Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pirates, Typhoons, now this...

Silly photo aside: Malaria is no laughing matter. There seem to be plenty of mosquitos available for transporting the disease from person to person. My take from the article is that this is not the most dangerous strain, the few reported cases are taken seriously by the government, the various agencies jump on the outbreak immediately and the affected area is quite remote from where we're apt to be.

Monday, July 5, 2010

More Bold Malaysian Paint

Sure is more interesting than the usual hues of off-white blended with urban grime. There is much color here in Kuching. These two buildings look good from the table at the coffee house on Carpenter Street.

Got X

The X advance team came up with this new promotion which is appearing all over Borneo...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Need GPS Help

I'm looking for a GPS with a Go From button. The designers seemed to expect a plan. There is no plan, much less a destination. On top of that, this sailing with light winds, currents, and random temptations is unreliable. There's no certainty in it. I know where I've been. I can easily punch that into the buttons. But where am I going?

Spinnaker Furler

Experimented with the spinnaker several days. X likes it. Pulls along nicely on these light South China Sea winds. Caught the edge of a squall once. Wind rotated 180 degrees and X hit some new, to me, high speeds. Fun and a little worrisome, plus the wrong direction. I flew the 1A on a Code Zero Furler (pictured). Interesting. The PO cut the kite a foot too tall and the furling line 6 feet too short. Sheesh!

Flying Creatures

Swallows in the rigging, butterfly on a lava boulder. Just saw a bright blue wasp, I think...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Inedible Beef

Brought along some frozen Malaysian beef. It looks good in a pan with vegetables, curry and coconut milk, However it is far too tough to eat. Fish like it.

Pulau Tioman Cruise

Pretty bays all around Pulau Tioman. Anchored here a week. No visitors.

Chili Source

Got the chili problem solved. All the bottled chili sauce in Malaysia has sugar as the first or second ingredient. That is like cooking with catsup (background). What one wants is just ground chili's with maybe a little vinegar, garlic or onions. Chili powder (left) is common, but has no zing. I had been flying in with asian chili paste from Monterey, crazy (middle). Now I know to ask for fresh ground chili paste, a produce item (in bags, foreground). Chili Boh, red, hot and plenty sweet without added sugar.

Banging in the Morning

Thunderheads come visiting. This boomer greeted me in the morning but went away flashing and booming elsewhere.

Color and Trash

Local color. Like the Mexicans, the Malaysians are not afraid to use some color. Also like Mexico there is too much trash everywhere. A few months ago in Mexico the President came to visit little La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The authorities spared no expense to clean up the litter, sweep the streets, paint everything he might see from his limousine. Here on Pulau Tioman the Sultan came to visit his island. Likewise nothing was spared to clean what he might see. Plus the locals hosted a huge colorful party. Dancing, music, food.

One small benefit of all the plastic garbage floating around in the seas is one can find some useful stuff. Seven nice plastic fuel jugs washed up on a pretty beach and are now mine. I also fished from the sea a dozen interesting fishing floats. But what a nightmare: these ball-like floats roll and clank incessantly. Useless to me, I gave them to a fisherman at the first opportunity.

Moldy Electric Spaghetti

More rewiring of X. I suppose everybody imagines themselves a capable electrician. A roll of electrical tape and a six-pack of beer make everyone a professional. So I've pulled out hundreds of pounds of the unused wire snaking mysteriously between lockers and bilges. Free wire for all the friends. As shown here, an unused piece of X's galley has been converted to a panel holding all the little electronic bits that allows X to navigate, send high-seas emails, and display interesting numbers about speed and wind.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Face Time with Fishes

X sailed around Pulau Tioman and the nearby islands for a couple of weeks. Not very many miles. Boat maintenance and face-time-with-fishes while at anchor in various idyllic places. At one reef a Batfish (picture credit: NOAA) repeatedly came over to investigate me. Other little fish had been nibbling and pestering me but this one was the size of a large pizza. A nibble will leave a mark. Later I was told that the Batfish is just curious, harmless. The batfish was swimming amongst acres of interesting Vase Corals (picture credit: unknown).

