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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.


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