Anthem Adrift

20 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
07 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
18 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
15 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
13 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
12 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
09 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
03 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
23 July 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
17 July 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
16 July 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
12 July 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
29 June 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
27 June 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
25 June 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
20 June 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
18 June 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
03 June 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
28 May 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
21 May 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina

Walkabout

20 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Friday 15 September 2017

Buddy Lesley flew in Sunday and we've been busy showing her the high points of Top End (by the way, a high percentage of local business names start with either: Top End, Darwin, Territory or NT). Tuesday of course was chemo day, but otherwise we've boated through Corroboree billabong (horseshoe lake), wandered around Fogg Dam (not really a dam, but a lowland aswarm with huge numbers of birds) and are currently in Katherine, site of Nitmiluk National Park (it was called Katherine Gorge until the aborigines recently took it over) having spent four hours this morning boating through the three largest gorges. Lots of birds and crocs and tens of thousands of flying foxes. Pretty cool.

En route to the gorge went through Humpty Doo and Wak Wak - not to be missed... unless you blink. Also notable, there are tractor rigs on the road with 3 and 4 trailers in train. Hate to see one of those babies go out of control. Many roads are narrow with ragged edges and no apron. Good condition, but it's a fine idea to pay close attention.

Saturday

Just learned that saltwater crocs are not called that due location. Croclets are born and raised in fresh water and the largest concentrations in the world are found in NT's Mary river system. They are the most dangerous animals in Australia (and that's saying something), the largest reptiles anywhere and, with a significantly lower than average "cuddly quotient", make rather poor pets. Freshies, which coexist with salties, look similar, but are shy and will move away from you. Salties will stalk a person, rip him apart and swallow the bloody chunks. It pays to know the difference.

Much of the Outback south of Darwin is lumpy and festered with rocks and boulders. Bilious red dirt is visible where orange and pale yellow brush doesn't grow or has burned back. Sparse, stunted trees allow little shade. Two and three meter termite mounds erupt from the landscape. Dry season is arid and hideously hot. During wet season it's flooded, humid and even hotter. Pervasive flies attack for moisture. If earth got mange this is how it would look.

Tuesday

Previous description was a bit harsh, but still, hardly anyone lives out here including aboriginals now. How do you keep them down on the farm when they've seen Darwin? OK, bad example, but even so... There are interesting bits. The rock art at Ubirr having been laid down layer on layer for many thousands of years is amazing (at least in not having been eroded away). The view from the top of Burrunggui (previously Nourlangie Rock, a 600 meter sandstone formation) that overlooks Anbangbang (arn barng barng) billabong and the escarpment that runs 500 km through the park is very impressive. Glad we went; never need to go back.

Wednesday

Litchfield Park has a few waterfalls (even in dry) and rock pools without crocs in which one may swim. Fun, but a long way to go for a frolic. Amusement doesn't come easy around Top End.

Thursday

Lesley's off today for a few days in Sydney where she is will climb over top of iconic Harbour Bridge, which tour costs an ugly amount of money, then fly back to San Francisco. She left the termite mounds undisturbed, but is carrying home several kilo of regular Outback rocks in luggage. Jan was over the moon with the visit and we love her, but she's certifiable.

Jack

Recognizable Regression And Prosaic Piety

07 September 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Tuesday 5 September 2017

Eight months of Darwin should be enough for anyone, but this turns out not to be the case. Who knew? In a continuing quest to visit every restaurant and bar in the area - all of them - we have decided to stay for much of another year. There's also the cancer treatment thing, but that would hardly seem enough to keep us here. Anyway, Jan feels much better with the new round of treatment, has more energy and experiences almost no poopiness (rarely used, highly technical medical term derived from the Latin, marginalis poopii).

