Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Explaining Postmodernism

I have just finished reading Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen Hicks.  One advantage of living on a boat is that you have a lot of time to read.  After an orgy of adventure, science fiction and fantasy novels I decided it was time for something with a little more meat.

Hicks describes three periods of philosophical thought: Pre-modernism (Medieval times); Modernism, and Postmodernism.  One would expect the book to be quite weighty but in fact it is straightforward and easy reading.  Hicks traces the points of view of the philosophers during the 18th through 20th centuries.  You will be familiar with many of the names: Locke, Adam Smith, Heidegger,Nietzsche, Marx ... But the cornerstone player was, in Hick's view, Immanuel Kant.

What struck me the most about Explaining Postmodernism was Hick's assertion that although philosophical thought is intended to be "pure" (whatever that actually means) the philosophers were driven by their need to service their emotional (or if you prefer "faith") beliefs into their philosophical world view.  For example, Kant was very religious and was directly experiencing the assault on his faith that the Enlightenment, with its focus on fact and reason was doing to religion. Perhaps the most telling quote: :I here therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith."  Kant was clearly in the anti-Enlightenment camp.  And, Hick's asserts, he was the harbinger of the postmodern philosophy.

Hick's then goes on to develop postmodern thought.  His assertion is that the postmodern philosophers had embraced another religion - socialism.  Like Kant they needed to create a world view that was consistent with the needs of their religion.  Their problem was that reason clearly indicated that they were wrong.  Their solution was to throw out reason and elevate the place of emotion and who better to describe emotion then Nietzsche and Freud.  The result is that rage, power, guilt, lust and dread constitute the center of the postmodern emotional universe.  Since the evidence of two centuries was that socialism was not the "wave of the future" the rage continues to build.

Hick's then goes on to link the actions and attitudes of the contemporary Far Left in the United States with the world view of the postmoderns.  By rejecting reason they don't have to be factually right, they just need to feel emotionally justified.  Since words have no linkage to reality (in postmodernism) they feel free to say anything that keeps their opponent off balance.

Hicks makes a cogent argument.  I found it quite compelling.  Perhaps the most interesting insight for me was the conclusion that the Far Left is not, as some commentators would lead one to believe, trying to create an amoral and secular society in the United States.  Rather, after over 200 years of failure they are willing to do and say anything to bring about a socialist state - the "heaven" of their religion.

In conclusion, and insightful and easy read.  I recommend it.

Memorial Day in New Bern

I have returned from Wisconsin and Arlington Heights, IL after a great graduation and visit with both of my sons.  It seems that I can't win when it comes to airplanes these days, my flight was cancelled and I had to stay over an extra day.  So I got a free overnight with Trevor which was great.

After being comfortably cool in Madison and Arlington Heights I returned to North Carolina heat with a vengeance.  It is in the mid-nineties and is expected to remain that way for the rest of the week.

I was surprised by the New Bern reaction to Memorial Day.  I was one of only two boats that dressed ship for the holiday.  I was unable to find a Memorial Day parade in town.  This was a big surprise for two reasons:  first, we are surrounded by military bases, and second, there is a National Cemetery in town.

I took advantage of the early morning semi-cool to lay out the new (used) jib that I had acquired in the Oriental marine consignment store.  As expected there were a couple of small rips in the sacrificial cover but the rest of the sail was in decent shape.  I brought it back to Reboot and with the help of Allen the dock master got it up on the forestay.  I discovered that the sacrificial cover was on the other side of the Genoa so I now have to rewind the furler so that it winds in the opposite direction.  I had changed jib halyards and something is wrapped wrong at the top so I have to figure out what that is too.  With the temperature hitting 97 degrees I decided to postpone my investigation until a cool morning.  Ed (Door into Summer) will be back in a couple of days so I will have him hoist me up on the mast so I can see what is actually going on.  I can't really get a good idea from down on the deck.

