Anthem Adrift

31 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
20 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
19 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
18 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
15 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
06 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
23 February 2023 | St. Petersburg, FL
13 February 2023 | St. Petersburg, FL
04 February 2023 | St. Petersburg, FL
26 January 2023 | San Francisco Airport
25 January 2023 | Singapore
18 January 2023 | Singapore
15 January 2023 | Singapore
08 January 2023 | Singapore
07 January 2023 | Singapore
06 January 2023 | Singapore
31 December 2022 | Singapore
28 December 2022 | Singapore
24 December 2022 | Singapore
19 December 2022 | SFO

Learn, Live And Leave

31 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
Wednesday 22 March 2023

Saloon and aft stateroom speakers were likely installed when boat was
fresh out of the mold twenty five years ago and showed their age, one
by not working and all by shedding flakes onto the sole. Installed
four new inexpensive Boss units that produce surprisingly good sound.
We've been unable to enjoy boat system music for some time and it's
nice to suckle sundowners with beach tunes, classical or blues. And
speaking of happy hour, since Licata is ginger ale impaired, have
reverted from bourbon to gin with tonic and lime. Fortunately the
locals are well versed in this version of genial mind alteration at
remarkably modest prices.

Thursday, the next one

Learned a couple of things in the last week:

Mobil phone service in Licata is variably crappy. Occasionally not
awful. Odd that service in Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia was
generally better. Upside is that it's cheaper than nearly anywhere.
Jan's iPhone 11 works better than my Xs so expect new phone by next
winter. Ya gets what ya pays fer.

Bourbon. Thought like Champagne it could come from only one place -
Kentucky. Turns out anybody can make the stuff if it is at least fifty
one percent corn, made in US and at least eighty proof. It's a touch
sweeter, darker and richer than a Tennessee sour mash whiskey such as
Jack Daniels. Wild Turkey, Kentucky bourbon, is nectar of the gods.

English is a much more concise language than Italian. Marianna, our
Italian mate on Aussie Anthem, was translating to a physical therapist
information about my, after a week, severe back pain. Preliminary
information in English took about twenty words and they rattled on for
ten minutes. Finally had to explain we hadn't even gotten to the
question of what and where pain was and three possible causes. Finally
after thirty minutes determined he couldn't help, but suggested we go
to emergency room in Agrigento, an hour and a half away with resident
nephrologist. Decided instead to go to local hospital where doctor
took me off opioids that had taken edge off pain, but ultimately made
problem worse and caused significant alimentary distress. Echogram
showed kidney looked OK, so now on intramuscular steroids and Voltaren
for four to six days. Seems a bit better now, so malingering excuse
may lose its potency.

Departure originally planned for Saturday is delayed until at least
next Thursday for freezer work. Tradie can't come until then and unit
barely remains below 0 C running full out. Probably slow leak in


Other Anthem leaving also in a few days through the Straight of Messina
into Tyrrhenian Sea and up west coast of Italy as we sail east to
Ionian side of Greece for the month then into Adriatic Croatia - we've
been too still, too long.

Jack & Jan

Whither Weather?

20 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
Monday 20 March 2023

Today we welcome the first day of spring (vernal equinox) except, however, for Jan's family in Canada where this event is typically a cruel hoax. Careful study shows they have about three weeks of spring around June or July, two weeks of insufferably hot and humid weather, then a few weeks of fall before winter returns. These are just approximations by a tropics oriented observer and may vary slightly.

Here in southern Sicily, most days have been partly cloudy or clear with chilly nights, but relatively balmy days. Expect to leave for Greece first April trying to avoid winter Jugo & Bura winds and summer Mistrals. Also to be watched are Siroccos from Africa. There are, as previously mentioned, at least three dozen named air currents in the Med, but these are the more common in Ionian and Adriatic Seas. Not to belabor the point, but Mediterranean sailing is often in winds that are either too light or too strong from the wrong direction.

