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Anthem Adrift
I Feel Pretty and Witty, not Gay
03/13/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 13

Here it is, Friday the 13th #2. Nothing bad happened (well maybe a $24 haircut), no excitement. Disappointment is palpable.

Moved back to Sapodilla Bay, near Mike, Barb and wifi, after returning car. It's sad when water camping requires the internet. Remember when hitting rocks with a stick could entertain you for hours? Too long ago? OK, how about a slinky? Pong? First generation Nintendo? How old are you anyway?

Made red beans and rice (from scratch you scoffers) to contribute to dinner. Mike and I talked computers, not boats. Barb again plied me with mahi mahi. We talked about books and she admitted to finding George Bush cute and Dick Cheney cuddly. Said Rene did too. I was drinking $4 wine from Kishco.

Big Bad Wolf will be huffing and puffing from direction of next destination for a couple of days, so will chill in place for the nonce.

Big day, late start on this email. Toodles.

Jack


Got My Mojo
03/12/2009, Annex to South Side Marina - Provo

March 12

Moved this morning to anchor in the "Annex", as Simon calls it, a completely protected proto-marina at the opposite side of Cooper Jack Bight from the unaffiliated South Side to which there is reasonable dinghy access. Four other boats here, everyone going to tonight's barbecue. Mike and Barb came in, but, uncomfortable with tight quarters, returned to Bay. Most cruisers at hand will be heading for Luperon Sunday or Monday as latest weather bluster mellows.

Procured Suzuki squareback to get items from FedEx and replenish rum (rhum). Will gather up Mike and Barb in the morning from their adjacent beach for a day of provisioning, sight-seeing and carefree frivolity. Plan to decamp Anthem from current location for Sapodilla subsequent to car return tomorrow afternoon due better scenery, more wind and, way important, free wifi.

- Later

Terrific potluck at the marina this evening dampened only slightly at the end by a sprinkle which was insufficient to wash encrusted salt off recent arrival boats. Cake was served to celebrate one lady cruiser's 29th birthday (wink, wink, nod, nod (as an aside, the rental car is named Nod, another was Blinkin)) and someone brought key lime pie. Barb shared mojo (moho) marinated dolphin with me to earn my eternal gratitude, love and next born... a little much?, well, it was really good fish!

These wacky Turks.. Turkers.. Turkeys.. residents of the Turks & Caicos have been warped by the Brits into driving on the left, but cars have left side steering and drive-up ATMs are on the left. It's just not right! Britain may redeem itself, however, by sending a delegation shortly to depose current government ministers who are so corrupt they have outraged the citizenry. For laid-back islanders, that's pretty serious. Wish them luck. Now if only... never mind.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
- Aesop

Jack


Getting Crowded
03/11/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 11

Mike and Barb motored in about noon. Would have offered a celebratory brew after their two day passage, but wanted them sufficiently lucid to prepare freshly caught fish for early dinner. White wine will likely leave them catatonic by dusk.

Earlier, a Canadian Tanzer 27 arrived dismasted. A watch had been broadcast for them with Caribbean Weather, Cruiseheimers and Basra (Bahamas Air Sea Rescue) for last few days. Came out of Atwood Harbour three or four days ago and parted a shroud south of West Plana. Lost everything from the deck up. Limped into Mayaguana for a rest on an 8HP motor, then on to here this morning. Rerigging may cost more than boat value and apparently no insurance. Ouch!

Sapodilla Bay is mine no longer. Eight boats here and at least three more in South Side and the Annex. Looking at a good turnout for the Thursday barbecue.

- Later

Put Astarte crew to bed by 2030 after numerous downloads of adult beverage. Fish was delicious. Will probably move to Annex (protected anchorage near marina) tomorrow for easy access to get-together and possible Friday car rent because: Rum has reached danger level as panic looms. Haircut scheduled as small children and puppies cringe at horrible sight. Boat parts needed (Duh!). ATM (called B(for bank)TM in T&C) required after paying cash for marina (5% added for VISA - read cheap). FedEx
pickup of watch and phone (thanks, again Liz). Groceries. Other stuff. Thinking to head South Caicos Saturday, Grand Turk Sunday, stage at Big Sand Cay Monday for Luperon. Depends, as always, on weather.

