Monday, September 22, 2014

sailing, swimming, making drawers, chikungunya, and beach plums: oh, my!

Last time I talked about exploring the southern wilderness of shoals. The next day I took my cousin Lisa and her good friend out (their first time sailing in over a decade, on average) and once again had a superlative day. (I still find that using a polarized filter (ok, my sunglasses) makes a significant difference: see below...)

​ The next morning we tried it again, but the fierce north wind kept us at the north end of the bay where we zipped to and fro for a half hour in the very small waves, then called it a success.
My birthday passed by recently with, by complete coincidence, a lobster dinner, a great sail with good folks, and excellent hugs. Very nice.
Baltic birch plywood arrived from a mail order place and I pulled out the tablesaw my dad has in his garage, a relic from my single-digit years, sanded the rust off the table and adjusted it, and found it a joy to use in slicing the plywood into pieces for seven drawers for my boat. Now I just need to figure out how to get my nice stack of pieces back to the boat and THAT is getting more complicated by the day.  
​Heather picked over a gallon of beach plums from a wild bush she found and made wonderful jelly, using found apples for pectin. That jelly is pure wild Cape Cod....except for the sugar, of course. Then she said she was DONE for this year and gave me the location of the bush, so my mom and I picked another several cups. I am not sure what to do with them, but can always freeze them and I'm sure someone will use them within a couple weeks.

I watched hurricane Edouard go from a high-probability disturbance on the coast of Africa to a tropical storm to a hurricane. So far, my observations show me that the systems in the Atlantic drift with the wind until they tighten up into a real storm and take a hard turn to the north. So, my tentative thought is that I want to see is poor conditions so systems pass by my home before turning into storms or such great conditions that they convert quickly and never ride the winds far enough west to be a problem.
Dismaying news: chicungunya is spreading in the US Virgin Islands. They say the cases are expected to max out in March and then decline as most people become immune through exposure. And the mosquitoes bite in the daytime and live inside houses rather than outdoors. So, using lots of deet on the rare occasions I have a drink or dine ashore; spending more time away from land (so one won't get bitten); spending time away from population centers (so one won't get bitten by infected mosquitoes); and, perhaps, a bed net for napping and sleeping....and maybe for reading;. It is things like this that one could find irritating, if you will forgive the term. I suppose the folks ashore will need to depend on the screens on their homes (and keep the danged screen door shut!), deet, and bed nets.

The weather now is either windy, dry, and brisk (I was foolish enough to take a brief swim when Deb and Heather were bundled up like this!)​
 or warm and foggy. Today is on the foggy side.

Due to weather, season, or (according to the commercial clammer with whom I chatted) "minnows nibbling on their siphons", steamers are not creating good holes on the surface of the sand and are thus danged hard to find. It probably does not help that the commercial folks found my wonderful clam bed and are now taking out around a half ton of steamers per week. Still incredibly easy to get littlenecks and quahogs, though.

Well, off to return the car...

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