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Anthem Adrift
Onus On Us All
11/20/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Unsightly BUTT

November 20

Just another beautiful day in paradise. Planned no planning (oxymoron?). Ok, breakfast was a plan, but that was it, well, except for coordinating with Botterop Construction on old and new booms and having them weld a broken casting from Voyager wind vane. But, that was it, absolutely, except for... Never mind.

Rum has been sadly neglected since mishap, which has forced upon me a certain obligation to sugarcane growers everywhere. Incentive to imbibe was also reduced by attempt to drink truly awful Depaz rum from Martinique. Don't know what happened; tasted OK on the distillery tour. May use it, instead, to subdue fish after capture, should there be further such instances. Outrageously cheap gin previously used is actually drinkable with sufficient oliveage (not a real word).

A particularly obnoxious BUTT (Big Ugly Tourist Transporter - cruise ship) steamed in this morning to despoil view and clutter shops in Kralendijk. Had heard island would be spared the ignominy for a few days. At least lagging economy gets a boost.

Went in later to call for Mercy. She handles shipments to Bonaire for Amcar Freight (package, indicated to arrive at shipper today, didn't). Also, in chronological order, provided scruffy local color for polyester clad hoards, called better half (visiting loved ones in West St. Paul, MN) with iPod and lightened personal onus as indicated in paragraph two, before and after wahoo (no Cal, it's a fish) dinner at Mona Lisa Bar.

Jack

Patience, Not Optional
11/18/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Reef Below Anthem's Keel

November 19

Have been informed that focus on boom has apparently resulted in some loss of equanimity. Tend to handle unfinished business by obsessing or completely ignoring, sometimes alternatingly (not really a word). I'll get over it.

Well, he said with newly found sangfroid, the cogs of commerce have begun to grind slowly forward toward the joyful result of returning Anthem to wholeness. Manufacturer, shipper and freight company are all totally resolved, with their last ounces, respectively, of dedication (more sangfroid), to have this process result in a useable spar (at least all the various bits) arriving in Bonaire on December 3rd or 4th. About here, euphoria is somewhat muted, but no delay should be caused as plans included remaining until about then, anyway. Besides, Bonaire doesn't suck.

Took a break at midday to scare multitudinous aquatic life at north end of Klein Island with Night Hawks and Emily Graces. Presumably at the behest of Bonaire rather than fear of losing equipment to depths, Yellow Submarine Diving requires, before renting Scuba tank, a buoyancy checkout wearing all gear. Hold your breath, you float. Let it out, you sink. At this point breathing through regulator becomes as critical to checkee as to checker. Personal tank has been remiss in not getting itself hydrostatically checked, due every five years, so will endure scowls and oblique insults until next availability in a week.

Dinner: Personally sauted actual potatoes with stewed tomatoes and refried beans with, umm, stewed tomatoes (hey! the can was open). Eat your heart out Emeril.

Jack

Two Months, Tops
11/18/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Waterfront, Kralendijk

November 18

Unable to duplicate defunct Isomat spar, but found good replacements from either Z-spars or Selden at reasonable price, no problem. Getting 17 foot, 55 pound chunk of aluminum to Bonaire sometime this year? "Hold on there pard". Working fingers to nub for solution. (Anybody remember song by Hoyt Axton "Bony Fingers"?) From Monday forward, kept thinking 'tomorrow' will conclude all but awaiting arrival of boom. Silly rabbit. Also, no word from VHF radio.

Had opportunity for extensive use of really cool, new iPod Touch using Skype to organize (probably too optimistic a term) making Anthem, again, the sleek, sexy sailing machine she once was. One finds amusement as one can. Have utilized free wifi at a Watta Burger (couldn't make this up). Haven't yet, but figure to owe them the month or two one of their greasy, ground delicacies will shorten my life.

If efforts are rewarded reasonably early (plan to hold breath until turning blue to coerce action) will do some diving. Water is crystal clear, reef starts right behind transom and extends pretty much everywhere.

And now, in an effort to fill out today's highly uninspired commentary, a quote.