Jack


Crustacea
03/10/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 10

Performed appropriate bureaucratic genuflections this morning to stay in the Turks & Caicos another week and, more critically, to allow official departure as the Dominican Republic gets petulant otherwise. All cruisers around last week have bailed, most heading to Luperon. Last to leave was "Idunno". How named? Idunno. Anyway, Sapodilla Bay is mine, all mine, buwahahahaha!! Ahem. This will change as wind and sea allow movement from north. Despite delay finishing teak, could have made weather
window all the way to DR, but want to visit other islands in the group and Mike and Barb will come in tomorrow with fresh dolphin (not Flipper, mahi mahi - a marketing ruse). It don't get no better.

Put leftover croquette in a sandwich for lunch and planned the last two for dinner, but a boat came by selling lobster (actually a guy in the boat did all the selling as boats are generally not very entrepreneurial), two small ones for $10. Menu modification ensued.

Using AIS (stands for Aphrodisiac Insect Testicles, something like that... anyway, it receives data from large nearby boats), discovered a 97 foot motor yacht in Turtle Cove Marina, "Hooter Patrol IV". Reflect a moment. That much plastic costs serious coin, the name is completely devoid of taste and the owner's done this four times. I'm thinking Jimmy Swaggart.

Jack


Free From Bondage
03/09/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 9

A reread of yesterday's email revealed possible unintended confusion, as oppose to the befuddlement that is deliberate. Objective was to thank Liz for FedExing items that I forgot. Thanks, Sweetheart.

Mosquitos in the Turks and Caicos are quite agile unlike the torpid creatures that inhabit Florida and the humongous ones in Minnesota. Proved devilishly hard to flatten six of the !@#$%^&* things last night, however, at this rate, will cut time to extinction by 2/3 from previous estimate that assumed two a day. As word gets out, expect nasty letters from imperiled makers of Deep Woods Off, et. al.

Wrapped up business at South Side including gas and diesel for very relaxing broad reach in 18 Knots of NE wind under yankee only back to Sapodilla Bay. Tuesday morning appointment for immigration is near here. Mike and Barbara, kindred spirit Dolphins (not actual dolphins (those are very particular with whom they associate), Dolphin Cruising Club Members) are sailing down from Georgetown Wednesday. After a visit with friend flying in on 22nd they are also proceeding unhurriedly to Trinidad by
July or so. Will enjoy frolicking with them (really, not actual dolphins) for a few days, then continue via South Caicos and Grand Turk to Luperon, DR. May or may not spend a week or two there.

After six days of productive activity, felt guilty reading and napping all afternoon. Fortunately, was not raised (*Stereotype Alert*) as either Catholic or Jewish, so the feeling was fleeting. Recovered self-esteem by making salmon croquettes (successful virgin attempt, albeit with Italian spiced bread crumbs) and salad for dinner. Liz, you would be proud.

Jack


Now What To Do
03/08/2009, South Side Marina - Provo

March 8

Would start this message, but it's time to gather on the dock and am feeling disagreeably sober. Ta.

- Later

Finished painting this morning. Removed tape, cleaned up inevitable drips and replaced bits of hardware by afternoon. Let's see, how long adock? Two, three months? Maybe not. Yearn to again feel the intoxicating exuberance of freedom unfettered by the heavy weight of responsibility (i.e. want to goof off awhile).

After get-together (started same time, so with EDT still light afterward), performed modest dinghy exploration of close environs including protected anchorage nearby. May return there Wednesday to access marina transport to FedEx (forgot watch and phone in St. Pete. Thanks Liz!).

Again left screens out until dark to trap required flight of mosquitos inside boat - part of an devious, yet ingenious, plan. Slew two last night. Hope for two tonight. Expect to soon deplete world of these vile creatures with only motivation the good of all mankind. If nominated for Nobel prize will refuse filthy Swedish lucre.

So?.. have the agents of change put things aright, yet? I hope so. Blue is my color, but holding breath has other less pleasing consequences.

In that vein, consider a comment by H. L. Mencken:
"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office."
... Except yours, of course.

Jack


Delayed Visit
03/07/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 7

Forgot to mention, Liz will wait to fly down until more compatible location. Turks and Caicos has some appeal, but not really sun and fun capitol of the Caribbean. Maybe San Juan.

Spent early morning getting $75 cruising permit to extend visit past seven days - still need immigration on Tuesday. Tried to make grocery run with 4 other marketeers at 1000, but rain would have soaked three of us in back of marina pickup which barely runs, has no rear window or wipers. Made it at 1030 following squall. Do eggplants require refrigeration?

