Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankspigging, races, clear waters, and finding weakness in the best way possible

The Thankspigging party turned out well, although I wished I had more tolerance for noise and crowds and had a couple extra stomachs. The meat courses (mostly pig and deep fried turkey) all got eaten up, as did the humus and veggies I brought. They needed some spice rub on the turkey, but still tasty.
Some time back, I hitched a ride with a fellow named Anthony who told me about a movie being made based on his experience in on a fishing boat in NY. He had woken to take his shift and found himself alone, his partner having fallen overboard. His partner managed to find a navigational buoy and tied himself to it. After over ten hours the search effort found him. Amazing story! And another fellow I met here, Rob, told me about a fishing boat he worked on in the summer. On the day he said goodby to his mates and headed down here for the winter, one of his friends fell over and the other, name of Anthony, managed to get the coast guard onto the right track to find him. Small world... small island. Anyway, Anthony and Rob brought scallops and oysters from NY that they cooked up as part of the feast. VERY tasty!

Each year there is a singlehanded race on the day after Thanksgiving, so I pulled out my biggest jib since the forecast called for very little wind. It needed some repairs, then I raised it, furled it, and climbed the mast to check the fit. I checked the bottom of the roller furler and, just where a shadow always falls, found a gaping smile in the stainless steel of the bow chainplate (aka "stem fitting"): if I had tried to sail in heavy wind it soon would have broken, perhaps dropping the mast and creating other minor inconveniences. I am so grateful to have found it with so little associated trauma and now will be far more conscientious about keeping an eye on things.

Smiley face!

When I awoke Friday morning I glanced at the water.... and saw something I've never seen before in the harbor: the bottom! A day of stillness had caused the mooring chains to cease their endless stirring and the mud had settled, giving me a fairly clear view of the bottom 14' below. Amazing! I even saw a nice 3' barracuda and schools of smaller fish.

The singlehanded races went fine and the light wind made me fairly glad I was not racing, even though sitting on the committee boat brought a new level of meaning to "tedium". The next day's races had similarly light winds, but the mathematics involved in handicapping all the boats and in keeping track of start and end times made it far more interesting. Folks raced everything from a little trimaran to an old steel smuggling ship from the great lakes. Fun.

That's all for now. Oh.... here is an urchin test I hung from the ceiling over an LED light:

Goodnight, all! I hope your Thanksgivings were as happy and eventful as mine.... and I hope you got a lot more hugs.

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