Anthem Adrift

10 August 2020 | En Route Nantucket
07 August 2020 | Hadley Harbor
02 August 2020 | SE of Bristol Harbor
02 August 2020 | Bristol, RI
01 August 2020 | Bristol, RI
30 July 2020 | Newport, RI
27 July 2020 | En Route Sandy Hook
26 July 2020 | En Route Sandy Hook
23 July 2020 | En Route Cape May
19 July 2020 | Hampton, Va
18 July 2020 | Hampton, Va
13 July 2020 | Hampton, Va
10 July 2020 | En Route Hampton, Va
05 July 2020 | En Route Beaufort, NC
02 July 2020 | En Route Cape Fear
25 June 2020 | ICW South of Beaufort
21 June 2020 | Savannah
20 June 2020 | Savannah
17 June 2020 | South of Savannah
14 June 2020 | North of Jacksonville

Good Memories

10 August 2020 | En Route Nantucket
Saturday 8 August 2020

Vineyard Haven is a beautiful little town, just the sort of place where one might have seen the Camelot crowd promenading. Since the island is very protective of its population, masks are mandatory everywhere including walking outdoors and on the beach. Notwithstanding that some experts claim face guards are of no use even sometimes harmful, sun glasses invariably fog up when wearing the things and breathing your own exhaust while tramping up and down hills is probably as bad as a mild case of Covid-19, it's actually a small inconvenience and we're happy to abide by local rules. A sign exhorts everyone to "Wear a mask and enjoy The Vineyard". Regrettably this requires multi-tasking and thus eliminates almost, but not quite, half the population (men are a minority because women live longer and some people are in transition). As a member of the hapless group, I do as well as possible. It's a tough life.

According to cruising guide, one may not buy booze on island. However The Golden Bull, a Brazilian steak house we're patronizing tonight has beer, wine and caipirinhas, a Brazilian drink made with cachaca, a Brazilian spirit. Jan loves steak; other crew likes caipirinhas. Anticipate an enjoyable evening. After a short trip over from Hadley Harbor, we dinked into shore to take breakfast at Waterside Market Cafe on Main Street with garden and veranda seating, good coffee and internet. Since something chewed up eighteen Gb of mobile data in first three days of billing month, each gig over thirty is ten dollars and last month's bill was three hundred sixty eight (one of crew is a data pig - will not divulge his identity), we treasure any free Wi-Fi we can find. Pleased that a multitude of updates have now been accomplished.

Like USVI there are an inordinate number of Jeeps. Perhaps, as there, a very good dealer cajoles people into buying one because it's a cool ride, but the cars have a rather poor maintenance record. There are a few Mercedes, BMWs, Audis and other high end cars, but suspect wealthy denizens like the idea of roughing it when in residence. Probably keep a spare or two when one is in for repair.

Sunday

Here's the scenario: you're sitting at your desk and realize you need something from the bedroom. You begin to walk through the kitchen and realize you don't know what you were going for. You freeze in place, trying not to look stupid, then after a moment, even if no one is watching because you're in denial, pour a glass of water and drink it. This is much like a cat that is lying on the floor. He jumps up, races into the next room then stops. He sits down and begins licking his paw as if that was the purpose of this activity. The only thing that helps is knowing that most of us are at least ten percent smarter than your average tabby. One of crew has always had a quirky memory, but be warned, whatever you have gets worse with age.

Before taking bus to Edgartown, had snack at Bobby B's French bakery. They have baguettes and croissants, but no pan au chocolate and no Wi-Fi. Unconscionable. The breakfast sandwich was excellent and brewed coffee good, but... Favorite breakfast cafe in all the world remains elsewhere.

Monday

Edgartown seems even more upscale than Tisdale (actual name of town at Vineyard Haven). It's just across an inlet from infamous Chappaquidick Island, sight of a major reason the US had only one President Teddy last century, which is served by small car ferries (three cars) that run constantly.

Having, so far, a beautiful sail across Nantucket Sound. One night on that island then two hop return to Newport for CAT scan Thursday. After that have to wait for the good news about revision from Dr. Mason until nineteenth - he's only available on Wednesday and Thursday. Think he's in surgery rest of week, practicing, no doubt, to be in top form for mine. Keep up the good work doc.

