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Anthem Adrift
Boring Recitation
10/27/2009, Crew's Inn, Chaguaramas

Chaguaramas Bay

October 27

Early day spent breaking fast, then finding new refrigerator thermostat (later installed), buying diesel and gas in jerry jugs at local place/prices (about $1.40 US/gal. vs. marinas which are closer to 4) and haunting a couple of chandleries (previously unconsidered, but now indispensable crap was bought) while awaiting late completion of work on port bow roller (also later installed).

Finally made it downtown by midafternoon to purchase, from Jimmy Aboud, premier local purveyor of all things fabric, 18 yards of Sunbrella for an awning. Paid a pretty good price of $14.71/yd for 60" tweed. Current bimini and sail cover color, 'Hemlock' (dark green), was unavailable, but 'Linen' matches well and much lighter hue should be cooler, or so the theory goes.

Lack of broad interest has doomed Asa Wright excursion, tomorrow, so will shop for groceries to place in newly operative frig. (admitting to breakage of same would be inappropriate and will not be done), launder indescribably grimy clothes, purchase additional diesel and, it is sincerely hoped, screw off for extended periods.

Jack

Foibles and Fantasies
10/26/2009, Crew's Inn, Chaguaramas

October 26

Breakfast is my favorite meal. Although possibly considered an affectation by cruising friends, any failure to ingest ovoid chicken ejecta (real word) due to circumstance, if one or more are available nearby, causes peckishness to ensue. Ensuement (not a real word) does not eventuate (huh?) without reasonable expectation (i.e. if I doesn't thinks to get it, I doesn't gets grumpy).

Blew most of day searching for propane to refill tanks and tap-dancing to induce reluctant manager to service old ones (liability). T & T enacted a law effective this May requiring hydrostatic testing of cylinders past five years from last and plant had, as yet, no such capability. Four of eight were out of range. Mine is dated 1985. Crap! After 30 or 40 minutes of tap-dancing we wore him down using every argument short of promising to die in any resultant explosion. Cost of gas was less than a quarter of transport to get there.

One interesting difference between Eastern Caribbean and Trinidad is more US boats (several from USVI) than Canadian here. Brits and Aussies also make up a much larger contingent. Cruiser net control this morning had the most beautiful Scottish accent. In event of conversion to Buddhism immediately prior to grisly and untimely demise (see some explanation of this reference from 6 Feb 2009 & 22 June 2009 and, with a more detailed exegesis for those with previous emails, 21 May 2008 & 29 April 2008), hope for next life with soft Highland burr. (Query. Is there a timely demise?)

Jack

Bonding With Nature
10/25/2009, Crew's Inn, Chaguaramas

October 25

If Anthem's underwater metals or bottom paint have the ssslightest problem with galvanic corrosion or electrolysis, will strenuously demand eradication of all natural laws governing either process despite this making batteries useless and and chromed Harleys ugly. Hands look and I feel used and abused, but new wire adorns each and every bit of drowned metal. After reinstalling access panels and re-stowing some locker contents, saloon looks like a small tornado went through, a vast improvement.

Had planned a trip to Port of Spain tomorrow, but have decided that recovering is a more felicitous option. There also exist a few other projects that, if completed, will free mind for planned Wednesday tour of Asa Wright Nature Center, some scarlet ibises (ibi?) and a four hour drive along the north coast with friends. Hope to sail somewhere Friday or Saturday. Grenada? Los Testigos?

"A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought." - Dorothy L. Sayers

Jack

Pick Your Fantasy
10/24/2009, Crew's Inn, Chaguaramas

Iguana by Roti Hut

October 24

Won't bore with details, but stars aligned to allow purchasing green 6 gauge wire for best price at Budget Marine this morning due to screwing around too long at late breakfast. Pulled and connected new stuff throughout front of boat. Will work lazarette manana. Discovered that worst offending thru' hull had not been bonded at all. Probably wouldn't have mattered anyway as old, corroded, brittle and broken 7 strand couldn't have been doing much in the way of passing electrons (stop chuckling, Rich, 'electrons' is not a euphemism for gas).

Ended day with potluck organized by Bristol Rose. Shared culinary concoctions with closest buds on porch of shuttered Roti Hut. I brought a succulent specialty for dessert, Chips Ahoy, which barely nosed out second choice, Oreos.

