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Anthem Adrift
Change O' Plans
03/14/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 14

Screwed the pooch (does anyone know what that means? Is it naughty?) this morning. Managed, while flailing about with a boat pole, to break off one of three whirring wind generator blades. !@#$%^&*, or words to that effect. Contemplating plan. If new set sent here, will delay for at least a week, but not sure how reliable is delivery to Luperon. Will find out by Monday AM for decision. "And I was having SUCH a good day".

- Later

I was wrong. It's not just snipe hunting for gullible rubes. Not just afterglow from six rum & cokes imbibed too quickly. Not just the dying embers of rods & cones from staring too long into a clear sunset. After years of looking, the non-believer was born again last night. The Green Flash lives!!! Hallelujah! I have seen the light!

Also, as occurs for 3 to 5 days following each full moon, just after gloaming, glow worms on the bank engage in species preservation. Females release eggs which are quickly fertilized by a male who, similar to the preying mantis & black widow lads, has had his last tango in Caicos and drifts, with peaceful contentment one hopes, to the bottom as, well, worm food. The effect is bright green bioluminescent spots over the surface followed by explosions of more diffuse green around or trailing away from the first. Five minutes, then done. Remarkable.

These two performances right before St. Patrick's Day, coincidence you say? I think not. So Paddy, good on ye, laddie. I'll drink to the green on your day.

The glow worms were feisty and frisky,
But for males the endeavor is risky.
He has a grand time,
Then becomes bottom slime,
So let's toast him with fine Irish whiskey.

Jack


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


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