Monday, September 18, 2017

Dorado found!

This morning Cynthia spotted Dorado ashore in this satellite pic (from She spotted the bright red bottom.... and the unpainted rudder is proof that it is the correct boat. Exciting!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Link to my facebook page

This blog is for cool, interesting, and inspirational stuff. I'm posting the whole sad St John, Coral Bay, Virgin Islands stuff on facebook instead.

Happy birthday to me. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Some scenes of carnage from Hurricane Irma

Apparently this is a before and after from Jost Van Dyke:

And this is a fleet of catamarans in a hurricane hole. This did not protect as well as hoped, clearly..


Probably could have been worse if it had tracked just a bit farther south...

The hurricane has tracked about 40miles south of the expected track and they eye is just barely north of Coral Bay on St John. If it had gone another ten miles south the north edge of the storm, with the strongest winds, would have blown straight into the unprotected entrance of the bay. Even so, we expect our boat, any others on moorings, and many in hurricane holes are probably all trashed.

This is sad, but stuff can be replaced. Far sadder is imagining the destruction of the places we have loved visiting and the possible loss of our neighbors' lives. We hope that they have taken refuge in the concrete houses so ubiquitous on the islands. Tomorrow we may see what opportunities are available for helping out.

Coral Bay is right about at the "I" in "British Virgin Islands" at bottom left of the eye.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hurricane butterflies

The wind patterns shown in this website are things of beauty. I love to imagine the flows sweeping me across the oceans: freedom and open vistas! Of course, there are times when little details focus attention: the current one is a counter-clockwise vortex sweeping across the ocean like giant tornado. Here is a screenshot of tomorrow afternoon's forecast:
Coral Bay is above and slightly left of the C in "Christianstead". Anegada hides in the yellow around the eye...
 Hurricane Irma bears down upon the Virgin Islands as a category 5. The boat I own, boats of friends, homes of friends, and lives of friends hang by threads, often almost literally (if you consider mooring and anchor lines as threads). Current forecast has the hurricane passing to the north, but has Dorado, sitting on mooring, experiencing winds of 85mph for four hours tomorrow afternoon and evening. Will it still be on the mooring in the morning light?

If I were still there I might have set sail a few days ago and just sailed south, far from the path of the storm, or south to Christianstead where the winds should not exceed 40mph. If my friends did not have their hurricane dance cards filled, perhaps they could have put it in a safer place....although those are mostly completely full and the forecast winds are not the best for those hurricane holes... so, my mooring line may be better than being anchored in a hurricane hole.

All I can do is ask for my extra anchors to be set (Dickie says he will do it if he has the time) and cross fingers. The forecast winds should not bring big waves into the harbor, so any boats that break free SHOULD be fairly simple to pull free as long as the storm surge does not put them high and dry.

The islands a hundred miles farther east are already feeling winds of 175mph. Tomorrow Anegada, flat and unprotected, will get hit almost directly... perhaps the few hundred residents can go to different islands or find a bunker, but I fear for them if there is a big storm surge as the island is only 28' at highest point.

OK, everyone! Find something solid and hold on! Good luck! See you all on the other side!

9:40am September 6: update: webcams & weather stations all seem to be down. Well, I guess I can't watch minute by minute.... and will probably be the better for it.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Water fun in Michigan sun!

OK, I know I spend a lot of time talking about Cape Cod and the Caribbean, but now I'm living in Michigan. Can't I find fun here? Other than sunset walks and swims, playing with numerous dogs, and hypothetical sunrise walks in the dunes? Well, sure...

Just last weekend, for example, Cynthia and I rented a canoe an hour north of here on Saturday and spent a few hours paddling an estuary/marsh/stream. We saw four or five bald eagles, many turtles (including one we caught as it made a dash through the duckweed), many marsh flowers, and a few fish.

On Sunday. we went for a little sail on Silver Lake on a hobie 16. Not much wind, but so delightful to get out on the water on a sailboat again! Cynthia handled sails and tiller, Tio relaxed, Lucy's ears and fur streamed out behind her as she kept watch, and I acted as official photographer. The dogs REALLY loved the walk on the beach on the far side of the lake, but they enjoyed the sailing as well.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Splicing lines

Many, many years ago, when I was a lad of perhaps eight or ten, I spent a week or two at my paternal grandmother's house and, for the first time, spent some some extended time with my cousins Billy and Ted. I mostly spent time with Billy as he was a bit younger than me and still fun, while Ted seemed absorbed by things suitable for his advanced age (he was a couple year older than me!). However, Ted did show me how to make a few simple splices in three-strand twisted lines and I absolutely delighted in it and use it often to this day.

This last visit to the Cape found "replace mooring buoy" on my list. I purchased the buoy and line and snagged my nephew Alex to show him the ropes. One thing lead to another and we ended up rebuilding the whole upper end of the mooring, with Alex doing most of the splicing.

At the end, he even made a dog leash, using a dinghy clip that does not get fouled with sand,

 and thought about setting up a roadside stand to sell them to people walking their dogs.

What a delight to pass this on!