Having aborted an escape from marina two weekends ago due prematurely moribund battery (AGM 4D, two years old), which declined to start the engine, got sorted to go out this past one after buying an outrageously expensive group 31 Optima. Had a delightful time playing with new running backstay arrangement while sailing (that's where one eliminates the engine and gets pushed around by the wind using sails - ergo the name of said activity). Sails, by the way, are generally either square or triangular as all corners must attach to something, often ropes. More than four gets cumbersome and less than 3 tends to catch little wind. Other high points of the adventure included mutinous unresponsiveness of anchor windlass, mainsail furling motor and generator. Use 'em or lose 'em - extended period of disuse. First two required an excess of manual labor (defined as any) and, although unnecessary for such a short trip, third hampered battery charging. Peaks were consequently shaved off high points of exhilaration.

Friday

As previously mentioned, yoga, from personal observation, entails lying about on the floor. Although ostensibly like napping this is a misapprehension. After much research have discovered that if one is lying on a bed or sofa he is resting, but if reposing on a yoga mat... voila! Jan recently purchased just such an appliance to practice her "yoga" on the boat. Rest of crew, eschewing appearances, just goofs off.

Boat is upside down and sideways for repair of unproductive machinery and to make room in forward bunk (used customarily for storage) and forepeak head (workshop and tools) to accommodate visitor (see below). It's shocking and disheartening how much crap one accumulates while sitting and stagnating instead of cruising.

Buddy Lesley with whom we skied in Lake Tahoe this March will arrive Sunday for an eleven day visit. This will provide an excuse to see nearby Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and Kakadu National Parks. Kakadu, the size of Slovenia and continuously inhabited by aboriginals for over 40,000 years, is very diverse having lowlands, highlands and rocklands and while beautiful doesn't appear to be a place you'd really want to live. The area reportedly has mammoth numbers of species of every type of fauna, pantloads of aboriginal rock art and uranium. Decision-making Australians don't believe in nuclear power (for clarification, they are fully aware that it exists, but don't want to use it), so sell the element to others for making electricity and bombs and such. This might remind one of Indian Hindus who don't eat cows because they're sacred, but have huge exports for other's consumption. Hey, as long as it makes them feel good about themselves, right?

Jack

Manipulating The Apparati

18 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Friday 18 August 2017

Expectations have been met so Jan feels good after first Taxol and Herceptin infusions. Cool. For testing, probing, exsanguinating and infusing (not necessarily in that order) Jan was at the hospital every day this week but today. Next week is Monday (blood test), Tuesday (drip - every week now for eleven more) and Thursday for Sophia, the chemo doc. After that we're outta here. Plan to go aboating on a small excursion next weekend. Various boat bits need attention such as: Johnson outboard wants operational check, auto pilot computer wants calibration, running backstays want testing and crew wants to get the !@#$%%^&* off dock. All systems need exercise to prevent moribundity (not a real word). And speaking of which...

Anyone who actually reads this twaddle besides me (my contract requires it) may have noticed a certain churlish preachiness recently. This may be due not having much else to write about and ennui from being stuck in one spot for a year and a half. Although admittedly taking the notion of individual liberty quite seriously and being a bit annoyed to watch people willingly give it up for worthless figurative trinkets listening to Newspeak, don't take myself so and anyway, given rampant irony, any proselytizing is likely counter-productive, driving everyone into the deadening embrace of a Wesley Mouch. No worries. Although providing the odd reader with an occasional chuckle is pleasing, my primary purpose for engaging in this exercise is personal amusement and to keep the synapses firing in a semi-coherent manner... hey, I said semi! If you enjoy any of it great. Ignore the parts that suck.

Jack

PS The proper word is apparatuses, but that's unwieldy and sounds dopey.

Disaster Down Under

15 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Tuesday 15 August 2017

The Australian government is currently engaged in paroxysms of both righteous indignation and despair. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's father was born in New Zealand. Oh, the humanity. Joyce is being called upon to resign. Seems New Zealand has an obscure 1948 law stating that one is a citizen "by descent" if a parent was a citizen. Because a change to the Trans-Tasman Agreement (which created very close ties between the two countries) is in the works the NZ PM had someone perform research that brought this to light. Dual citizenship is not allowed for Oz politcos. Shame and opprobrium descended upon the unwitting minister, the agreement is imperiled, the Oz government may fall. Cool. As an aside, Barnaby was roundly condemned in 2015 after Johnny Depp knowingly brought his dogs illegally into Australia, which currently has no rabies, by suggesting the actor "bugger off back to the United States". One mustn't apply normal rules to major celebs.

