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Anthem Adrift
They Made Me Do It
12/08/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Hard at Work

December 7

Crew met a couple from Canada and California, respectively, on 'Paramour' who came by at 1700 and forced, yes forced, us to drink an inappropriate amount of beer and rum while explaining their situation as we explained ours. They lost half a spreader while colliding with a large unlit ship at 0300 a few nights ago. Inebriation ensued. This is not alcohol abuse as none was spilled. Again, this activity is necessary occasionally as a reminder never to do it again.

A recounting of toings and froings yesterday and today will occur as time allows, perhaps tonight.

Jack

Positive Sensory Deprivation
12/06/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Cabo Rico 42

December 6

Thierry (pronounced Cherry), a man of extraordinary taste (he owns a Cabo Rico 42), has provided a correction to one of yesterday's translations. Having not yet been flung into the street from a Dutch drinking establishment, attempted to construct explanatory phrase with ala carte words. Should further endeavors correct this experiential deficiency, 'uit de kroeg gegooid' will become a most useful expression.

Abandoned Will and Richena aboard boat to catch free 0900 Albert Hein bus for resupply of artificial sweetener. Southern Caribbean is devoid of Sweet and Low, so purchased Splenda... plus another $75 worth, some of which, due healthy influence of crew, was fruit and vegetables. Dinner was sauted potatoes, squash and volcanic Indonesian curry with brown rice. Afterward, as sweating and pain eased, enjoyed a celebratory rum ball. In a selfish act of self-preservation, crew has expropriated cooking function after initial taste of regular ship cuisine.

Today was a Sunday sort of day, conserving energy for prospect of incisive activity tomorrow and Tuesday. As proof is lacking that a boom was delivered or, if so, that it is the right one or, if so, all necessary parts are accompanying or, if so, installation demands do not exceed available skills, (deep breath) accumulated vitality may be convenient for bashing head against hull until insensate.

Jack

Bent u het woord Nederlandse?
12/05/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Anthem Crew and Jacksters

December 5

No, I barely speak English.

Ship carrying spar from Miami arrived, but container is not to be unloaded until Monday morning. Kareen at Caribbean Cargo posited that delivery can be achieved that afternoon. If - repeat 5 times before continuing - all is as stated, departure from Curacao on Wednesday may be possible, but unlikely. Weather is forecast to (in layman's terms) suck until at least next weekend.

Inspiration Lady should launch from Curacao Marina and return to Spanish Waters on Tuesday in time for Asiento happy hour (happiness comes, presumably, because non-member's tenders, otherwise prohibited, are allowed onto their dock for purchase of full priced adult beverages from 1700 to 2000 on Tuesday and Thursday (should there be any confusion or concern, dinghies are not and have never been allowed to buy liquor).

As a public service, should one find himself in Curacao, Holland or, say, Pennsylvania and spy a triangular road sign with "Let Op! Drempels", slow down. It means "Beware! Speed Bump". Other random Dutch translations in no particular order: beer = bier, more beer = meer bier, too much beer = veel bier, way too much bier = veel te veel bier, bathroom = badkamer, puke = braaksel, thrown out of bar = grege uit de bar and sailor trash = matroos weigeren.

Jack

A Whale's Tale
12/04/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Sully the Pilot Whale

December 4

Crew made 1000 grocery bus run on their own without training wheels. John, the parts guy, came by shortly after their departure with new, over-pitched, aluminum propeller. Works even better than afflicted stainless steel unit with only one aboard, but strains to plane inflatable holding two. With three aboard, marine mollusks sneer arrogantly as they crawl past.

Local cruisers have organized a 24 hour watch on confused pilot whale that now, apparently, believes itself to be human. These Samaritans have lured it out to a nearby pod to reintegrate, but the dummy followed dinghy back to shore. Unable to determine if the rejection was due to differences in socio-economic status or a permanent lifestyle change, the latter must be assumed and watch continues until Sea World or other such organization can take him. Anthems and Jacksters plan walk over to Caracasbaai for viewing at 1330, then possibly riding into town to meet with Inspiration Ladys for a night of pillage and plunder.