Jack & Jan

Don't Pick That

07 August 2020 | Hadley Harbor
Wednesday 5 August 2020

Original plan was to run down to Newport this morning, catch ferry to Providence, do stuff for a few hours, catch ferry back to Newport and motor back up to Bristol for package reported delivered. About seven hours of travel. Then tomorrow sail back by Newport and out to Cuttyhunk, MA. Another seven. Whatdayathink, inefficient? Part way down ferry canceled so we burned a U and returned to Bristol. No package. Still expect to sail for Cuttyhunk early tomorrow.

Friday

Last half of sail was a darn nice close reach into virtually calm seas. Having heard of it numerous times thought Cuttyhunk was a substantial place. It's not. It's like a trading post on the Oregon trail in the Old American West, but without alcohol. Egad! Between that and its inaccessibility except by boat, there's little wonder population is small. Can't be many who stay through winter. It is, however, a pleasant, large anchorage for prevailing winds with an inner harbor protected from every direction. Used as a stopover, it was jammed by late afternoon and almost empty this morning.

We're currently approaching the island of Weepecket... OK, admit it, first glance you thought the same, right? Anyway probably an Indian name that means hung like stallion (that last is no doubt unpardonably iniquitous on a multitude of levels). Only a half hour from entrance to Hadley Harbor, tonight's stop. More population there, at least on east side, as it's the beginning of Elizabeth Islands and accessible by road. Short hop to Martha's Vineyard tomorrow through narrow Wood's Hole Passage where current runs to four knots. As with many endeavors, it pays to pick your time.

Jack & Jan

Who's Your Daddy?

02 August 2020 | SE of Bristol Harbor
Monday 3 August 2020

Warpig's Foggy Geezer Hazy India Pale Ale - a bit hoppy, but pretty darn good. With a name like that how could it be otherwise? After a pint of Boddingtons, a favorite English ale, at Aiden's Irish Pub (doesn't seem right, does it?) waiting for opening time, meandered down the street to Judge Roy Bean's. Intriguing name for an upscale burger and pizza joint in Rhode Island, but the chipotle burger and sweet potato fries, choked down with Foggy Geezer (no snide comments from the peanut gallery (ref. Howdy Doody show from misspent youth), were excellent.

Decided to stay the night in south-facing bay as wind expected to be slight until midday Tuesday.

Tuesday

Found a spot with no one around for protection from south wind. Since we were in four meter depth with three miles of scope (chain out - slight exaggeration) and backed down at flank power felt pretty confident.

At late afternoon the storm tail with rain had passed over. Main event went west, which put us on the worst side for winds, but maximum sustained was observed at thirty eight knots. Gusts maybe forty five. Major issue was howling and tilting. That sixty three foot (19 meter) mast causes heel as boat sails back and forth on road (anchor chain).

During dinner began watching "A Time To Kill" with Matthew McConahaughey, Samuel L Jackson and Sandra Bullock, but only went as far as a hundred eight minutes. Pardon the French, but !@#$%^&*(). Jonesing to see ending. Should have checked full recording before beginning. I'm a bad, bad bunny (pretty good pun punch line). Jan hates me, but not worried. I'm too adorable for that to last.

Jack & Jan

Ducking Danger

02 August 2020 | Bristol, RI
Sunday 2 August 2020

Didn't see any Trump 2020 flags in Sandy Hook, NJ, but could have been a fluke.
Now none here. Makes sense as RI is a very blue state. Expect there are
enthusiastic MAGAs around, but with insufficient mass of bodies for them to feel
safe flaunting their sentiments amidst legions of evil others. Haven't observed
any obvious nefariousness, everyone seems quite nice, but tribal derangements
are often well hidden. Have noticed, however, the new acronym is KAG for Keep
America Great. Apparently the last three and a half years have returned our
country to its former distinction. Good to know.

As our new favorite hurricane approaches Florida and begins trekking up the East
Coast we're taking the odd moment to consider a hiding place. Bristol Harbor is
open to expected south winds of possibly fifty knots and may thus be a bit
sporty. Forecast has been remarkably consistent over last two days, so we'll
probably go hunting tomorrow afternoon. At least two areas look safe if locals
don't grab all the good spots. Winds may pick up by Tuesday morning and
steadily increase until midnight. Wednesday morning could be virtually calm.

