Tuesday, July 22, 2014

June 28, 2014: garbage collection, sunrise through Sahara dust...

Here I am, sitting in the boat as it tosses about, my normally sheltered spot on Flanagan Island made rough by the strong easterly wind. The sun sets, the birds shriek on their nesting rock, wind whistles in the rigging, and I am far from sure my anchor will hold or that I will want to eat much. (The photo is the rookery...on a much more peaceful day)

I really really wanted to try something a bit out of my comfort zone: sleeping out here in this lonely spot. I also wanted to test my wifi booster to see if I could reach any unlocked hotspots from out here. So....here I am. And, obviously, the answer is "yes". (PS: wifi worked well enough to write most of this, but not enough to actually send it with photos.)

So....what has happened lately? I took a sail into the open and forgot to stow my paddle aboard, so it slipped off the kayak when I wasn't watching. Very, very irritating. I can still get around using the canoe paddle aboard Dorado, but it works poorly.

First step was to scan the shores (the next day) for the paddle (or another) with binoculars while sailing along. No joy, although I did sail as far as Salt Pond where I snorkeled into a school of about 100 baby squid about 2" long. Very cute. Also had a great chat with the sailors of a boy scout (I think) boat and admired the numerous conchs crawling about the seafloor.

Thinking that it might have washed ashore on a barrier reef, I decided to take a walk. I had visited this reef before and marveled at the amt of plastic garbage that has washed ashore. I walked the reef from end to end, about a quarter mile and saw no sign of a paddle, then turned around, pulled the garbage bag from my pocket, and started filling it with lines, nets, bottles, and other flotsam. I even found a comfortable floating bed and a nice foam seat that I kept for myself. I'll need to visit that reef again: perhaps I'll find other good stuff, but I can certainly fill another ten bags and I like improving even a little corner of the world.

This morning I went to the kayak rental fellow to try to buy(I MUST be desperate!) one, but he does not sell them, needing them to replace broken ones....like, he mentioned, the one that got broken just a couple days prior. My ears perked up: I asked if I could have it to try to repair. We took a look at it and he sold it to me for $10...and I can use it just fine, although I don't like it as well as the old one.

More Sahara dust has come and the sun rose like a disk through the haze. Not the nicest thing, but I'm told that the dust keeps the hurricanes away. Speaking of which, historical records show that we average one per year and about 90% come in August and September. I hope for none, of course, far preferring that the moist air dissipate energy through a bunch of little thunderstorms rather than a big, destructive, spinning monster.

Anything else? Well, my neighbor Peter wants to sell his Downeaster 45. Nice nice boat to live aboard if one is looking for a house (in one spot I can almost stretch my arms without touching ceiling! And there are three bedrooms and two baths!). Needs lots of work, but is liveable now and could be fully ready to sail and motor with another $10k. Asking $22k... but would go a lot lower.

That's all for now. Later!

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