Harvey Smith came over this morning to replace the exhaust manifold riser on the engine so we have rigged up a bunch of fans to at least try and keep the air moving.  Hopefully we will get the engine maintenance done before it gets too much hotter.

Fair winds and following seas.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Available on Amazon dot Com

The Mountain Three Wolf Tee Shirt
Sample review:
This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to 'howl at the moon' from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn't have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn't settle for the first thing that comes to him.

I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

Tuscan Whole Milk Gallon
Sample review:
Once upon a mid-day sunny, while I savored Nuts 'N Honey,
With my Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz., I swore
As I went on with my lapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at the icebox door.
'Bad condensor, that,' I muttered, 'vibrating the icebox door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Not to sound like a complainer, but, in an inept half-gainer,
I provoked my bowl to tip and spill its contents on the floor.
Stupefied, I came to muddle over that increasing puddle,
Burgeoning deluge of that which I at present do adore -
Snowy Tuscan wholesomeness exclusively produced offshore -
Purg'ed here for evermore.

And the pool so white and silky, filled me with a sense of milky
Ardor of the type fantastic of a loss not known before,
So that now, to still the throbbing of my heart, while gently sobbing,
I retreated, heading straightway for the tempting icebox door -
Heedless of that pitter-patter tapping at the icebox door -
I resolved to have some more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
'This,' said I, 'requires an extra dram of milk, my favorite pour.'
To the icebox I aspired, motivated to admire
How its avocado pigment complemented my decor.
Then I grasped its woodgrain handle - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams of Tuscans I had known before
But the light inside was broken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only words there spoken were my whispered words, 'No more!'
Coke and beer, some ketchup I set eyes on, and an apple core -
Merely this and nothing more.

Back toward the table turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

From the window came a stirring, then, with an incessant purring,
Inside stepped a kitten; mannerlessly did she me ignore.
Not the least obeisance made she; not a minute stopped or stayed she;
But, with mien of lord or lady, withdrew to my dining floor -
Pounced upon the pool of Tuscan spreading o'er my dining floor -
Licked, and lapped, and supped some more.

Then this tiny cat beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grand enthusiasm of the countenance she wore,
Toward the mess she showed no pity, 'til I said, 'Well, hello, kitty!'
Sought she me with pretty eyes that seemed to open some rapport.
So I pleaded, 'Tell me, tell me what it is that you implore!'
Quoth the kitten, 'Get some more.'

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides

I took advantage of visiting Spencer to see the new Pirates movie.  Frankly, it was a big disappointment.  Jack Sparrow is charming in the original series, but his character is starting to wear on me.  I realize more and more that "Captain" Jack Sparrow is totally self centered and without a shred of morality,.  What was once cute is now annoying.

The movie is visually beautiful.  The story, the search for the fountain of youth is a good backdrop.  My favorite characters were the Spaniards who provide something of  a twist at the end.

Like the Harry Potter series I find the later movies to be less and less appealing.  I doubt I will bother with Pirates #5.  I am sure there will be one.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Merlin, Lalla, Fun and Bacchant

I had a great conversation with Jerome "Jerry" Sullivan today to bring me up to speed on Merlin's future racing plans.  Merlin will campaign in the NOOD's in Chicago, the SSYC Queen's Cup, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and a number of other races in the Chicago area.

I also discovered that Merlin is such a famous race boat that Trisha Steele, a fourth generation racer in the Transpac yacht race has created a trophy called the MERLIN Trophy  The trophy is a scale model of Merlin.  How cool is that.

For the uninitiated Merlin was a ground breaking (water breaking) Bill "fast is fun" Lee design that dominated the Transpac for many years.  You can read some of the history of the design here.

The conversation shifted to Lalla, a 22 sq meter yacht also owned by Jerry.  This is a class I knew nothing about.  Designed by K. H. Reimers these are beautiful boats.  You can see some pictures at this facebook page but it helps if you speak Swedish.