Due many days since last wash Jan is patronizing laundromat while crippled, not
to mention lazy, crew languishes with coffee and poached eggs down the street.
Seems strange that people who may be less healthy, but see precautionary crutch,
offer to help with doors, coffee trays and such. Well intentioned people are
often mistaken, sometimes with pernicious results.

Probably dink over to Bristol Marine to see if shipments arrived yesterday and
harass Dustin who is too nice to tell us to get lost so he can finish work on
his boat before splashing end of this week. Being extremely gregarious (Jan) or
insensitive (rest of crew) we'll probably provoke a delay. Expect to inveigle
him with subliminal guilt to choke down an adult beverage with us this evening.

Jack & Jan

Vicissitudinousness

01 August 2020 | Bristol, RI
Friday 31 July 2020

"Plans change". Words of wisdom. Bet no one's thought of that one before.
Should copyright. Make millions.

Scheduling and logistics. Not a specialty, however ordered on-line from Apple
Computer a new MacBook Pro yesterday afternoon and picked it up at Bristol
Marine when we arrived just after noon - take that Amazon. Sail and mail from
forwarder not here, however should arrive later today or tomorrow. Computer
delivery would have precluded going into Providence, however no CAT scan
schedules available nearby so big city it is on Wednesday. Rental cars are very
expensive, however a ferry goes at convenient times with a stop in Bristol in
case Isaias adjusts movement and we can't make Newport. Some computer
accessories were backordered, however should arrive Monday while we're still
here. Need to be in Newport for appointment Thursday, however big winds should
be long gone by then. It may all work out... anything's possible.

And speaking of hurricanes, we're entering the meat of the season. This is
forecast to be a bad one - warmer than normal ocean temperatures. Current storm
has us looking around for a place to hide just in case. Bristol Harbor is not
too bad except for south wind. Oh wait, that's where it's forecast to be.
There's a better place about six miles away. Probably pay careful attention to
weather weasels for awhile.

Saturday

Calm before the storm. Feels warmer than temperature suggests due no wind, but
Isaias will soon alleviate that little pickle. Now looks like height of fun
late Tuesday or wee hours Wednesday. May still be able to get to Providence for
scan if that naughty boy doesn't slow any more. Current worst wind forecast for
Bristol is only low twenties. Quoting George Carlin about spending time in
purgatory for some Catholic infraction, "I could do an eon standing on my head",
and we're only talking here about a few hours. Sanguinity abounds... or is that
denial? Difficult sometimes to distinguish.

Meantime we're ashore, Jan having little tiny hairs torn screaming from her legs
and rest of crew languishing, as is his wont, at a coffee bar writing either of
absolute truth or foolishness. Depends on perspective. I'm inclined toward
that first thing, but for incomprehensible reasons that's not the universal
understanding.

Transfer of MacBook contents, about seven hundred Gb, from old box via WiFi
signal will apparently take days. Need wire, either between computers or to
backup drive, but since new machine has only FireWire 3 connections (USB C even
for charging) and old Mac has none must wait for adapter, back-ordered, coming
perhaps Monday. Waiting sucks. Want instant gratification and want it now.

Jack & Jan

Knocked About With Toys

30 July 2020 | Newport, RI
Thursday 30 July 2020

Went to orthopedist this morning and the good news is... we'll come back to that. And the bad news is that one of two compression screws holding top of femur to hip ball is broken and displaced. They make those things out of supermanium or some such so, all things considered, this might not be a good thing. Could be reason for continuing pain and appearance of constantly walking across same side of mountain. Returning for CAT scan Wednesday then doctor again Thursday. Another operation begins to emerge from mist inside crystal ball. Hopefully soon. May get a shiny, brand new hip with only a three month recovery instead of typical twelve using nails and screws. Would be interesting to see how they remove the nail, which goes almost to knee, from inside bone. Or maybe not. Left hospital with shiny, brand new Euro-style crutches (a bit more wieldy than armpit type) to forestall additional damage. Look like a idiot walking around with the things, but does feel better.

Meantime shiny, brand new asymmetrical spinnaker is getting delivered tomorrow to Bristol Marine in, oddly enough Bristol, about two hours north, so we'll sail up in the morning. Then probably Uber to Providence early next week to buy shiny, brand new MacBook Pro to replace this one, which is showing unmistakable signs of dementia. It's over six years old, which in computer years is even older than me and dirt combined. Getting all manner of new playthings - the good news.

