to use force. The dead-heading crew were likely put on to prevent cancellation of a flight that would "re-accommodate" an entire plane- load of passengers elsewhere. Anyway, one appreciates such episodes (it was legitimate news because there was blood) as they are thought-provoking or alternatively help to enliven the otherwise drab, ovine existence of un- skeptical people who are more comfortable believing everything they're told.


Grammar Slammer

10 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Monday 10 April 2017

Against excellent advice, energetic crew finally convinced torpid complement that walking to Coffee Club at Darwin Waterfront (nearly 5 km return) for brekky didn't suck too badly. Breakfast was good and a high overcast, although inferior to AC had we autoed (verbifying nouns is very bad form), kept temps down so it came in just under the sucking badly threshold (nounifying verbs as well)... somebody stop me. Also had the advantage of further delaying unpleasantness associated with dismantling helm, but complicating completion by Wednesday, which is now an additional half day behind schedule (Brits say shedule, Yanks say skedule, nobody says schedule - hardly anyone should spend time contemplating the ramifications). It was already impossible and is now even more impossibler (not a real word, not proper phrasing even if it were, totally inane and yet making more sense than actual menu item once noticed: all-you-can-eat, half order).

After cleaning up and organizing winch parts and boat in general, disassembled much of bimini to again remove arch, compass and other pedestal accessories, we were too tired to cook fresh salmon purchased at fish market on walk back. Heated up a couple of meat pies and Cup-o-Soup for dinner before practicing unconsciousness around 8pm.


Visit to radiology oncologist this morning was interesting, but otherwise pointless as pathology results not yet available and radiation treatment may not begin for several months as it would follow any chemotherapy. Although a second visit to him is scheduled for 27 April, appointment for the medical oncologist (chemo guy) wasn't scheduled until 2 May, four weeks post-op and potentially past time when therapy could start. Scheduler seemed surprised when we requested sooner - moved up a little to 27 April.

Further dampening enthusiasm for boat or any other work (as if that's necessary) is a tropical low/potential cyclone bringing constant rain and soon winds in the 45 knot or more range through tomorrow. Pedestal project delayed yet again as awning was removed in driving rain just before wind eased off.


Stop And Go Not Status Quo

09 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
New and Old Bases

Sunday 9 April 2017

We're pitiful. After a breakfast foray Thursday, Jan crashed for a day and a half, then went to the early Saturday market and crashed again; still asleep at 1100. Making her rest is like trying to control a rambunctious puppy. Meantime balance of crew is still enjoying full effects of lurgy that won't die. Sea cucumbers are frenetic in comparison. Cabin fever is building to epic proportions. When we can finally bust out unfettered into the great world, havoc and mayhem will no doubt be strewn in our wake. Watch CNN for the devastating aftermath. Some slight hyperbole may be present in the preceding.

Because new bronze winch bases are completely incompatible with old stems (heart of winch) despite advice they were, consideration is being given to dump even more money into project and buy new stems. Appropriate parties at UK dealer and Lewmar have provided double pinky swear that all gears, bearings and other old bits will properly fit. Previous plan to sand blast, chromate and paint old alloy bases still leaves severe pitting and suspect helicoils in place not even to mention welding on one stem where it had cracked.

Since this whole operation is immobile for awhile and opportunity has presented for a professional job, decided to dismantle helm pedestal for renovation. Someone competent could get it out in less than four hours. On-board maintenance division may take four days. This will require initiative, tenacity, ingenuity and physical effort. Search of personnel records to find a member of crew with heretofore unrealized qualifications has begun. Must be done by Wednesday. Should probably get busy.


Muted Mortification or Ignoring Ignominy

02 April 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Sunday 2 April 2017

Despite prevailing wind beginning to shift (or perhaps because of it) weather has, if anything, gotten worse. Impressive thunderstorms, heat and high humidity may, as has been alleged by ostensibly credible sources who are seemingly sincere, decrease as the "dry" season advances. Too bad Charles (a seminal thinker who provided a proper answer to one of humanity's great questions.. oops, there goes some readership) couldn't have been immortalized by namesaking a neat place like Sydney. Perth or Freemantle might have been OK too.

Celebrated Jan's birthday (it's actually just an anniversary because, as with most freethinkers, birth is a one-time deal.. oops, lost a few more) last night with mates at a restaurant on the end of Stokes Hill Wharf, "Crustaceans". Ironically nearly everyone had steak and no one had lobster or barnacles (rarely served even in seafood restaurants, perhaps because they're more trouble than they're worth being very small, tough and tasting like crap). Fun. We'll enjoy their company while we can as all heading to Indonesia in July. Hope to catch up in Malaysia or Thailand before end of year.

See how unseemly idle hands (the devil's playground) can be? With no work to do (or more precisely not doing it) there is little to fetter the extravagances of convoluted reflection conveyed into words before dissemination into the ether to corrupt sensible discourse. That last sentence is a prime example. The slightest sense of shame should prevent such things.


Delete After Reading Redux

01 April 2017 | Key West, Florida
Fantasy Fest in Key West

Saturday 1 April 2017

Just as a reminder to those who are in on the joke, I'll republish some of a 2010 blog when I was supposedly en route to Galapagos for the first time.

For those who didn't see it originally, DO NOT READ ON!!! Delete this entire edition immediately, forget you ever saw it and continue as if nothing is amiss.

This could be the longest running April Fool's joke in history. By the way, Key West is still the best.


1 April 2010

This last six months has been the best April Fool's joke ever. After Trinidad, sailed back north via Jamaica and Yucatan (really enjoyed Isla Mujeres in 2005 and this time - highly recommended) to Key West. Have been keeping the boat on a mooring east of Fleming Key and renting a house off Caroline St. for about four months now. It started out as a joke for a few weeks, then sort of took on a life of its own. Initially thought to pretend crossing the Atlantic to the Med, but figured the current story would make more sense. I mostly play with the boat and hit the bars at night. Irish Kevin's has become a hangout in the evening after usually spending some of the afternoon at Schooner Wharf Bar. Michael McCloud is still a favorite. This should be the end of it, but you just know somebody won't get the message, so I'll keep it going for awhile. Please don't say anything when someone mentions me in the Pacific. This thing could take some sort of record. It could get in Guinness.

Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46 - MMSI xxxxxx750
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes
Jack: Formerly productive member of the community as a Northwest Airlines Captain who retired to become a drain on, and embarrassment to, polite society. [...]
While I will be delighted if anyone else enjoys these excursions into semi-intelligible foolishness, 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 [...]
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