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Anthem Adrift
Hiatus
02/11/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 11 PM

There will be no emails for at least a week. Catherine, my 91 year old mother, after a very long and full life is dying and I will be leaving the boat at the Flying Fish Marina in Clarence Town to fly to her home in Lexington, SC.

While this news is surely devastating, leaving a void in your lives, I'm confident you will find something more interesting to read in the interim.

Jack


Bufert or Bofert?
02/11/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 11

Jonesing to leave Clarence Town tomorrow, but Chris (weather router) says Friday better. Wind now 110 degrees at 18 - 20, almost directly from next stop, Landrail Point, Crooked Island. Wind and sea may not lay down until later tomorrow. Could make Provo by Monday. Could become an aardvark and develop taste for ants. Who knows.

Mentioned force 5 wind yesterday. Beaufort scale describes wind and resultant sea conditions that actually go from 0, calm, to 12, hurricane. Useful, but pedantic. More interesting description, stolen from blog by Rod & Eveline Crist, is as follows:

"Mariners use a universal measure of the severity of storms, called the Beaufort scale, which classifies sea conditions for sailors. The categories - or "forces" are: 1. No wind at all; 2. Too little wind; 3. Too much wind; 4. Much too much wind; 5. Wind, wind, wind - whoooeee, will it ever stop blowing? and 6. Blammo!" - Beard. Immutable law of cruising #42: Wind is never between 2 and 3 or it's on the bow.

Cleaned the shower. What else possibly to do but go ashore? Happy, an appropriately named Boston bull terrier, can lead me over to the Outer Edge Grill (part of his job) for a slider and wifi. Given up on Rowdy Boys Bar due tendency to have Jerry Springer on DTV. Geez!

Jack



Clarence Town Again?
02/10/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 10

Pretty sure the wind's been too strong for too long when Force 5 feels like a zephyr. Still too high with sea running for warm squishy body. KISS (wind generator) is happily spinning amps 'out the wazoo' (leaky repository for a variety of items). Conditions forecast lighter by Thursday into Friday. Atlantic pattern shift next week, easing Trades, may make movement along the DR and PR more agreeable for discerning sailors. May not. (For non-sailors, Trades along the Greater Antilles blow east,
blow strong and blow from where you want to go. Called the Thorny Path for a reason.)

Boat had gotten nearly as bad as previously owned Chevy van with 1/4 turn slop in steering. New cables stretch initially. Fix was reasonably easy. Getting there was not. Immutable law of cruising #27: Wherever you wish to get is below the largest pile of crap on the boat. This is also applicable to stored items such as your one can of Coco Lopez for that pina colada without which you just discovered an inability to survive. Spent better part of morning accomplishing task, made longer by desire
to have turk's head knot exactly top of wheel when rudder exactly centered. I normally don't do anal.

- Later

Bugger! Wind picked up again for post sunset return across harbour after obligatory happy hour. Happiness effectively dissipated.

Jack


Make a Martini
02/09/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 9

Paint me green and call me an olive. Easy (relative term) fix worked. Wind generator switch was burned, creating high resistance on critical connection. Cleaned and reassembled in "on" position for emergency use, but until replacement, must physically stop overworking unit. Feeling pretty good as slayer of electrical demons. Luxuriated in mild abuse of adult beverages last evening on Sunborne, also with couple from Rapscallion. Good crowd. Horst, originally from Hamburg, very dry, very funny.
All, plus Halberg-Rassey, Nikita, at marina, headed south.

Will be happy when Big Bad Wolf gives up on this piggy's brick house. Of course, grievance then will be wind on bow, motoring into seas and no sailing. Apologize in advance for recreational griping. By the way, if you haven't seen me lately, the expression "by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin" has more than one meaning now. Retirement!

Friends Mike & Barb are headed to EC (Eastern Caribbean) about three weeks behind me. I purchased a book by Hunter S. Thompson and 3 fish pillows from their dump-this-crap-before-sailing-away garage sale. Thompson (of Gonzo journalism fame) is a wonderful writer if you can get around the meanness. Aquaria have been installed in both bunks as another irresistible inducement to visit. Shark guards rum locker.

