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Anthem Adrift
In the Weather Loop
02/23/2009, Landrail Point - Crooked Island

February 23

Dang! Leave for 10 days and the weather changes. How did that happen? Easier to maintain reasonable expectations when checking every day. Crooked Island will probably be home for a day or two due icky (esoteric nautical term) weather Tuesday. Enjoyed morning conversation on HF with another fool... er, cruiser in Landrail Point who claimed it's OK, rolly. Turns out, OK, not too rolly... yet.

Today is first of many, no doubt, requiring motor sail. Needed, didn't get, wind to back 20 degrees to eradicate irritating clatter from bilge, but long period 5 foot swell with 10 knot wind on the port bow made ride pretty good. Squall south of position backed wind enough to sail 15 minutes before it veered right to the bow for last hour and a half.

Got a tow into shore (motor still on davits) from other cruiser (Bob & Sherry on a pretty Tashiba 40, Shamal), accosted by large-toothed dog (unhappy, no doubt, that I'm a Libertarian) then hitched into the settlement for dinner at Gibson's Lunchroom (THE place to eat in town). Good crowd, good food, no alcohol (they're Seventh Day Adventists - like Jews who believe in Christ, I'm told). Got a ride back to a point further down the shore from irritable mutt. Way too dark for stumble down narrow
path, then along eroded beach and 1/4 mile row to yacht.

Fellow I stopped to converse with while walking around claims he'll take me to dive the reef in the AM. Cool! Let you know.

Jack


Whimsy
02/22/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 22

Off the dock; on the hook. Planning early departure for Landrail Point, Crooked Island, tomorrow. Depending on wind, Samana Cay or Atwood Harbour, Tuesday. Mayaguana Wednesday. North route (Samana) longer, but may allow sail. Mario gave a good discount for 10 day stay at Flying Fish Marina and allowed departure as late as this evening. Even in easy conditions, the anchorage is a little rocky.

In walking around, noticed banner proclaiming "Bahamas Agricultural, Marine Resource and Agribusiness Expo - Improving Food Scarcity". I was incensed. Why decrease the supply of food? Are Bahamians too fat? Even if true, reducing availability is just not right. A more meticulous reading seemed to suggest that it actually said, "Improving Food Security". Not helpful. Securing it from what? What else would one protect food from than being eaten by people? I think this is a wrong-headed concept
that can only lead to disaster.

Boy, sure miss the invigorating forty degree temperatures in South Carolina and St. Pete. Bracing winds that chill you to the bone are just great - make you feel alive Cursory thought might have you believe it's better here - Fahrenheit 78 with a ten knot northeasterly. Au contraire. Bright sun shining down from brilliant blue sky and sparkling off crystal clear blue and green water is fraught with untold peril. The soft, balmy breeze caressing your skin induces complacency and danger. I may
lay awake for minutes fretting about the menace that lurks at every moment, and yet, must take to heart the wisdom of a great philosopher:

"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."
- George Carlin

Jack


On The Road Again
02/21/2009, Flying Fish Marina - Clarence Town

February 21

Catherine Coules Steadman Warren lived a long, full life. She brightened the lives of everyone she touched. May her presence live on in the kindnesses her influence inspires in those of us who knew her.

Preference would have been, as suggested by friend Amy Clancy, for an Irish style wake complete with alcoholic bacchanalia, but Methodists seem to prefer sober solemnity during their funerals. One must adapt.

Returned to Clarence Town today to find the boat. This was reasonably easy due small size of Flying Fish Marina. Nearly identical to boat left 9 days ago.

Always rather liked Miami Airport. However, the goodly trek from Concourse G to C required another adventure in security (one of three) where the TSA, like in Tampa, expressed a particular fascination with the minutia of my carry-on. Also, closest access to gates was once, strangely enough, through top of concourse, but now requires trudging past for a hundred yards or so before returning to within 50 feet of your position 5 minutes previously. Security instead of Minotaur hides in the labyrinth.
Entire experience somewhat ameliorated by discovery of Talisker in duty free, which then necessitated Nassau hoop jump to maintain ownership. This trip was first experience with commercial aviation since retirement 13 months ago (on purpose). All other choices are worse? To be fair, when you absolutely, positively have to get there quickly, nothing goes to weather like a jet.

Flying over an area, for the first time, that has only been cruised is always cool. Perspective is so different. That which requires a long, sometimes difficult day of sailing glides by in 10 minutes. A journey of many days is immediately observable. The sea level experience is more extended, more uncomfortable, more challenging and way more fun.

To continue the melancholy zeitgeist of this note, Friday before last was one of three 13ths this year - February, March and November. The last year with three of these rascals was 1998, next 2015. Y'all be careful out there!

Jack


Catherine
02/12/2009, Clarence Town - Long Island

February 12, 0630

Catherine passed away last night at 2030.

For those who have sent and will send condolences, thank you.

Jack

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



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