In a continuing effort to portray Licata: it has two predominant types of restaurant: cafes that serve coffee, pastry, gelato & alcohol and pizza parlors with beer. Spent most of early afternoon in favorite of first type updating various electronic devices as it has wifi that actually works as opposed to marina. There are two chandleries that have a surprising variety of items. The one at the marina, which is operated by Andrea, a lovely fellow who can order most anything one wants at reasonable prices, is small, but quite good. This is a nice improvement from Didim.

Disclaimer: Although no facts are knowingly incorrect, obviously cheeky descriptions expressing subjective characterizations can be susceptible to modest variances from strict reality. You may have noticed a couple of examples above.

Jack & Jan


19 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
Sunday 19 March 2023

After struggling with tradies in Didim to stop a leak behind aft shower panel that required replacing thusly rotted wood (then finally fixing it myself) returned from Florida to discover brown water on shower floor. Oh shucks... or significantly stronger words to that effect. To Jan's delighted regard, removed enormous amounts of her crap wedged into a cabinet to access water connections that resulted in discovering no leaks. However, below support structure/seat, found gap where replacement panel was not sealed. Ergo, he said hopefully, every shower may allow water incursion between panels that eventually finds its way onto the floor. Water system leak was further gainsaid (don't use that one much any more) because water had not accumulated in shower sump over three months. Might have noodled out this evidence before triggering Jannie Jammer's impulse to murder me... still here, helps to be adorable.

- Later

Put tape over above mentioned gap during showers to prevent further water incursion and now, a day or so later, have noticed dramatically tapered seepage. Will leave gap open for drying, then eventually seal with Sikaflex. One problem presumably solved, only a hundred or so to go.

This points out a common problem with fixing nearly anything. In the process two additional faults are usually discovered that must be addressed before putting everything back that had to be removed for the original issue. These follow-ons often take longer than the first thing. Current philosophy is to procrastinate any repairs until nuisance exceeds three times one's estimate of aggravation to fix. Not that this actually helps much as even conservative repair guesses for effort required (time and cost) are virtually always significantly low. This is an incurable psychological affliction.

Jack & Jan

Driven To Drink

18 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
Saturday 18 March 2023

Drove rented car, a wee Kia Picanto, yesterday to Villa Romana del Casale, a second and third century Roman villa reasonably well preserved, which contains extensive mosaics. Main takeaway from driving on poorly maintained Sicilian roads is that with no obvious enforcement, speed limits, even on two lane highways that at points are not wide enough for two small cars to safely pass, are excessively low and local drivers completely ignore them to the other extreme. Even though Jan, our in-the-box Canadian, regularly reminded me that our speed, eighty kph on highways marked forty, on the hour trip each way was above the limit, other cars were constantly passing us, we never passed anyone and were never impeded by another car, bus or truck.

It's said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish. Not in Sicily. Returned from the villa in time to carouse with big crowd at Blue Sky last night and even one real Irishman, but hardly anyone besides us knew about it, cared or wore green. No Guinness; no silly hats; no posters of drunken leprechauns. And no green beer. Bollocks! Closest we could come was vino bianco, which evinces a faintly greenish flaxen hue. Had fun anyway. Begorra!

Not to complain (much) or put too fine a point on it, but internet here sucks. We have marina wifi, local Vodafone data and Google Fi data on several different devices, all available on my MacBook Pro, yet quite often have no service. Much as cruising on a sailboat is suppose to take one away from such life complicating attachments, some of us get the yips when severed from the grid.

Jack & Jan

Better Rosso Than Morto

15 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
Convertible Jellybean

Friday 10 March 2023

Although the economy here is primarily fishing, we chose Licata for winter berthing because it's also considered a tourist town and marina price for this winter was low. Turns out the city of less than thirty eight thousand has apparently not enjoyed much benefit from either industry as it is somewhat drab. Narrow streets, rather than feeling cozy like Cascais or Cadiz, usually feel cramped. Most buildings not painted in decades, streets rough, often lined with trash.

Twelve year old marina by contrast is very well done with many liveaboard cruisers, mostly European, and an adjacent supermarket. Tonight we meet the local mob for every Friday happy hour at nearby Blue Sky Cafe, actually a bar - looks nice. No dinner menu, but allows pizza from next door.