Chris this morning giving no hope of blowing this pop stand until at least Wednesday. Looks like I'll be hosting refreshments tonight.

Jack


Last Nerve
02/08/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 8

Offered to host snacks and movie last night, but weather too ugly for one and dinghy too frail for the other. Instead, invited for dinner. Cool! Win points for offer plus free meal. Missed scheduled HF call to Mike Hawkins at 1900. Dude! Free food. Cooked by someone who knows how. What's a mother to do?

KISS wind generator has performed sepuku (sp?); bit the dust; seen the green weenie. She's a goner. Electric brake remains on regardless switch position. That or alternator? Former may allow fix, otherwise probably dead to Provo (behold, the triumph of hope over experience).

Another day of ennui. Motion underway can be tiring, but not as wearing in same way as jumping around on the hook with howling wind (perhaps because of less engagement in boat operation). Thus, dinked in to Rowdy Boys Bar & Grill for breakfast and internet. (screeching child forcing reconsideration of action). Batelco (Bahamas Telephone Co.) has dropped ball again, but omelet was good.

Expect easing conditions Monday, then worst yet Tuesday. What's a mother (mothah?) to do? May stage to Little Harbour, 10 NM down the coast, during the respite, for better wind angle, shorter jump Wednesday in settling conditions (another triumph of hope over experience?) to Crooked Island's Landrail Point.

Jack


Dancing?
02/07/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 7

Eighteenth anniversary yesterday for couple on Sunborne, Nothing says "I love you" like a boat ride in 8 foot seas, getting drenched in sea water. Couple in Rapscallion broke their dinghy transom on the reef accompanying me back from libation and chowder at bar last night. They're spending today with epoxy and spare bits to fix. The romance of cruising is undeniable.

Boat is dancing like a nervous thoroughbred, but well protected against 25+ winds. Four of us at anchor, some in marina, all waiting for break in weather. For Dolphins, Pete & Dee Schwartz on Windlass are pinned in Jumentos. They plan return to Long Island as able.

Strolled Clarence Town, today. Two very pretty Anglican churches. Everything else closed except bars and restaurants. Well... I AM trying to support the local economy.

Jack

PS If you have checked my location, ignore the one 120 NM due north of Georgetown. Oops! Latitude entered was 2 degrees off. 25 should have been 23.


Lapping Up Spilled Beer
02/06/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 6

I lied (You may come to recognize this as a common occurrence). Spoke with new friends from Georgetown, Horst & Sharifa, on a Whitby 42 - sailed in to Port Nelson Roadstead, yesterday. Being familiar with Clarence Town, they convinced me it was safe under current conditions. Five and a half hour, increasingly rolly, very broad reach. Last two with occasional 10 foot breaker. Not as bad as it sounds. Anchored under Strachan Cay across harbour from town. Good protection from sea, but not wind.
May be here for several days, but at least two days further along.

Heard an admission that a large portion of bail out package has been wasted. I am distraught at totally unpredictable consequence of selfless activity by elected representatives. Fortunately, most is surely being well and efficiently shovelled out.

Two observations from a bike ride into settlement, yesterday. 1) Saw a well-maintained, 22 foot travel trailer in someone's yard. First, have never seen a vehicle on the island large enough to haul it. Second, the island is maybe 8 miles long. Where's it going to go? 2) Woman passing by in her car called "Hello... wrong side." I ride facing traffic. As you may be aware, this is purposely done. Considering quality of Bahamas driving, desire moment of reflection prior to potential, imminent
demise. For pre-planning purposes have considered last second Buddhist conversion so as to reincarnate as Schooner Wharf Bar dog. Weighing pros and cons. Hope to decide prior to necessity.