My favorite Jerry Sullivan boat is Bacchant, a 1936 Plym 75 sq meter.  It is currently for sale, but I caution you, even if you can afford it, can you afford the upkeep?  I am reminded of the famous quote by J. P. Morgan about the cost of upkeep on his famous yacht Corsair "If you have to ask you can't afford it."

Rounding out the boats is Jerry's Fun.

Jerry's boats are in the North section of McKinley Marina with Bacchant at the Milwaukee Yacht Club.  So you can stroll by and take a look.

The best part of the whole conversation was that Jerry invited me to crew on Merlin for the Queen's Cup.  Wow!

"Daisy" Transit

"There I was, no sh*(, thought I was going to die"
A sea story

 After my dental appointment on Tuesday morning we gathered up the crew and headed to the airport to pick up the rental car.  I drove into the rental car return lane and asked where I could park while we signed the paperwork.  A nice man gave us a parking place after which we were accosted by woman who told me that I should not have been in the rental return lane.  (Under my breath I suggested that next time I would rent from a competitor so as not to disturb her sensibilities.) We picked up a Tahoe and headed back to David's to load the car.  This was quite a trick but after tying a bunch of stuff on the roof we manged to get it all in (except for the fenders - which of course became a critical decision later.)  We then had a pleasant 8 hour drive to Charlevoix which included watching The King's Speech as the Tahoe had a built in DVD player.  After the first showing the front and back seats changed places and we ran it a second time.  It is a good flick.

Wednesday morning was overcast and cold.  We got Daisy loaded and David spent a bunch of time finalizing the purchase and repair documentation.  We made the 3:00PM bridge. Actually they held it to about 3:05. Since there was no other boat traffic they cut us a break and opened slightly late.  Thank you, nice lady Charlevoix bridge operator!

We motored out of the channel and set sail.  The wind and waves were as predicted, 10 - 15 from the NE with about 1 -2 waves.  We set up for a long and semi-pleasant (it was cold and would get colder) downwind run.  The first 12 hours were great.  Time for the crew to chat and catch up, the autopilot doing the steering.  In the early evening we started the Westerbeke engine to charge the batteries.  It started and ran fine, just as it had carrying us out of the channel.  After about 15 minutes there was a puff of black smoke and the engine died.  [FYI, our remote diagnostic from Mr. Smith of New Bern, a great diesel mechanic, is that the injector fuel pump spring gave up.]  We spent some time trying to see if we had clogged filters, whatever but were unable to start the engine.

Since we could not charge the batteries we went to hand steering and turned off all the electronics.  With another 150 miles to go we decided that we could not risk running out of battery power.  This turned out to be a very prudent decision.  Both nights underway we were in heavy fog and would fire up the radar every once in a while to check for other shipping.  Even in the daytime it was overcast and cold.

We arrived at the outer breakwall of Milwaukee harbor in very dense fog.  We had contacted the Coast Guard to see if they could give us a tow into the marina (there is a Coast Guard Station in Milwaukee) and were told they were not permitted to tow us as they would compete with local towing services (of which there are none in Milwaukee.)  They suggested that maybe the Milwaukee Marine Police could help us out but the marine patrol was not going to be on their boat for several hours.  We also called TowBoat US and they were willing to dispatch a tow boat covered by David's Boat US insurance but it would take them 2 hours or more to arrive.  So I picked up the phone and called Glyn Livermore.  He said "Hi Roger, where are you?"  I said "Outside of Milwaukee Harbor with no engine.  I called to make my problem your problem."  He said "Wild Goose is in the water, I will come out and tow you in."  So of course he called Joe Duehmig and explained that I had made my problem Glyn's, so Glyn was making his problem Joe's.

They came out in Wild Goose and waited by the north gap.  I of course missed the gap in the fog and ended up going into the main gap.  We got the boats hooked up (Glyn provided the necessary fenders) and Glyn and Joe towed us into McKinley Marina where we tied up on the face dock.  While cleaning up Daisy the Milwaukee Police Boat came by.  We asked if they could tow us down into the slip.  They said, "since you are tied up and safe we can't do it, if you were out drifting we could."  We offered to cast off and drift, we offered beer, but to no avail.

