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Anthem Adrift
!@#$%^&*
03/18/2009, Grand Turk

March 18

Wifi keeps freezing the computer and Airmail just dumped all saved daily blogs. For the faint of heart, the title, "@#$%^&*" means "Oh, golly gosh darn", just so you won't think I'm being naughty or offensive in any way. The rest of you may assume, with absolutely no official approval, a more colorful interpretation.

Beautiful close reach in a gentle swell to Grand Turk - for about an hour, then wind eased and went to the bow for duration. Great while it lasted.

Trailed a line with brand new, non-cheesy lure all the way across. Finally, upon passing 'the wall' about 400 yards offshore, hooked a grouper-looking fellow that could have been two inches longer than his intended prey if a barracuda hadn't bitten off his heinie. Glad someone ate fish tonight.

Located Katya, Kristi's friend, who confirmed that KISS blades arrived Provo and would be here tomorrow (OK, that assumes too much, but they did get there). As the British say, brilliant!

Walked around GT all afternoon. My kind of place. Friendly, laid back, good bars. And yes, to those who are snickering, in that order. Good thing, as weather prognosis forebodes continued presence here for a few days. Current location probably untenable by tomorrow afternoon, so will move to North Creek, if able to get in. Reference forecast, say a prayer, if you're inclined that way, for Canadians Ken and Diane on the dismasted Tanzer 26 who left Caicos bank this morning at 4 knots for the
DR. They may be in for a rough ride and difficult entrance, with large north swell, to Luperon's narrow channel.

Jack


Kerboom!
03/17/2009, Cockburn Harbor, South Caicos

March 17

Der vas boots everyvere. There was a gentle explosion about 0700 and boat shrapnel slowly sprayed out from Sapodilla Bay headed toward French Cay, Ambergris Cays and South Caicos. Weather window to Luperon shutting down early, so at least one may not stop en route. Also may leave me in Grand Turk awhile. Or may change again. Three 'mays'... must be cruising. Destination today is dead to windward, more than 10 kts, in one foot chop. Nice except for hideous rumbling from bilge bowels. At least water tanks are full and wazoo (as in 'out the') is leaking electrical thingies.

"Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking".
- Dave Barry

Fixed fried eggs and toast before approaching coral-strewn skinny water, then crunchy PBJ for lunch. Why don't kids like crunchy, nutty things... nutty enough without? Use to was that (this is a proper expression in the Southern Rural Educational System from which I are grajiated) I wouldn't eat nuts in anything either! Nuts.

Speaking of that, we were ruminating over drinks the other night about long term sailors talking to themselves. I opined that it was probably not true unless the person was already a little twisted. Of course, I took great umbrage at this and refused to discuss it further.

Jack


Rockin' to the Gentle Beat
03/16/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

The "Shoot"

March 16

Another clear, beautiful day in paradise. Wind is blowing, boat is rocking, but all in all not bad. Film crew late due charter boat no show. It's da islands mon. Kristi finally borrowed "Very Nice Boat" and had a friend drive. When finally in sight there were only guys... began to worry. Production crew of six stepped across to check that Anthem was satisfactory, then went back to pick up models, two couples. Cute, nice smiles, photogenic no doubt. Girls were cute, too. No enhanced INDs,
not that I noticed. After a little boat prep, weighed anchor and proceeded to turn this way and that, dodging boats in the harbour, for sun angle. If I ever get a web site operating, will post pictures. That little adventure paid for new KISS blades. Also got intro to folks at Sand Bar (not surprisingly, a bar) in Grand Turk.

Heard today that Obama shovelled some largesse over small small business (leaving big small business unshovelled) to compensate for increasing taxes. He who giveth with one hand taketh away with the other. Would that he would leaveth alone. The world is full of people (few of them politicians) who know how to do successful business in a free, non-fiat driven economy, but the stampeded masses demand action.

Had last sundowner get-together (no green flash), including most cruisers south side of Provo, on a beautiful home-built Brewer 44 (23 years) before all but Mike and Barb head out. Will see some in Luperon. Others go to Jamaica and Cuba. May hook up again with "Astarte" (Barb said name is Babylonian goddess of passionate love) in Puerto Rico. Tomorrow, South Caicos. Wednesday, Grand Turk. Thursday?

Jack


Ignore or Rely On?
03/15/2009, Sapodilla Bay - Provo

March 15

Weather forecasting is too often right to ignore and too often wrong to rely on. Have decided to have blades shipped to Grand Turk FedEx office. We could both arrive there by Wednesday and, given that Cockburn Town is almost halfway, could make DR by Friday if wind and sea prediction remains as advertised. Two 'coulds' and one 'if'. Another triumph of hope over experience? Can hardly wait to see how it works out.

Have installed a 12v powered switcher connecting VHF and AIS to one antenna. It actively blocks out AIS when transmitting on the radio to prevent overload. AIS operates only with chart plotter, so powered both black boxes (mounted adjacent) off that circuit. Radio transmissions should have, and have been, passing through unpowered switch, however, weak signal and meowing noise began a few days ago. No problem underway, but PITA when anchored with no need for sailing instruments. Spent morning
ripping out panels and tracing connections for successful rewire. Spent rest of afternoon contemplating blade problem and back of eyelids.

- Later

A young lady came by late afternoon to ask if a horde of models could invade Anthem for a magazine shoot in the morning at 0700 (photographer saw and liked the boat). Dang! Planned to sleep in. Hope it's not a gay mag. Sort of looking forward to distaff pulchritude. Kristi claims they will pay and she will help with shipment of KISS blades to Grand Turk reference her private concierge business (if coming to The Turks and Caicos visit her web site: after5.tc, email: after5tci@yahoo.com). Cool!
I'll take pictures if appropriate (see above). Well, must go shower, trim mustache & beard and lay out best clothes because... ummm... it's that time of week?

Jack


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


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