What little we've seen of Newport is pretty nice. Unbelievable number of Beamers, Audis, Porsches and Lexi scooting around. Harbor is full of real boats, i.e. blue water monohulls, some very large, and lots of Hinckleys. First place they've outnumbered tuna towers (reel boats.. chuckle, snort), cats and Beneteau types. Food is good, people are nice and weather is slightly cooler. They have summer here too, just a smidgen less of it than, say, Virgin Islands. Good thing we like it as likely to be knocking about for a little while.

Jack & Jan

Stuff & Such

27 July 2020 | En Route Sandy Hook
Monday 27 July 2020

Excellent sail up from Cape May to the mouth of Lower Bay entrance into
Manhattan. Crikey there's a lot of city along the Jersey shore. With a few
hours to go we're abeam Long Branch (thought that was a saloon in B westerns).
At risk of being redundant Sandy Hook seems to be a sand spit with a hook at the
end. Probably anchor behind the hook and chill for the rest of today. Do not
expect to climb mast again to check strobe, which worked fine Saturday, but
didn't blink once last night. After same experience four times it's starting to
be a wee bit annoying.

Reference Elon Musk, "If you don't make stuff, there's no stuff". Similarly if
you don't do stuff, no stuff gets done. Writing government checks doesn't
magically reverse this impoverishment it only shifts who gets access to the
remaining stuff, accelerates consumption depleting what's available sooner and
reduces investment for creating new stuff. Unless you want to paper your den
with it or light a cigar, money has no intrinsic value, only stuff does e.g.
food, houses, medicine, a ride on that cool roller coaster in Wildwood. More
dollars (or shekels or piasters, whatever) and less stuff means there is less
real value being chased by an inflated number of fiat dollars. It's OK though,
you're adaptable. You'll hardly notice the incrementally higher costs and lower
standard of living and your children will think crushing debt is normal. You're
not that fond of them are you?

Jack & Jan

Crabbing Away

26 July 2020 | En Route Sandy Hook
Friday 24 July 2020

Dancing between raindrops we made a wee shoreline walk to see no birds (nullifying the purpose), ate breakfast at Saltwater Cafe (SOS not as good as military), bungied plastic hooks and pulleys (for exercise) and rewired forward navigation light and windlass down button in anchor locker (respectively, corroded and poor previous effort). Feeling quite virtuous so, after happy hour libation, expect to find dinner at the Lucky Bones Backwater Grille (they probably think the "e" makes them way cool) recommended by Capt Tim.

Saturday

Began the day by fixing three, count them three, items on the mast: strobe, steaming light and a loose spreader tip cover. Also rigged forward and aft guys on whisker pole, reset SSB antenna wire standoff bracket and, saving best for last, topped up diesel tanks. Fuel station at Mill Creek Marina should be called Mill Race. Although tide was a half hour before high, current in the narrow creek ran through and swirled like spin cycle. Of course wind was wrong direction. Sporty. By the time we were done, however, it was a pussy cat so swarms of drunk driven pleasure craft were only hazards. Cape May summer Saturday is like a New York subway during rush hour - with waves. Probably avoid weekend on next pass through.

Sunday

We'll try to depart this morning after a few chores and traditional Sunday banana pancakes with real Canadian maple syrup (has it been mentioned that Jan's Canadian?). Want to leave before noon to avoid guys racing their boats around the anchorage after listening to a sermon on the evils of rum. When behind the wheel nearly all of them guzzle beer, so it's OK.

Replaced watermaker filters and left at 1130, but the devout beat us to it. Inlet to Cape May was like rolling thunder, which by the way is name of one orange high speed tour boat that gave us a tumble just clearing the breakwater. Rumbling diesels, roaring outboards and screaming jet skis. This would be a pretty cool place without people. Maybe a Wednesday next time when they're all at work or sober.

Wildwood is more impressive than previously realized. Could be a smaller South Beach. Want to ride the roller coaster - looks amazing. Anticipate passing Ocean City and Atlantic City. Should do before dark.

Sandy Hook is only a rest stop and a mere hundred ten NM north so no hurry. We're floating along at four and a half to five knots in blissful quiet watching horseshoe crabs drift by. This area is lousy with them and since they molt about eighteen times before of a size to make little crabs the shore is littered with shells. Too bad the prehistoric rascals are no good to eat.