Have acclimated, climatologically speaking, to the point where AC retires when I do each night. Boat remains imminently comfortable until Sol sees newly pristine deck when it then becomes unbearable until electrical cooling recommences.

"American Breakfast" at Lighthouse Restaurant is $95tt. Choosing same components from ala carte menu creates bill of $72tt. The fallacy of "Buy American" is revealed with shocking clarity. Next lesson, "Recycling", to be followed, for the most perspicacious students only, by "Man-made Global Warming". Crews of Astarte and Sea Tryst are invited to attend introductory class "Trolls Under Bridges, Fact or Fiction", subtitle "Are Goats Really Worth the Effort?".

Jack

No Sir, I Don't Mean Maybe
10/23/2009, Crew's Inn, Chaguaramas

Anthem at Launch

October 23

Freely admit to celebrating, this afternoon and evening on patio adjacent to newly opened bar at Crew's Inn, a clean, floating abode aided by a smidgen (somewhere between none and massive amounts) of scotch with a host of friends and acquaintances. 'Tude has taken a huge leap forward.

Pulled wire most of the day (missing the big cricket match between Trinidad and Australia, handily won by the Aussies) while Danielle, lovely Venezuelan wife of Fred (who will be working on Anthem's varnish), cleaned yard crud from her deck. Boat is completely un-bonded until new wire installed. Confidence high that, in the interim, this is an OK thing...

Evening ended sustaining wounds from knucklehead kitten that expressed its fright at my appearance by leaping off the dock into deep water. Saving its life was insufficient to prevent the little rascal (not first choice of nouns) from sinking its fangs, to the bone, into right index finger. If grave illness ensues, plan to hunt down and fling it back in prior my own potential demise.

Besides devouring last can of Sweet Sue (sorry suzy, you're not the only one) chicken and dumplings, am currently enjoying a band on shore obviously destroying pots, pans and various other kitchen utensils at impressive decibels. Rattling hatch boards are due, however, to accompanying percussion. This is, no doubt, Trinidadians celebrating their trouncement (not a real word) by Oz. Although the sport (generally thought by most Americans to be small chirping insects) is more important here than religion (and so the loss was devastating) the team did earn $1.3 million dollars for second place.

Jack

PS No chance for you to understand obscure reference in title unless really, really old. I don't even remember.

Toy Boat
10/22/2009, Crew's Inn, Chaguaramas

Anthem on Rogue Sled

October 22

Today... almost a good day. Launch prep was hot sweaty work (plus having to whip KNL to get them over to grease the prop (next time will buy lubriplate and a grease gun)), but that's OK, we were going back in the water. Choked down chicken roti with friends for rush back to Peake for 1300 launch... no one showed up. A higher priority, local commercial vessel was finally splashed at 1500 allowing movement of the hydraulic sled under Anthem just as one of its arms went berzerk scraping brand new bottom paint and rocking her around like a toy boat, toy boat, toy boat. I remained calm. The interior of this behemoth's control box, which was taken apart several times by its scruffy operator to blow water out, looked like colored spaghetti. After apparent fix (supposedly a bad diode) I suggested that he not continue until !@#$%^&*()_+ sure it was. Finally got launched, after arranging a subsequently unnecessary, complimentary room for the night, an hour after regular closing for short motor across to Crew's Inn. Previous high opinion of yard has suffered some damage.

Tomorrow begins work of reassembly into an operable sailboat after an early night (tomorrow doesn't actually perform any work or have much to do with tonight until rather late).

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride! - anonymous (Don't even remember who's email footer I stole it from)

Jack

Perceiving Potential Problems
10/21/2009, Chaguaramas, Trinidad

October 21

Having completed a few major projects and somewhat at sea (a little nautical lingo used by dirt dwellers) for proceeding with next, retired to breakfast after luring Ray, knowledge repository for all things boat, to join me.

Background for conundrum: Bonding comprises wiring all non-conductive metal immersed in sea water together and then to a puny, sissy metal (usually zinc) so that IT shrivels over time instead of the important stuff. Got it? This works, and sometimes not (there is more than one opinion), only with good, low resistance connections among all the bits so galvanic and electrolytic current may easily flow, thus equalizing electrical potential and/or sucker punching zinc. OK so far? Thought to fix problem of twenty three year old, lower grade, highly corroded, beyond repair copper wire by whacking it off to de-bond everything. This has been accomplished successfully, I am told. Right! Finally concluded that there is no easy fix, so will rewire entire boat as built (with better wire). Pshaw! (Not first expletive considered).