- Later

Likelihood that "Sully" will re-acclimate into the wild is near zero. He gets all the dead herring he wants and probably heard about the two female pilots at Sea World. No stress foraging, no natural dangers and a chance to get lucky with couple of hotties. Suspicion runs high that he planned this whole 'beached whale' scam himself.

Good? News
12/03/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

New Prop

December 3

Showed admirable restraint in waiting until this morning to call about ship carrying boom due yesterday. "Bad news", Kareen said... visions immediately appear of a 17 foot tube sitting on a dock in Miami or located in the container that fell off in a storm. "The ship is expected possibly today." Bad news, but not BAD news. "We'll let you know you when we have some information. Thanks for calling." or, Don't call us, we'll call you. Third best news of day.

Second best is that Johnson outboard propeller is slipping in its hub. Dinghy still goes, but can't outrun a motivated jellyfish. Bombardier, which now owns OMC (Johnson and Evinrude), has a dealer on the island that has no Johnson parts or interest in getting them and, apparently, nobody repairs these things. Fellow named John has a higher pitched version for about double US price. He delivers for cash.

At least Budget Marine, celebrating their new catalog which does not have Johnson props either, is extending free drinks to cruisers at the Asiento happy hour tonight. This, plus the wonderful Sweet Sue (Suzy Barth is still my favorite Sweet Sue) chicken and dumplings, unavailable since leaving the mother country, but found at Vreugdenhil Supermarket, is the apogee of euphoria for this dispatch segment.

Jack

How Can Butter Fly?
12/02/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

RAV4

December 2

So far, crew integration is running like a Swiss watch (Interestingly, according to reliable information as far as you know, the Swiss invented electronic watches, but didn't take advantage while other makers boxed their ears. Another snippet of potentially true data is that the cheapest Timex keeps better time than a mechanical Rolex, the wearer of which is probably less interested in accuracy than in making a statement: "Hi, I have too much money. Please rob me").

Where was I? Oh yeah. Process at immigration to expand crew list was painless. Aforementioned persons now belong to Anthem and, as in Ben Hur, "live to serve this ship". The 'cat' is ready, but suspect that malevolent glaring and liberal application of grog will suffice to keep them in line.

RAV4 rental car ran like a sewing machine (Should you need to know someday, Singer no longer makes them, having moved into furniture or something). (As an aside to the aside, none of the periodic facts presented in this blog are, strictly speaking, perfidy as all were believed to be true at the time).

As may be divined from tonight's idiocy, I have the memory and attention span of a three-year-old, am easily distracted and... oh, what a pretty butterfly.

It's too late to actually detail contents of day, which would, in any case, cause severe ennui, so good night.

Jack

A Precarious Prospect
12/01/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

The Neat Part

December 1

Due to time and attention constraints, anticipate quality of this crap to deteriorate after crew arrives. How could this possibly be one might ask? Worse than this? Ha! The surface of literary travesty has scarcely been scratched. Presumably, however, the quantity spewing forth may also lessen... or, given the perverse nature of the twisted mind behind this twaddle, may not. You have been warned.

Against better judgment and slovenly innate character, spent morning cleaning and continuing to rearrange interior of boat. Made a dent in grime, but, given negligible organizational capabilities, may rely on crew for more workable solution to disposition of respective effects. They have been warned.

With newly acquired, willing and gullible cohorts, hope to terrorize and ravage selected sections of Curacao this week while awaiting spar. The Dutch are on their own and so, have not been warned.

Jack

No Mutiny for Captain Blithe
11/30/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Floating Bridge Amove

November 30

Last day of wimpy hurricane season. Disappointment at lack of excitement is subdued.