In the echo chamber of twenty-four hour news and power accreting politics there are, apparently, nit-picking nitwits who actually care about this sort of thing. On the positive side, this is wonderfully entertaining and, after all, magnifying inconsequential twaddle (along with temporizing) is much easier than dealing with real concerns. Since these people typically handle authentic public problems, which are often the artifacts of similar politicians from the past, by making them worse, we should all indeed rejoice and enjoy the show. By the way, how many of you out there relish having venal morons exercise increasing control over substantial aspects of your lives? Oh!? Huh. Wonder how they got elected then?

Jack

Live: Evil In A Mirror

13 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Sunday 13 August 2107

Don't normally check blogsite, but discovered it's been blank for awhile (four or five weeks?) so queried support and learned visit counter, which has never displayed, had defective code that eventually begat mayhem. For those who've enjoyed the reprieve, your luck has run out. While mucking about, have instituted new theme as well. Additional overhaul could occur given current momentum. Pandemonium may persist.

To carry on a thought from yesterday, do-gooders (including the power hungry wingnuts and moonbats a majority of you elect to piss away money they have extracted upon threat of force primarily to prevent you from living your own peaceful life) who, while usually admitting they're not perfect without really believing it, force on you their views about how you should want to live your life, remaining blithely unconcerned that everyone might be an individual, not a cog in some tribal machine, and are convinced that chaos would rule without their benign intervention. Stretches the imagination, but most people are not like Moriarty, Batman's Joker or Snidely Whiplash. In fact, lots of folks might not even murder or steal or eat three quarts of ice cream at one sitting even if it weren't for strict nanny state control of their every desire. Oddly enough, it turns out to be advantageous and anomalously common to get along and deal fairly with one's fellow man. Word can get out if you don't and rational self-interest would lead many to avoid interacting with you. Of course those self-interested miscreants are selfish by definition and that's wrong, but despite every effort we seem regrettably unable to prevent human nature. Anyway, wouldn't want to restrict the power of the ruling classes to mess with us because then they couldn't get us stuff from everyone else. Don't worry, you're righteous and they won't mess with you.

Jack

Maintain And Control

12 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Thursday 10 August 2017

Today was chockers with excitement. Drove the Ford to Gibbsy's at 0745 for oil change and rego inspection (REH-joe - that's Australian for auto registration, they apparently have some difficulty pronouncing more than two syllables) with folding bicycle in trunk for return to boat, then one or both of us will bike to Dr. Sam's for enlightenment (there's that word again) on cantaloupes.. err, prostates and cholesterol levels, which had not been completed from last week's blood draw.

- Later

All the physiological bits and pieces are within acceptable parameters and no chemistry or sharp object interventions are in the offing. In a related story, old wrist blood pressure monitor died and replacement usually couldn't organize a response until pumping up to 280 mmHg. Subsequent stratospheric readings possibly due loss of feeling and fear of incipient gangrene. New monitor measures on the way up and gives more aesthetically pleasing results. May not be accurate, but blithe ignorance is wonderfully comforting.

Checkup, rego inspection and oil change were almost half cost of car and nothing needed fixing.

Saturday

Biking around Darwin (today for 25 km with Jan who is feeling delightfully better) is also a thrill a minute. Mandated speed limit on all bike paths is 20 kph. While pretty minor, this arbitrary regulation like most constitutes an upper limit on good things and a lower limit on bad. In open areas with no traffic one is not allowed to get good exercise, but is authorized to endanger children, dogs and crotchety oldsters by passing too quickly. Do not, however, misconstrue this manipulation as wrong. The blessing is that government absolves one of the pesky necessity to think or use judgment. Except for a few minor issues that need trouble only the most selfish, this is great since most people are taught from childhood to remain dependent. Going from parental oversight directly to paternalistic control by politicians and bureaucrats is a facile transition that makes life so much easier. We can all relax, comforted in the perception that these paragons have the expertise, knowledge and wisdom to order our lives better than we can. Not you, of course, everyone else.