About 90% of automobiles meandering around local streets are little and cute. Even Mercedes and Beamers are tiny. My favorite is the Fiat 500, a miniscule, four wheel, two door jelly bean. With no hard edges it seems almost sleek for a wee blob. Although a four seater, wouldn't want the cramps a midget might expect from half an hour in back.

With prices lower crew bought 23andMe testing. Expect good news around 24 March. Hoping to be direct descendant of someone really cool like Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler or Dread Pirate Roberts (if not yet, immediately go see Princess Bride).


Ides of March. A good friend should stab me for procrastinating this entry. If not, however, it's just two days until St. Patrick's Day. We can all take a stab at finding green beer in Licata, Sicily. Sole Irish pub in town closed years ago, so the only green we'll find is a spinach pizza with birra rosso. Had one last night at cruiser happy hour and it was delicious. Beer not bad either, but wrong color and not Guinness.

Jack & Jan

All In

06 March 2023 | Licata, Sicily
Friday 24 February 2023

Forgot to mention, moved over to Tampa either 'cause we're ramblin' folks or possibly due availability and cost of accommodation - spring break in a tourist town. Also closer to doctor and airport. Post-op check, then right to airport. Going home.


Going home, that is to say, eventually.

Flights from Tampa to Atlanta - hugely oversold. Delta put on another section, which also left without us, making thirteen flights today. Finally got last two seats on final flight of the day. Missed connection to Rome. For layover in Atlanta reserved a room at reasonably priced Comfort Inn near ATL then discovered first, they had no airport shuttle and second, Uber charges fifty dollars for the six miles each way. Yowzer! Went instead to hotel pickup location, found a Hilton with free shuttle and paid same overall for a much nicer hotel. Lesson here somewhere.


Checkout noon so spent all afternoon enjoying the ambience of ATL's E concourse food court. Oddly, check-in experience was unusually pleasant for this airport. Delta employees, who got our flight PNR re-associated with our baggage, which we sincerely hope will show up in Rome when we do, were very friendly and helpful. If not previously mentioned, Delta is great, our airline of preference and should be flown frequently by everyone. This review has nothing to do with keeping them solvent so they may continue paying my pension.


After confirming in Atlanta they had gotten there and would absolutely be put on our flight, bags did not make it to Rome. Bugger! Using ITA Airways, ETNA bus service and one and a half kilometers of footing from bus station on rain soaked streets, finally arrived home after midnight to no hot water for shower, no propane for hot tea and no 120vac at outlets for coffee maker. No worries, we were too tired and sore to give a flying funicular. All else was good, e.g. batteries were charged and hatches hadn't leaked.

Vegged all yesterday and did just enough today to put above faults aright. Bags finally made Rome and reported sent to Catania, based on phone conversation to Albanian (?) call center, but haven't received local confirmation. Since we were staff standby, bags will not be sent on to us in Licata. May perhaps be able to arrange courier rather than having to take four and a half hours of bus there and back.


Finally confirmed bags in Catania, so heading there now - on bus, no courier. Seven hours round trip that could have been spent lying about whimpering pathetically. No worries, we'll make it up tomorrow by arising early, staying up late and directing extra effort toward pathos.

- Later

Picked up bags, which were actually where we were told, and reveled in two plus hour return bus ride to Licata. It just doesn't get any better. One detail to consider is that we didn't have to pay for third bag, which would have cost more than bus tickets. How about that for finding a silver lining in a sky full of cumulonimbus. By the way, this episode should not deter anyone from flying Delta as they are a fine airline and, coincidentally, send me money every month. Thank you for your support.

Jack & Jan

Post-op Synop

23 February 2023 | St. Petersburg, FL
Tuesday 14 February 2023

Hospital called at 0630 to come in immediately as Dr. Watson (no relation to Sherlock's doc) had a cancellation. Great! Get in early, get'er done, finish in time for release today. Nice plan. Subsequently sat around for five hours before being wheeled into surgery. Tried to recognize when anesthetic started working. Not a chance. Winked out without slightest notice, but then good news - woke up. Always a good sign. Stayed in recovery for over a hour and apparently asked nurse several times if I would remember. Didn't. Propofol is not called the milk of amnesia for nothing. Despite delay, escaped hospital to arrive in apartment by 1900. Due drug war, political paranoia surrounding opioid epidemic and autocratic predilection to treat doctors and patients like irresponsible children (CDC), got minimal meds to take edge off pain. Folding mobility walker that hospital forced on me at Florida taxpayers expense sits unused in a corner and will be donated to Vinny's.