If you have slogged this far without use of razor blade, noose or poison, mental health professionals are available in a crisis, weekdays from 9 to noon, then from 1:30 to 4, except on Friday.

Psychiatry enables us to correct our faults by confessing our parents' shortcomings. - Laurence J. Peter

Jack

Playing 'Possum
10/20/2009, Chaguaramas, Trinidad

October 19

Continue to be reminded that the term 'easy job' is an oxymoron on a boat. Case in point was freeing up main anchor roller which had contributed to loss of zinc and subsequent rust on primary anchor chain. Spent morning with that, deep in the bilge installing stuffing box packing, organizing application of anti-fouling and arranging for remarkably inexpensive brightwork varnishing followed by afternoon attempting to drive metabolism to zero in lieu of any sort of motion. Lunch was goat 'buss-up shot' (sort of an open-faced roti). Dinner was flying fish sandwich and callaloo soup. Sailing the Caribbean tends to broaden your palate.

October 20

Apologies to those few masochistic souls who prefer this abuse, daily. One of the deadly sins (naming which would spoil the fun) prevented any contact, last night, with a computer.

Woke early to finish worst of jobs before worst of heat. The luxury of wasting cool(ish) mornings on breakfast seems a distant memory. Again patronized Roti Hut for lunch with Aussie friend, Robert, who is providing instruction in the rudiments of cricket (English game that is completely indecipherable to most Americans. Bet you don't know what a wicket actually is!) Robert's home club may play Trinidad, Friday, for some championship in a version called 20/20 (don't ask). This may call for parking rapidly de-larding caboose under a bar TV with a soda pop or two. Spent balance of daylight, like yesterday, as inert blob of protoplasm.

Living in a boat on the hard sucks for so many reasons. Lusting for launch on Thursday.

Jack

Just Do It
10/18/2009, Chaguaramas, Trinidad

October 18

Actually engaged, today, in something heretofore unknown, productivity. Began, early, putting away the 130 pounds of crap brought from Florida until soaked in sweat, then changed shirts and went to breakfast. Spent rest of day (between showers and installing dry clothes) washing the deck, swapping ends on the anchor chain (this required, among other tools, PB Blaster, a hammer, a wedge and a hack saw), discovering that previously purchased teflon replacement is too large after removing packing from the stuffing box (no Cal, this is not naughty) and attempting to lubricate through-hull ball valves (neither is this). Normally truculent wifi smiled upon the yard sufficient to also allow research for various projects.

Was reluctantly induced at 1700 by friends to desist from being thusly engaged to consume adult beverages at Crew's Inn. Despite commendable moderation and an initial desire for an early evening this occupation, along with a bit of dinner, lasted until quite late and tomorrow's activity starts early.

Sanding for application of anti-fouling is to commence at 0800 while I retrieve paint from Budget Marine. Air conditioning man is to replace deceased unit early, before boat interior achieves roasting temperature, and creation of a roti with my name on it is being anticipated for lunch.

Jack

Goofing Off With Lights
10/17/2009, Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Lighthouse Restaurant, Crew's Inn

October 17

Shoe-horned perhaps an hour's work into yesterday between the more critical socializing. Night Hawk, Bristol Rose and Slow Mocean are also enjoying the warm and humid hospitality of Trinidad.

After abusing box-o-cabernet last night, having it return the favor this morning and not wanting to either work or watch anyone else do so, strolled slowly around to Lighthouse restaurant at Crew's Inn for breakfast. It's one of few businesses open today as most Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists are taking off to celebrate the Hindu holiday of Diwalli, a festival of lights. Ecumenism is so heartwarming. (Upon reflection, that crack sounds a bit harsh, but is in no way an indictment of getting along with those who disagree with you and are therefore horribly wrong. Umm... did that help?)

AC crapped out last night making the boat a simmering oven this afternoon. Someone may come tomorrow to attempt repairs, or not. After relocating the extension cord, repairing two dangerously wired plugs and confirming that sufficient voltage is arriving at the unit, she still don't do her thing. Poo!

Should probably do something productive tomorrow, so sleep might now be an appropriate activity. Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Jack

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