Jack


Bugger!
02/05/2009, Rum Cay - Sumner Point Marina

February 5

Too parsimonious to remain Sumner Point Marina until weather improves for proceeding south and east, likely a week or more. Backtracking grates, but may ride out northerlies in Georgetown. Wish I had crew for this segment to allow more options. Any sailors out there thrashing about for something to do next two weeks? Georgetown has a bounty of flights from US. Provo and Puerto Plata near Luperon are replete with return service. Blow off that silly job. Give your wife (husband?) a break, she (he?) will forever be grateful. Luxury accommodation, gourmet food, fame and adventure await.

Parried all attempts to force consumption of mass quantities last night. Watched Rambo at the Green Flash then sacked out for Chris at 0630. Ref. info from that, one more day here, then into the Wayback Machine. Sudden urge to check Chat 'n' Chill for waitress with cantilevered INDs (infant nutrition devices).

Engaged in no recognizable productive activity yesterday or this morning. Beginning to be enamored by sloth. Considered trying other deadly sins, but what's the point if no fun. Gluttony OK occasionally, but lust would result in death by Liz and everything else not worth the effort. Getting nervous. May go polish stainless (BTW anybody know why it's called stainless?)

Jack


Is It Rum?
02/04/2009, Rum Cay - Sumner Point Marina

February 4

Chris predicted wind above 20 and seas building past 8' by arrival Mayaguana, then worse until next week. Better stuck in Rum, then maybe hit Clarence Town and/or Atwood Harbour, Aklins as north wind eases. Should begin to foster habit of relaxing or else find myself in Chaguaramas by April and wonder what happened.

Critical need found to trim lines, repair varnish, make wind vane control line, reduce rum locker. Besides, Rich & Terry, who are headed in their Cat to V.I. to do crewed charters, are a fun couple. They do have an unfortunate proclivity to promote copious consumption of adult beverages. Sound suspicious? Too many excuses? "It's OK officer, I was headin' home doin' 100 for safety reasons. After 28 beers and 9 shots I wanted to limit the time I was a danger to other drivers."

Here's something of limited interest. The Peace and Plenty bathroom has new style urinals. Redolent of Germany where toilets have a depository shelf which a flush sluices to a well in front. This was for scatology fans... you know who you are.

Inspiration for the day: (hilarious or distasteful?)
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
- Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

Jack


Smooth?
02/03/2009, Rum Cay - Sumner Point Marina

February 3

Fun game last night. Hooted with group who were themselves new acquaintances. Tenor of crowd for Steelers initially, then swung to Cardinals as contest progressed. Commercials not too bad.

Dinked to town early with clothes for the Exuma Docking establishment still overlorded by Laundry Nazi. Five foot nothin' of unquestioned authority. I fear her.

The station that was closed yesterday (advertises self-serv all day Sunday) has both fuels today, so scurried back for jugs. Due superior organizing skills (stop laughing, Liz!), finished all tasks, including four trips across Sound plus leisurely breakfast, before 1100. May return for additional diesel, but am sanguine (not the definition referring to blood) about chance of survival without. Sailboat! Surprised and devastated by environmental catastrophe overfill while emptying jerrys into tank,
indicating only 22 gallons used since Tierra Verde. Sailboat!

Kudos to individual breaking speed record rounding Regatta Point into Kidd's cove. Remember that famous scene in "The Perfect Storm" just before the trawler capsizes? It wasn't like that at all, however, consequent dousing was quite bracing.

Weather porthole (smaller than window) may open tomorrow morning after departure (he said hopefully) for staging to Rum Cay, then for run to protected anchorage south side Mayaguana (pronounced May Guana) Wednesday into Thursday morning. Sea state bodes ill from then through weekend. Prefer to stop Clarence Town or Aklins, but both poopie (esoteric nautical term) in strong northerly. May be forced to abide with rum... err, in Rum until next week, but easterly is forecast to reassert by then, thus
occasioning vexing slog to windward.

Jack

PS Forgot title yesterday in haste to abuse happy hour. Should be "Relaxed". Also am finding input of previous locations disencouraged (not a real word) by system.


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