Once again local knowledge prevailed. David called the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center where he is a member.  They brought their launch over and helped us down to the dock.  A successful sail.

David mentioned that someone had suggested he get custom dock lines.  Ed and I rolled our eyes.  We forgot some stuff on the boat and David went back and could not open the companionway.  It turned out a screw had worked loose.  We got it open and Ed pointed out to David that this was the life of a sailboat owner.  He suggested David pass on the custom dock lines and save his money for the inevitable repairs.

I walked over to "F" dock, the Milwaukee home of Reboot.  I greeted old friends and discovered that Forever Young was on the dock with a genoa on the foredeck.  I called Tom and thanked him for putting out the sail for me. (You may remember that I split mine in half on the way into New Bern.)  This of course led to a promise to meet later for a drink.

The evening was pure cruiser.  I went down to McKinley to see Glyn and Laura (Wild Goose) on Joe and Caroline's new boat (Wanderlust) then over to the "Sail Loft" nee Riptide for a drink (dice and shots) with Tom (Forever Young) and his brother.  On to City Lounge to see "G", Bridget, Alex and spend some time with Joe the owner.  We then tried unsuccessfully to find Mad Dog Saloon to see Kelsy and say hi but didn't have good directions so got to apparently 1/8 of a mile of the place but didn't go far enough.

Back to Ed (Whisk) and Kristen's (ok, she has a horse but then again is an emergency veterinarian, suffers from mal de mar, and is a most wonderful hostess) new beautiful home in Mequon to bed down for the night.

A very satisfying transit.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Laura's Silks by Laura.  Very beautiful work with a nautical theme.  Check out her web site..

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1970 Sabre 34

I am off with old sailing buddies Ed and Dave from my Chicago - Mac and Bayview - Mac days to bring David's new Sabre back from Charlevoix Michigan to Milwaukee Wisconsin.  Winds are predicted from the Northeast at 10 to 15 with waves 1 to 3 feet.  Sounds like a great downwind run, doesn't it?  But then again, the current mid-lake water temperature is 38 degrees.  It is going to be a cold one!

Here is a link to a description of the boat http://www.sailingmagazine.net/boats/6-used-boat-notebook/535-sabre-34

Fair winds and following seas.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Anchoring in the BVI

How to hit 6 boats in less then 6 minutes.  Ah, the joy of incompetent bareboat charterers. http://vimeo.com/22630270

What you don't know while traveling

Assailants killed at least 29 people — decapitating most of the victims — on a ranch in a part of northern Guatemala plagued by drug cartels, national police said Sunday.
The massacre took place early Sunday in the town of Caserio La Bomba in Peten province near the Mexico border, according to National Civil Police spokesman Donald Gonzalez. Among the 29 dead were two children and two women.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/05/15/massacre-northern-guatemala-leaves-27-dead-923560621/#ixzz1MW9PV4a5

This is in the general area of Tikal, the Mayan ruin that I visited a couple of months ago while on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala.  It sure gives one pause.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Graduation Day

Today is Spencer's graduation from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. That makes me two for two.  Both of my sons have now graduated.  I am the classic proud parent.  Spencer will be starting a job with Sentry Insurance here in Madison so I don't even need to be concerned with the whole move out and move into a new place routine.His brother Trevor, his mom Diane (#2 for those who know me well) and I have been celebrating for the last couple of days.  Friday night we went to Essen Haus where they sell beer by the boot.  I was the designated driver so I didn't participate in the imbibing part but the rest of the group (including some of Spencer's friends) sure made up for my lack.   We then went back to his apartment and continued to party.  (OK, its true.  Even cold sober I drove the Avalanche down the railroad tracks instead of the street.  It was a shortcut.)  We woke with wicked hangovers only to decide to go to see Thor.  What a plan - raging headaches - go see a blow things up and big loud fight scene movie.  We had a great time.  Thor is a lot of fun and part of the Marvel Comics summer blitz.  It has references to Iron Man, a cameo by Stan Lee, and introduces some of the other "Avengers" characters.  I enjoyed Natalie Portman much more than in Black Swan.  Diane was quite taken with Chris Hemsworth and pointed out that with but a little effort we could look like him too!