Jack & Jan

North To Ataska

23 July 2020 | En Route Cape May
Monday 20 July 2020

An abundance of twenties today. Many would like to return to that age, but you
couldn't pay me. Nearly everyone at twenty is an idiot. From that point onward
everything in life got better until thirty four, a mental age that remains with
me (ergo the broken hip) and, although the last decade has been the best ever,
to where I would go back in a heartbeat.

Tuesday

Spent all morning at Firehouse Coffee schmoozing with Jacksters and getting a
caffeine buzz. They went to see Fort Monroe and we returned for do do dooty.
Getting scale finally removed from valves and hoses required diluted
hydrochloric acid, but eventually all were clean as a whistle. One may assume
whistles are more sparkly than your average toilet system. Figuring out routing
of hoses and configuration of two three-way valves in series to allow complete
control of effluent and reassembling it all with some new clamps was easier than
expected and happy hour staggered, slightly late, into sweaty, stinky bliss.
This is first total cleaning since boat purchase seven years ago. If we still
own the thing seven years from now may pay someone to experience all this joy
and gratification.

Wednesday

Took Jacksters to favorite breakfast cafe in all the world to eat crab Benedict.
They were suitably impressed. Said goodbye until Annapolis Sailboat Show in
October as we now motor toward Cape May, NJ, with no wind. Had forgotten how
hot US East Coast is in summer.

Thursday

A few hours of beautiful beam reach was followed at sunset by thirty knot
squalls and hours of adverse wind, but current was mostly north so made good
time. Two hours to go for tonight's stop at mouth of Delaware Bay. Weather
forecast alleges cooler temps. We'll just see about that. Upon return in
October, with hopefully even more refreshing coolness, we'll sail up the bay to
the C & D Canal, just south of Newark, transiting to north end of Chesapeake
Bay.

Hoped to goof off here, but forward nav lights and steaming light have taken a
powder, down button on windlass is again on vacation (although new chain wheel
works brilliantly) and pole guys need rigging. Yowzer! The fun never ends.

Jack & Jan

In Over Your Head

19 July 2020 | Hampton, Va
Sunday 19 July 2020

Brit mates passed Cape Hatteras yesterday. Should arrive Hampton early evening. Meantime after breaky expect to actually, really, truly get into head remediation... honest. A shower before SV Jacksters come for dinner will no doubt be appreciated and readily confirmed with sniff test.

Google Fi is handy when hopping across nationalities as data is immediately available when in range virtually everywhere. It's also unlimited with the caveat that speed slows past thirty gig (raised from twenty three due pandemic). Enough you say? By middle of month we blew by that number - now at thirty nine. Minor inconvenience you say? Speed isn't slow, it's glacial, unusable. Normal bandwidth can be purchased for ten dollars a gig so we're running through mama's egg money faster than hens can keep up. Apparently something is running in background that chews up data, but haven't found it. Nearly all use is through hotspot to computer. Auto updates have been curtailed, but usage sometimes reaches five gig in a day. We seldom stream video. What up? Probably check out unlimited plans to use while in US. Without six months left on passport that could extend for some time. Reopening passport offices for renewals may not be priority for civil servants (versus the hoi poloi) as paid vacation is no doubt better than working for a living.

Toilet parts are bubbling away in Barnacle Buster. Once sparkly clean, reinstallation will probably only take three or four times what would normally be expected as opening under sink is rather small for both arms to fit. Bathrooms are called heads because nets were once hung over side at the head of a ship to allow sailors to carry out less sanitary ablutions directly into the sea. Dolphins may not have ridden the bow wave as often then as they do now.

OK, back to the fun.

At least one of the boundless legions of rabble that read this blog may have noticed the phrase "sparkly clean" in foregoing. After three hours of bubbling away, much of the hard, crusty scale remains hard crusty scale. Finally hammered off the big chunks, but an overnight soak will be required to dissolve it completely (one hopes). Fortunately forward head is operational or we would be emulating the old days, hanging major bits of anatomy over the rail tonight... it's easier as a boy - expunge the visual from your minds.

Mates arrived after excellent sail, but due generator issues got no sleep last night so they're toast for today. Tomorrow we'll go to machine shop, Starbucks, West Marine, market and AT&T early then later have red curry prawns with obligatory abuse of alcohol. As great friend Phil Bowden correctly advocates, "anything worth doing is worth doing to wretched excess".

Jack & Jan
Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
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 disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
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.
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