After morning errands, still couldn't varnish for wind and rain, so practiced some horizontal thinking. When sky cleared, decided to ignore wind and got caprail done in time to have sundowners with dock denizens at 1730. Expect to finish hatches, handrails and eyebrow trim, the easy part, tomorrow as soon as weather allows. Hope to bid a fond farewell to South Side Marina Monday and get back to a less productive, more fun, form of cruising.

Liz provides thought for today:

"Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken"
- Oscar Wilde

Jack


One to Go
03/06/2009, South Side Marina - Provo

March 6

More fun than a barrel of Chimpanzees. Varnishing is my life. Particularly enjoyed the winds and showers that punctuated today's efforts. OK, I do it because it's beautiful (sailing is a very esthetic experience), but asked by Charlyn if I would work on their boat said truthfully there wasn't enough money. Also washed two loads of laundry, tightened leaking packing gland (not what you think, Cal), cleaned A/C & watermaker strainers, checked transmission oil and cleaned and polished all portlights.
Dang, I've been possessed by demon aliens. Perhaps a sufficient quantity of expensive, cheap Chilean wine from the IGA will exorcise them.

Reference boats Ecstasy and Jealousy from yesterday, heard calls from Obsession and Wild Sea Monkeys on net this morning. The more morally stilted of you may wish to avoid Provo.

Every day brings a new revelation. Baert, new Dutch friend, showed a way (telnet, part of 'Airmail' radio interface mail program) to send these messages (normally sent with SSB) using internet. Way cool! When available, saves time, energy and angst. OK, have spurned angst as viable mentality, but still, one should avoid tempting fate and, after all, there is that time and energy saving thing.

After removing embedded, wind driven grit from varnish, plan final coat tomorrow if personified breeze finds compassion for sapped sailor. Also, based on optimistic intention, expect to say a fond farewell to South Side Sunday for Sapodilla (I love alliteration). Still have not checked on alternator rebuild. May wait for Luperon or Puerto Rico or Trinidad or... Hey, old one is still working! "What, Me Worry?".

Jack


Thought About Thinking
03/05/2009, South Side Marina - Provo

March 5

Despite best effort at procrastination, finished varnishing before noon. Looks good. Found myself at sixes and sevens, so lay down for awhile to think about it. An extended spell of thinking was necessary, then thought I would get up and do some chores. Thought better of it. Thinking is quite tiring.

Had twenty or so cruisers at the barbecue. Fun, diverse crowd including over half in their twenties plus at least two older than me and a young solo woman, most going south. Got some good info on Luperon.

Have been listening to Ecstasy calling Jealousy on the VHF. Wonder if Fatal Attraction is available on DVD?

Will try to get off the blocks early, get a second coat of varnish on then do laundry and other stuff that could have been done today, should get done tomorrow, may get done Saturday or Sunday, probably. Reminded of a statement by Dave Barry, "You can only be young once. But you can always be immature". Working on it.

Jack


Work, Work, Work
03/04/2009, South Side Marina - Provo

March 4

Worked fingers to the bone ("as hard as I've ever worked"... did too!) sanding... Oh, wait, already used that line. Anyway, sanded all brightwork and (take this you skeptics) actually applied varnish to scroll boards and a few other bits (I wave my badger brush in your general direction (If this makes no sense to you, watch Monty Python's "In Search of the Holy Grail'. Their version is naughtier and thus funnier)).

Enjoyed a celebratory brewed beverage and trolled the marina for invite to get additional quaffage. Found Dutch couple in a very boaty European design who came across from Canaries to Brazil (where they were tied up on their boat and robbed) then north. Currently headed for Bahamas, Cuba, W. Caribbean and Panama canal for transit to Pacific Ocean. Gregarious folks, they plied me with hoped for item... twice.

Should get a coat of varnish on all additional wood early in the morning, then fritter away afternoon vegetating and contemplating what to fetch to barbecue at 1800, which looks to be a popular draw from Sapodilla Bay and Turtle Cove Marina as well as here. If annoyed at length of preceding sentence, please add period after 1800 and replace 'which' with 'this' and as for capitalization, you're on your own, and by the way, if you use 'your' when actual intent is 'you're', please flog yourself with
something appropriate and take a bath in Epsom salts which may or may not suck out any swelling that could cause you to confuse the two words which have completely different meanings. Thank you. I feel better, do you?

Jack


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