(Sorry girls but you will have to search for the shirt off pictures of Chris elsewhere.)  My sons were quick to point out that although I might be able to be "cut" like Mr Hemsworth I would still be old.  And for this I paid for their college educations? (In fairness to Diane she chipped in quite a pretty penny too!)

We finished up with an major dinner at the Imperial Garden Restaurant, a favor haunt of both Trevor and Spencer.  Once again we ate far too much but had a nice dinner. The restaurant gave Spencer a $20 gift certificate to celebrate his graduation.  Nice.

It has been cold and raining for the past couple of days.  This morning is no exception.  I have been watching the weather carefully as we are moving Dave's boat from Charlevoix Michigan to Milwaukee Wisconsin mid next week.  It is going to be cold cold cold but it looks like the winds will be from the North or Northeast.  That means a nice run down and across Lake Michigan if the waves stay down.

Off now to the graduation ceremony and then a reception for the computer science majors.

Fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The frustration of "I agree"

One of the most useful reasons for being in port is access to the Internet.  Not only is a great time waster but it also is a great source of free marine information.  (See the page link on the right to "free internet sources.")  Usually I can get access for the entire network of devices on Reboot.  But the one I haven't figured out how to beat is "I agree."  These are web sites that have a disclaimer page requiring you to agree to the terms and conditions of the site before you are switched to an Internet connection.  Of course my web browser can do that easily enough.  My phone and game console can't.  The end result is that most of the network stays down.


The EVIL! Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal)

Alas the slippery slope...

For some years I have had James Taranto, the author of the Best of the Web Today column of the Wall Street Journal nee Opinion Journal as a friend.  I enjoy his column and have had the pleasure of his company sailing.  James dropped a note in Facebook that he was to appear on "Hannity" a couple of days ago.  Since I wanted to see him I hooked up the TV on Reboot for the first time in about 2 years.  I did get to see him, I thought he did well but deserved more air time.

With the TV hooked up and my exceptional abilities at procrastination it was but a moment before I found myself avoiding getting Reboot ready for the Fall trip to the Eastern Caribbean.  Instead I found myself channel surfing.  This worked for about two days before I concluded that pretty much all of what is on TV is miserable entertainment.  It looked like I was going to have to go back to working on the boat.

Fortunately I was required to make a "sin run" to the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point exchange and commissary.  While there I picked up a copy of Avatar (Three-Disc Extended Collector's Edition).  I consider this movie one of the great chick flicks of all time.  It is a great love story with lots of heavy metal to keep the guys interested.  The problem was that my DVD player has become unreliable - salt air is a bane to electronics.  The solution was to unpack my PlayStation 3 160 GB from its waterproof case and hook it up.

After watching Avatar and a couple of other movies in my collection I decided to slip my God of War: Collection disk into the PlayStation.  You can see where this is going.

I am stuck on the third head of the Hydra.  I am playing at the stupid incompetent old guy skill level.  So I am really stuck.  Spencer provided me with a link to the God of War walk thru which has been quite a help but I am still having difficulty with the keystroke timing.  Needless to say work on Reboot has ground to a halt.

A a red blooded retired Navy American citizen I want to point out that my failure to get my work done is all George Bush's fault.  If it wasn't for him there would be no Opinion Journal web page and I would not have met James so I would not have hooked up my TV, watched Hannity, etc.  I think I need Government compensation for my situation.

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sail Purchase Frustration

I recently had my Genoa split in two. It was an old sail and not worthy of the expense to repair so I am in the market for new sails (My main is of the same age and likely to fail soon too.)