Renting, at lowest possible cost, what promises to be a junker from 1400 tomorrow until same time Wednesday to collect crew on 2050 flight from MIA, then for transportation to immigration next morning, is fewer guilders than one-way shuttle from airport and half that of taxi. Although unable to enjoy sport of having them find their way cross-island at night to within hailing distance of dinghy dock at Fisheries Harbor, avoiding mutinous rabble on boat for succeeding month precludes that option.

Was struck by fact that while floating bridge spanning entrance to Curacao Harbor motors itself aside to allow boats to enter, pedestrians, unaccountably assumed, unlike in US, to have the odd brain cell, continue to walk across without falling off open end. Curacao has apparently escaped infestation of ambulance chasing barristers (no offense intended toward England where that term may still carry some honorable connotation).

While possible to drill and tap all of boom bits to each other and to mast, had decided to have expert, Tys (name unpronounceable in English) at Curacao Marina, rivet (reportedly included with 'kit') biggest chunks to avoid internal rough edges where reefing and outhaul lines traverse. As happens, Inspiration Lady possesses big honking tool, now borrowed, for job allowing circumvention of this additional complication. Confidence, flying in face of sensible probability, remains high.

Jack

Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink
11/29/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

Chock

November 29

As expected, rebedding dockline chock today was a pig tussle and twice as messy. 5200 is, contrary to what 3M would tell you, a live organism that will, besides making everything stuck together with it impossible to separate, jump onto anything within several feet of use. This was a good news, bad news operation. Downside, the difficulty. Upside, as the entire passage through gunwale is fiberglassed, the only possibilities for leakage, theoretically, are four screw holes. No need to do it again with other five. This begs question, therefore, of leak, if not thusly caused. Oh shucks, or more expressive words to that effect.

Cleaned galley, but left head and shower for later. Dust hippos can wait as well. Otherwise watched The Maltese Falcon and relaxed with book authored by Clive Cussler who didn't write it. It's a scam, but a tolerable, mindless read by Craig Dirgo. Good literature tends to require a mental acuity that has currently gone missing.

Finally got enough rain, not to wash off previous dirt piles, but to remove salt from yesterday's cleaning. That worked out pretty well. Incentive to wash boat again, should observation of dirt ever again exceed customarily elevated tolerance, has increased minutely.

Other than preparation for fetching crew on Tuesday evening and attaching boom when it arrives, then meeting returned Inspiration Ladys in Willemstad for lunch, tomorrow should be fairly mellow. Be advised, previous assertion was an exercise in hope over experience as something will certainly intrude upon rosy scenario.

"A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance." - Anatole France

Jack

Splice the Main Brace, Ya Swabs
11/28/2009, Spanish Water, Curacao

View from Club Asiento in Spanish Water

November 28

Rode free supermarket bus this morning to Budget Marine, a hardware store and, strangely enough, a supermarket. Bought odds and ends at first two including threaded stainless rod for experiment with mast. Had such good luck weakening boom with drilled, and subsequently corroded, holes, thought it a good idea for the really big spar. Concept is to run rod through front of mast to capture wires that now slap against sides when boat rocks. What could go wrong?

Experienced another rain shower Thursday night that converted little piles of red Bonaire dirt (ref. Nov. 25) into bigger, even more unsightly piles. Although normally oblivious to filth, roused slothful carcass to wash deck with Orpine in salt water. Results were sufficiently pleasing to precipitate another such effort - perhaps, some day - should the need arise.

Boat work (a four letter word) could occur tomorrow. May attempt to fix leaks that are suspected to emanate from midship dockline chocks. Because they are embedded through raised gunwales with 3M 5200 (polyurethane sealer), expect to employ hammer and crowbar as dynamite is difficult to procure. Also, should resort to house cleaning, anticipating arrival of crew on Tuesday, but hey!, what are crew for? "The floggings will continue until moral improves." Arghhhh!

Jack

PS Title phrase may not mean what you think.

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