Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ups and downs

Life continues. A couple days ago I paddled ashore in the gray pre-twilight to go walk up a mountain and, upon stepping ashore, found myself accosted by a large land crab. Like giant fiddler crabs, normally they scuttle into their holes at the approach of a human, but I had caught this one foraging on the windrow of sargassum seaweed on the beach and it had no choice but to stand and defend. I pinned it with a shoe and picked it up. One claw measured about six inches from body to tip and about 1.5" in largest cross section: tempting, but I had a walk calling me and released the critter. No picture, sorry, but this google search should give you a good idea:
The day before that I had sailed out of the harbor and into the ever-increasing winds and waves and rain, finally having enough and turning tail, surfing down the six-foot, white-capped waves toward my mooring. About then I heard a noise that sounded like the sudden release of high-pressure water.... perhaps something had broken loose in my boat? I listened further, but the roar of wind and wave made things difficult.... and then I saw a creature surface along the port side beam. Shark? A minute later I saw the back again. I stood on the seat to get a better look into the glare of the sun and, a couple minutes later was rewarded by the sight of a porpoise peeling away from the Dorado and heading off.  My second porpoise sighting in the islands and the first alongside! No picture of this either.
The wind also seems to have been a factor in securing the wreck of the Aurora on Monday. Apparently they somehow managed to end up too close to a lee shore and the trio of happy chartering couples had their trip abruptly truncated. My neighbor speculates that autopilot was involved, but I know nothing.
I sailed well offshore to dump my waste tanks yesterday, turned on the pump and heard it working away for a minnute until..... clunk.... and silence. NOT the sort of thing one wants to hear, especially since it means I either need to do horrible work or hire someone to do it. Well, I hemmed and hawed and finally told myself that I would buy myself a pint of Ben and Jerry's Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz once I finished the job. Two hours later I had a Pratchett book in one hand and spoon in the other. In the meantime, however, I discovered that sea water had gotten into the electronics of the pump.... and there were other issues as well. Anyway, the pump now works.... somewhat... and I need to decide whether to try a new pump ($200) or rip out the toilet and tank and install a Nature's Head composting head (toilet) for $1000. The composting toilet weighs less, smells far better, and never clogs. I am sorely tempted, but am reluctant to spend the money. Well, I'll contemplate...
Wild wind tossing my boat at night and making it creak and groan against the mooring line, rain showers driving me indoors, and occasional strong coffee ice cream have made sleeping a bit disturbed lately. One night I walked about, half asleep, contemplating where to go back to sleep.... and my eye fell upon the sail bag stuffed with an old jib and my mind recalled happy childhood naps curled up on similar sails in the cabin of our Bristol 29. A few minutes later I was sound asleep on it and did not awaken until the sun had risen high in the sky. Very nice.
Today I will go to my first Thankspigging party, bring my potluck contribution and enjoy the roast pig, various foods, and company. We shall see how long I can stand the noise and crowds.

And here is a rainbow I saw yesterday: it was far brighter in reality.

And a coconut I found on my way to the grocery.

Life continues, life varies, and life is good.

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