Jack

A Higher Level

09 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Sunday 6 August 2017

With any luck at all the last several days will be the worst and done. Perkier today Jan drove to meet me biking at the Bat Cave (Lucky Bat Cafe) for coffee and a stroll through Nightcliff Sunday market. This was the high point of our day and no more need be said about it.

There has been some loose talk about going to the pool tomorrow for laps. Despite days in the upper 30s (around 90 F) pool water has been low twenties. Having sworn off anything below 28 , will hope Jan changes her mind, take shorty wetsuit or fake anthracnose (Jan may not realize this is not transmitted to humans from avocados).

Tuesday

Wild tittle-tattle blossomed into reality yesterday morning as we got another punch on Casuarina Public Pool cards. Water was 27.8 C, dramatically below personal cutoff, but, not wanting to look like a sissy, jumped in without wet suit. Heart attack averted, extra adrenalin helped with first few laps, but dangly bits became a misnomer. Oh, the price paid to be a stud muffin.

Speaking of sacrifice, awoke at 0630 this morning then actually out of bed by 0645 to get Johnson outboard to shop near Palmerston by 0800. Then, not satisfied with level of personal abuse, rode bike into Darwin to replace iPhone battery that would last for about 10 minutes under use. For $79 it should now do at least 20.

Wednesday

Jan continues to feel much better and went to yoga class this morning. Every time I've looked in they're lying still on the floor with eyes closed. Who knew enlightenment could be so easy? In fact, had already discovered that higher consciousness is all about relaxation. Have no problem with laziness, but suspect this isn't the intent. Tried Transcendental Meditation for a number of months several years ago and was nearly torpid with enlightenment. Gained insight that no further incentive to lay about was necessary and that my Tao tends more toward confusion and bewilderment, so gave it up.

Jack

Stalling Not Appalling

03 August 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Wednesday 2 August 2017

Decided after dragging Johnson outboard around since New Caledonia to install gear seal kit. It's been a smidge over two years - haste makes waste. Youtube doesn't have a demo of same motor, but what it shows are special tools, expert knowledge and a great way to drop wee, irreplaceable parts into the murky, marina water. Rethink. There's an outboard service, In and Outboard Marine, next door. Having already heard that it was the most expensive place in the territory discovered it charges $140 an hour for work by students. Mate Geoff took his Mercury in for carburetor work just before heading out to Kupang, Indonesia, where he discovered that it doesn't run. Hmmmm. After much searching, finally found perhaps the only other shop in NT near Palmerston, which charges $120 and may even use professionals. Helpful and friendly on the phone, receptionist took a reservation for next Tuesday. Couldn't go in Monday because they're closed for an NT holiday - Picnic Day. Expect the following Monday to be "Let's Shut The Territory Down Because We're Just Not In The Mood Day".

Thursday

After parting with generous amounts of bodily fluids for testing, saw Dr. Sam yesterday pursuant (cool word, huh? - sounds like something a cop would say on the witness stand during your trial) to a health check. Only items that jumped out were: normal, but suspicious thyroid levels; attempted blood pressure check causing automatic monitor to go schizo (manual check, after having arm ineffectually crushed three times, was a skosh high, but bpm 48); and good PSA number that was nevertheless a fair jump from previous. She subsequently applied the fickle finger of fate to an appropriate orifice to confirm prostate the size of a cantaloupe. Foregoing is slightly misleading because 1) it's not quite true and 2) Australians have no idea what a cantaloupe is. To be safe, not sorry and following fasting and drinking a ton of water, noon trip to the lab today for ultrasound of applicable area was organized. Highlight of day through 1300 was breakfast at Coffee Club.

At 1530 went to Jan's chemo doc for evaluation eight days after fourth and final round of Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide. Except for having virtually no white cells and generating less energy than a sleeping koala, she's felt pretty good this time, probably due lots of rest. After years of striving to be a bad influence finally got her to appreciate the value of sloth. It wouldn't be a sin if it didn't feel so good.