Due repair of damaged soft tissue that necessitates motion limits which will prevent significant work on boat, may remain in Florida longer to avoid squandering Schengen visa time. Also, Jan's knee has been acting up causing her some pain. We're a pretty pitiful pair. Telle est la guerre. Anybody know why the French think war is feminine?

PT fellow came by and stuffed five minutes of therapy into an hour after reams of bureaucratic paperwork bumbledom. Small instruction sheet attached to an email would have saved taxpayers another chunk.


Takeaway from doctor and PT guidance is that it will be impossible to properly heal without sitting in a Lazy Boy rocker and watching Wheel of Fortune on the telly most of the day for three months, severely limiting bending, twisting and ab- or adduction of hip. And by the way, have you tried sleeping on your back without ever snoring - Jan actually can. Even after pain goes away will have to practice being a geriatric cripple while working a sailboat. Let's just see how that works out.


Rethunk stay in America. Really need to get back to boat. New plan: go to followup check with doctor on 27th to get stitches out and hop on plane that afternoon. Really sick of living out of hotels; miss boat; not too fussed about missing some of Mediterranean.


*Satan mandates vaccinations. For those eager to attend Satcon, the annual Satanic Convention, on 28 April, you will not be allowed in unless vaccinated. No definitive word on boosters.
*Not content to limit human fun, a Florida lawmaker wants to make it illegal for dogs to stick their heads out of car windows because "wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit or other debris" into animals'. Since dogs seldom carry cash, drivers will likely have to pay fine.

Actual Laws:
It is illegal to build, maintain, or use a nuclear weapon in Chico, California.
Arkansas has made it illegal to mispronounce the state name.
In Connecticut you break the law by selling pickles that do not bounce.
Florida law doesn't allow you to sell your children.
Gainsville, Georgia, police can arrest you for eating chicken with utensils - fingers only.
Idaho has a ban on "nonconsensual consumption" of another human.
Stealing crawfish in Louisiana gets you a $3000 fine or 10 years in jail.
Maine outlaws advertising on someone else's tombstone.
Don't even think about playing Frisbee golf in Helena, Montana.
Poaching Sasquatch in parts of Washington State is a felony carrying a $1000 fine.

Real Headlines:
"Homicide Victims Rarely Talk to Police"
"'We Hate Math', say 4 in 10 - a majority of Americans"
"Breathing Oxygen Linked to Staying Alive"
"Statistics Show That Teen Pregnancy Drops Off Significantly After Age 25"
"Man Kills Himself and Runs Away"

Of course the most irrational things are often those that sound most reasonable. Skepticism is is your friend; thinking is fun. Ya'll be careful out there, hear?

Jack & Jan


13 February 2023 | St. Petersburg, FL
Tuesday 7 February 2023

Personal care physician and cardiologist have proclaimed me
sufficiently robust for major surgery. Could have told them that and
saved carfare and Florida taxpayers a couple bucks. Suppose this pre-
op procedure provides assurance for more skittish or marginal patients,
but is completely irrelevant if one doesn't wake up afterward.
Probably wouldn't provide much comfort to friends and family either.
Perhaps more for doctors to keep malpractice insurance premiums, which
are outrageous due people who sue and win for hangnails and poor
bedside manner, from being impossibly excessive.