My frustrations:

1. I have a very standard boat - a Catalina 42 - over 1,000 in use. Why does it seem to take two or three weeks for sail lofts to get back to me with a quote? At this level of customer service why should I expect that they will deliver on time as promised?

2. I have been unable to find a single source of a side by side comparison of sails by major manufacturers. Lots of testimonials - "I bought a sail from xyz loft and it is great." How do they know its great? What other loft's sails did they try? None of the major magazines seem to have ever published comparisons. What I am looking for is something like the multitude of anchor comparisons that one finds in various publications. Is the reality that all lofts are pretty much the same?

PS - re #2 - perhaps there is a significant difference in lofts when purchasing high end racing sails. I am looking for blue water offshore sails

I will keep you posted on my experiences

Fair Winds and Following Seas

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chart quality data

The International Hydrographic Organization is requesting comments on the understanding and use of quality indicators for chart data.  You can read about it here:.  There is also a hot link to let you take the survey.  After my experiences in Central America with outdated and erroneous charts I am glad to see this initiative. I filled out the survey, I suggest you do too.

Fair winds and following seas.

Kindle and Sailing

I finally broke down and purchased a Kindle (link to the particular version at left.)  I have been reading Kindle books on my PC but that is a bit of a pain plus it uses a lot of power.  Positives: Its lightweight, very compact and very easy to read even in the brightest sunlight. Negatives, there is no back lighting making it impossible to read at night or in low light.  One has to purchase some form of light for illumination at night. Amazon sells a variety of covers that have built in lights.  Also it comes without any case.  Next time my retirement check comes in I will have to invest in a case.

OK, so I bought a Kindle. What is the big deal?  One of the major drawbacks in sailing are chart notes.  As you navigate you cross large areas of red crosshatch with notations such as "restricted area 334.430 see note 'A'".  So you go to note "A."  It says: "Navigation regulations are published in Chapter 2, U.S. Coast Pilot 4, Additions or revisions to Chapter 2 are published in the Notice to Mariners."  (Why the electronic chart producers don't actually add the text from section 334.430 is beyond me.)  You can download a PDF copy of the Coast Pilots from http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/cpdownload.htm for free.  However we are back to using the computer (normally wrapped in a waterproof cover and put away while underway.)  The Kindle provides the solution.  Not only is it "instant on" but you can load PDF files.  Even better, by sending the PDF via the free Kindle conversion process you can get it sent back in Kindle format.  Then it becomes searchable so I just open the document and type 334.430 and I am reading the note.

This ability is not limited to Coast Pilots. I have downloaded light lists, NGA pubs such as sailing directions and the port index.  I have also converted the PDF versions of manuals for Reboot's equipment, my checklists and so forth.  I should point out that the system will also convert other formats.


I did look at the iPad but I was not willing to pay what I personally consider to be an outrageous price.  The Kindle will store images but since they are in black and white I find that capability a little less useful.

The Kindle does include a simple web browser.  It is a little clumsy to use but does come in handy to download the latest weather forecast.

Great fun

Engine Overhaul

As part of my overhaul and refit I wanted an expert to look at the Yanmar engine.  It has about 2600 hours on it and as far as I could tell was working OK.  I am so dependent on it working properly, particularly entering a port in bad weather at night, that I wanted to make sure that it was in good shape.

I was directed by the local cruising community to Harvey Smith. (phone 252-637-3874, email: nbdiesel@aol.com.) Apparently Harvey and his wife ran a marine engine business in Annapolis, MD for many years.  They were highly respected, but they decided to retire to New Bern, NC.  Harvey said "that lasted about 2 weeks."  His customers caught up with him.

Harvey came down to Reboot.  What a great guy.  Not only did he check out the engine but he explained step by step what he was doing and looking for.  Not only did I get expert advice but I got an expert's education at the same time.

The bad news is that my exhaust riser is rotting out.  The good news is that the rest of the engine is OK.  Harvey is going to come back and fix the riser.  He is also going to walk me through routine maintenance: we are going to replace the impeller, change the fan belt, refresh the antifreeze and so forth.  I am looking forward to it.