"I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them." - E. V. Lucas

Jack

Connections
11/17/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Best and Worst in Bonaire

November 17

Considering that ABCs are a windsurfing, now predominantly kite surfing, Mecca (no religious offense should be taken, OK, guys? OK?), there is no wind. Mosquitos yes. First need of screens since... don't remember. However interesting it may make transit of Colombian coast (one of more challenging, I'm told) prefer to have trade winds back. Also, because wind generator isn't making whirring noises (as with Westerbeke, ref. Nov. 15, this is also apparently a secondary effect, although loads quieter (pun intended)), unable to detect amps coming 'out the wazoo' (leaky-when-full repository of amps, fresh water and various other stuff).

Can't find Caribe in Bonaire, but, as one might expect, it's lousy with Heineken. Amstel is, understandably, also available, but second most common brew is - wait for it, wait for it... Polar Beer. Uh huh, uh huh, OK. Possibly named to honor one of those Arctic creatures who strayed here, once, in consequence of freezing his little bear butt off at home or an allergy to cold seal. Reminds me of some graffiti seen as an undergraduate at USC (not that one): "Herman Melville Eats Blubber". Seemed awfully funny and sophisticated at the time as did: "Nietzche is Peachy". Hey, a little slack. I was 19! (As an aside, Freddy, as his drinking buddies no doubt called him, was a really depressing character. Questioned the value and objectivity of truth and was therefore nuts. He actually died insane) (Second aside: Do you think this paragraph wandered a bit? Not so. Connection?... beer and nuts)

Have had difficulty getting wifi for use of Skype. Reluctant to use telephone to US for research into new boom today, but that, or something, will change tomorrow. No auto tour due working on boom problem and potentially better rates with no cruise ships next few days. (Connection?... cheap)

Jack

Boowahhhh! Boogah, Boogah!
11/16/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

That Ain't Right!

November 16

Found a metal working/machine shop that seems certain they can unify two-piece boom. Not convinced it will be trustworthy, so tomorrow, will investigate having new one shipped from US. Did anyone mention that manufacturer, Isomat, is no longer in business? Minor glitch in perfect plan to be resolved, or not, in the morning... possibly.

There are no electronics shops on the island, but found a fellow named Hans who (as you might have surmised is from The Netherlands) worked on radios for the Dutch Navy and continues tinkering for a hobby. Met him for first time on a dock, handed over radio and remote mike, got no receipt. Confidence high for eventual return. Fixed?

Also, have a local phone, which number will be shared with Liz, my dear wife, and nephew/niece-in-law crew who will join this train wreck on December 2nd, but not broadcast to the vast and idolatrous legions of this blog's readers.

Had barracuda for the first time. Delicious. As yet have noticed no abnormal effects, effects, effects from the neurotoxic dinoflagellate (not a prehistoric beast seeking sexual gratification), commonly found in the meat of this species, which causes bizarre nervous system anomalies, monopolies, autocracies. Boowahhhh!

May rent a car with Night Hawks, tomorrow, for various stuff (including taking duplicitous boom to shop) and tour of island.

"Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the phrase 'vast and idolatrous legions' that I wasn't previously aware of". - Douglas Adams (paraphrased)

Jack

Check That Hog Leg at the Door
11/15/2009, Kralendijk, Bonaire

She's Everywhere

November 15

Here's an interesting factoid - Bonaire is closer to Boqueron, Puerto Rico than to Chaguaramas, Trinidad. Caribbean, she is wide, but not so tall.

Left party central at 1530 for decent sail, albeit slow, until midnight, then, wanting to arrive Bonaire by noon, began using 80 cent diesel fuel to make noise. An adjunct result was increasing velocity of craft by making things go up and down, which in turn makes something else go round and round, which causes a device to push water away from stern. At this point one of Newton's three laws of motion kicks in and, voila!, Kralendijk gets closer. Have been told racket is actually the secondary effect and is not directly helpful in this endeavor, just probably an afterthought.

After clearing in with customs (very easy, didn't look at any documents, consider flare guns weapons) discovered that little is open on Sunday except bars. Feeling a need to encourage at least that, went to one called Cappuccinos, end of small pier. They may have coffee; do have Heineken. Now two less. Returned to boat (second time, after taking 'weapon' to customs for which no receipt was given) for two hour nap.

Met Night Hawks at 1730 for two Amstels, dinner and an early(ish) night.

Jack

PS "B" western fans will get title

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