Monday (after six days of slacking)

Last day of freedom from pain, loss of mobility and possible death on
the table. OK, that last is a negligible threat, but sounds
wonderfully dramatic. In fact the whole process is great,
enthusiastically anticipated to thwart dislocations and provides an age
related perspective on tolerance. Babies let the world know that
Armageddon is upon them if given the wrong pacifier and college
students are increasingly outraged by any suggestion they have agency
over their own lives. Prolonged experience tends one toward
accommodating reality and normalizing discomfort. There are, of
course, the curmudgeonly Q-tips (note offensive term for older adults)
who kvetch about everything, but the grizzled friends we hang out with
(out with whom we hang?) have more often learned that feeling nearly
anything is better than feeling nothing and life is a grand and
glorious prank.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
- Hunter S. Thompson

"I like life. It's something to do."
- Ronnie Shakes

Jack & Jan

Therapeutic Dogmatizing

04 February 2023 | St. Petersburg, FL
Saturday 4 February 2023

Had earache last night extending this morning into muffled hearing that usually accompanies. Proceeded to pharmacy for help. Figured an antibiotic would require script from PCP (due resistance from overuse of microbials) who isn't available until Monday but thought there might be something. All six products, three branded and three generic, were homeopathic. For the non-cognoscenti, homeopathy dilutes a substance that produces symptoms of the problem until there is literally nothing left except the diluter, mostly water. There is only one thing more imbecilic than thinking this will help cure disease, which is that large numbers of people will pay eight dollars for a small vial of this nonsense. At less cost, purchased bottles of alcohol & vinegar and a small squeeze bottle to mix, half and half, for spritzing.

While walking around St. Petersburg have encountered more people than ever with dogs. What's up with that? An inordinate number of pooches are being pushed in baby carriages. What the @#$%^& is up widdat? As couples are having fewer children, perhaps they're getting dogs to fill the gap. Makes some sense. If one gets tired of caring for an animal it can be taken far away and released or put down... a practice often frowned upon with kids. One advantage, however, of human progeny is that between terrible twos/threes and about twelve the little tykes are, when not acting out, impossibly cute. This is when they should be sold for serious money with which you may buy that Aston Martin or blue water yacht you deserve. Waiting until your youngsters reach puberty is an understandable, yet huge mistake. At that point they are impossibly awful and can't be given away or killed. Waiting for them to regain sanity, get a job and repay you for giving up the decent retirement you could otherwise have saved for is a delusional exercise in futility. For some incomprehensible reason, virtually no one takes the foregoing first-rate advice.

Sincere apologies to those who have not been enraged, exasperated or at least minimally peeved. Will attempt better in future. For those who found this amusing, report immediately to a mental health professional.

Jack & Jan

Agreeably Feeble

26 January 2023 | San Francisco Airport
Wednesday 26 January 2023

Return flight from Singapore to San Francisco is a mere fourteen and a
half hours, three shorter than going. This is due air currents that,
instigated by earth's rotation, typically move from west to east. When
going that way, airliners often ride one of the two or three high
altitude jet streams in each hemisphere, avoiding them as possible
heading west. Usually, although not always, this is less an issue
flying north and south.

Interesting conundrum, flying westward, whether to go lower altitude,
where adverse wind is lighter, but true airspeed less and fuel
consumption more, or proceed around or through big headwinds. Had
people to puzzle that out for me when engaging in this sort of
escapade, so don't care - not my problem. Anyway, got additional pay
for increased work time.

In Changi Airport, even before we could ask, a wheelchair was offered
to debilitated crew with expedited movement for her and support staff
to distant gate through immigration and security. A vast majority of
ship's company have subsequently voted to cripple one of us every time
we fly. Me next.


Even San Francisco Airport is better when in a wheel chair. Where can
we buy a slip-on leg cast?

One may notice that today is Wednesday, same as yesterday's installment
of this nonsense. As happens, we've crossed the international dateline
eastward insuring, in this case, a thirty seven hour day with,
perplexingly, a shorter night between two, also abbreviated, daytimes.
Splain that you zany flat-earthers!

Jack & Jan
Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes
Jack: Formerly productive member of the community as a Northwest Airlines Captain who retired to become a drain on, and embarrassment to, polite society. [...]
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:
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
For a better map select "View Tracking" and click "+" below "Google" left lower of Sailblogs map. Download .kml file and open with Google Earth. See full profile for information on why this mess is being foisted upon an innocent world and for information on contact. Don't be a stranger.
page visitor counter
who is online counter blog counter