Great Post on the Bahamas at Trawler Beach House

Chuck over at the Trawler Beach House blog has done a great article on cruising in the Bahamas.  Tthe link ishttp://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-cruisers-want-to-know-about.html.  Thanks Chuck.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yvonne Strahovski #6

As I was working on my blog it dawned on me that I have not given you the Yvonne Strahovski update.  Alas, Miss Strahovski missed Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.  She also missed Key West, Miami, and points north,.  I am sure this was nothing personal, but rather a function of her career success.

Of course I have been waiting the prerequisite time period as established in My Date with Drew for the powers that be to deliver my invitation to Miss Strahovski and for her to accept.  It would appear that my totally passive approach is not working.  On the other hand (aside: "Why are there no one armed economists?" Answer: "Because they couldn't say 'on the other hand.'") apathy is my strongest emotion so I doubt I will be pursuing this with any additional vigor.  I did get one strange telephone call from a female in southern California some time back but when I called back I always got a machine and no return call.  Perhaps a drunk dial but one can dream.

So, two facts:  First, Miss Strahovski continues to be one of the most active viewed blog entries.  Second, I am planning to do the eastern Caribbean Island chain next winter so perhaps Miss Strahovski can arrange her schedule to do foredeck for some or all of the trip.  It would have been nice to have someone on foredeck coming into New Bern.  I might still have a jib.  Oh well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Cruisers Kind of Day

Ed (Door into Summer) and I have turned over a new leaf.  No beer before 11:30 AM.  This is a major change from our previous commitment of no beer before 11:00 AM.  After coffee this morning we needed to do something to keep our mind off beer so we went to Walmart and West Marine.  I browsed the videos at Walmart once again taking note that I don't know what I own so I didn't purchase anything.  We then went to West Marine where I bought two florescent tubes for $11.00 that cost me $3.00 when I was an associate.

As we were driving around we got a call from Leigh (Bomba Shack) asking if we could come over and help David put in a new heat exchanger on the engine.  We of course said "sure" and headed over to the Blackbeard Yacht Club.  We arrived only to find out that the uninstaller of the old heat exchanger had slit all the hoses so we needed to get new hoses to complete the job.  David (Bomba Shack) said he would pick up the hoses tomorrow morning.

On the way off the dock we ran into Les who reminded us that he had a Genoa sail down in Oriental that Maury (Gypsysails) had wanted.  I had talked to Maury previously and we agreed I would use it until my new headsail was delivered.  So the guys took a road trip to Oriental.  We picked up the sail, and while at the consignment store found an AIS receiver and antenna switcher (list value about $270) for $30.  We acquired it for David and headed back.  We stopped a couple of times looking for the hoses but no joy.

When I got back to Reboot I decided that I needed to get something done for the day so I took the water hose out of the stern locker and started the process of cleaning the salt off the dinghy and deflating it.  When I finished I got a call from Claudia (Door into Summer) who said, "you know, you could save yourself a long walk if you put your dinghy in the water and just motored over here.  This was of course a great idea if I had not already taken the dinghy apart.  Claudia laughed and said that they had seen me working on the dinghy and were just giving me a hard time.

So, the score at the end of the day:

I have a working temporary headsail
David has a new AIS
The engine on Bomba Shack is still not running

A typical cruisers day...

Fairfield Harbor Yacht Club Commissioning

Yesterday we (Door into Summer) and I went over to David and Leigh's home (Bomba Shack.)  We were invited to participate in the annual commissioning ceremony for their local yacht club.

The event started with a parade of boats and blessing of the fleet.  We sat on the bridge deck of the of their new trawler while the fleet paraded by and was blessed by multiple members of the local religious establishment.  This was followed by the commissioning ceremony itself including reading of the roll and ringing the bell for those current and former members who had passed in the previous year.

We then went back to the house for a wonderful brunch.

In the evening we got to watch David do one of his favorite things, sing barbershop at a local concert.

All in all a fun day.