Jack

Going Nowhere Fast

23 July 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Wednesday 19 July 2017

Busted Jan out of the ER before noon yesterday. They cut her loose as fever was down and initial blood results showed no pathogens. She slept all afternoon and, after short wake-up for belated dinner around 2200, all last night. Expect she'll be on game before next poisoning in six days. Although all her beautiful, thick, waist-length, red tinged, light brown hair came out a couple weeks after beginning treatment, what were merely white streaks are made of stouter stuff. When she ties the scarf just right enough hair peaks out to fool you. Gorgeous.

Saturday

Back on her feed, Jan along with entire crew will be oot and aboot, eh (she's Canadian you know) shopping, breakfasting, shopping, farting around and shopping. Excursion will utilize our estimable, 180,000 km, 2001 Ford Falcon. She goes, she stops, she burns a pant-load of petrol. Weekend markets will receive the brunt of our attention, but tools and boat crap get consideration as well, maintaining a chipper attitude amongst the engineering staff which is plotting devilishly complicated logistics for the upcoming adventure.

Sunday

Entire complement woke up chipper and keen for biking to the Nightcliff market. Must do as we had run out of bush honey, produce of Humpty Doo. Those Humpty Doo bees do damn fine work. Sourcing is uniquely there short of an odyssey to Humpty Doo itself, 36 km away. Although driving to Humpty Doo takes only 29 minutes according to Google Maps, we have yet to go. Similar to ancient mariners heading toward the edge of the earth where dragons be, Humpty Doo is at the limit of civilization and one does not proceed further (nothing but outback 'til Wak Wak and beyond) without trepidation. This entire tedious explanation was perpetrated for the sole purpose of making you say Humpty Doo six times and outback 'til Wak Wak twice. We accomplished the twenty kilometer return (more energetic crew did an additional 20) followed by bupkis. Ah, the beauties of sloth.

Jack

Out Of Control

17 July 2017 | Tipperary Waters Marina
Monday 17 July 2017

Reference visit to ER, looks like kindly old Doc Welby will keep Jan another day at least, maybe two, to make sure she's de-infected. Don't understand her disappointment about staying in hospital, what with the comfy beds, quiet wards and delicious food, but there's just no accounting for preference. This allows me to run amok, eat all the lollies on the boat and watch every blood and guts movie on Netflix at full volume. It doesn't get any better.

Biked to hospital this morning (15 KM each way), but should have the car this afternoon to allow greater scope for aforementioned running (amok is from Malay and means "rushing in a homicidal frenzy"... we're seldom homicidal except around screeching children while parents ignore them nearby).

After hearing Jan describe her restful night listening to the constantly retching wally brought into emergency last night with blood alcohol of .22 who may have a concussion from falling off his bike, it occurred to me that Australians seem to imbibe a tad more than your average bear. Checked with WHO (World Health Organization) for per capita consumption rates. Topping the list, not surprisingly, are Russia and many former Soviet Union countries. At the bottom, also expected, are predominantly Muslim countries. Based on 2015 projections of 191 countries Australia comes in at #9, best of the west, well above sentimental favorite Ireland and also France and Germany. America is even further down at #49. Hooray for us. However, with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General cracking down on even legal drug use we may find ourselves on the way up. Hooray for us.

Jack
Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46 - MMSI xxxxxx750
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes
About:
Jack: Formerly productive member of the community as a Northwest Airlines Captain who retired to become a drain on, and embarrassment to, polite society. [...]
Extra:
While I will be delighted if anyone else enjoys these excursions into semi-intelligible foolishness, the primary purpose is personal amusement. This is not travelogue, cruising guide or philosophical exploration of anything in particular, merely random musing of a slightly twisted mind. Despite [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/anthem
Anthem's Photos - Main
5 Photos
Created 2 January 2017
Waterfall, etc.
5 Photos
Created 19 May 2009

S/V Anthem

Who: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes
Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
See profile for information on why this mess is being foisted upon an innocent world and, despite what is probably your better judgement, how to make contact.
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