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My new best friend, Lucy, from the boat Northstar. Four years old. She likes swimming, ice cream, knocking on the hull during the afternoon nap and made-up games that make no sense. But she has now sailed away and I don't know if I'll ever find her again.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inside-out Pizza

The only downside to making many pizzas is the great amount of propane required to heat the oven. So I tried making a pizza in a pan on the stovetop. Saves gas. Free extra crust. (I thought I published this before, but I don't see it anywhere...)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beer Thirty

I have not posted since 6 April? Really? Maybe this repeating iPhone alarm is the reason?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pulau Goal to Pulau Tioman

I'm dragging my toes in the water. It's midmorning and already hot. The sun is climbing up to it's brutal spot directly overhead. I'm sitting on the shady leeward rail. The water is some color. It's greener than blue and bluer than green. Transparent. I though for a while how I would describe it to you. But didn't think of anything. When my toes touch the water it changes from it's blue tones to sparkling gold as it reflects the sunny sails above.

Honey, I think I want to live on a yacht in the tropics. No dear, remember you promised we'd get a condo in Kuala Lumpur. I just took the picture. I have no explanation. Her name is Asean Lady. Google her.

I arrive at the tiny Telok Tekek marina on Pulau Tioman. A friend who has been half expecting me, someday about now, waves me into a slip after evicting some local boat that had been parked there for a nap. The heat has exhausted me. I take my own nap until the sun goes away. This island is dramatically tall, wooded, tropical, filled with birds, butterflies. Maybe 7 miles across. 5000 Malaysians and a few tourists. Did I just see a barracuda chasing fish out of the water? My photos don't do her justice. Google Images and see for yourself.

150 miles from the Danga Bay mud. Four day of sailing and motoring. Anchored each night. No serious problems. Confirmed that the jib is trash. There's another jib I'll try next time. Three days until Chloe's 17th birthday. Said I'd be fly there.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Sail all day. Motor just a few minutes to tuck in close to a little island. Spent the entire day under a hot sun tacking against a strong current while slowly passing dozens of little islands. Here's a typical cockpit view. And here's a comment on your Spring Equinox. Up in the frozen north the Spring Equinox might be celebrated. Here it means the sun is directly overhead. The streets do not have a shady side. I cast nothing resembling a shadow. The decks get burning hot and the solar panels finally work as advertised. Clouds are wonderful shady things. I stop for a moment to test the swim ladder. Works perfect. Very refreshing.
Dinner turned out to be a rather yummy potatoes, greens and yellow curry.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

But just beyond Singapore...

Just beyond Singapore. In the South China Sea, along the eastern coast of Malaysia, things start looking much more peaceful. I can still see the petrochemical haze and distant ships in the sealanes, but the sky turns blue. The muddy shoal water gives way to deep clear water. Islands appear. Inviting tropical islands. A few dozen miles back the sweaty crowds are jamming themselves into the MRT trains. Here two tourists are standing on a lonely white beach. Captain orders to stop here for the night, toss over the anchor, prepare a pizza with mozzarella, salami, olives, and egg.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Just Sailing Around in Singapore Harbor

Ducking into the nav station on X to see if any ships might spring from behind the little island to my left, I snapped this picture of the MacBook screen. Where's Waldo? Each orange label points at a ship. The blue ones are moving, probably fast. The grey ones are not moving, but rather waiting for me to get right on their bow before they start. X and I are near the middle of the action. We have a green dot and are about to get passed very close by the OOS DISCOVERY, a smallish ship throwing a huge wake. This crowd of ships occupies 40 miles east to west across this southeastern tip of Asia.

A half hour earlier I was crossing the equally busy western part of the harbor when a powerful squall roared through. If I could hold my eyes open I could maybe have seen the bow. The rain was torrential. The reefed fold of the main drained rain water like storm drain. The old rule on reefing hold that one should reef the first time the idea arises. My new rule is to reef five minutes before that first idea. I had just gotten the jib rolled up and one reef in the main before we got pushed over hard by the first gust. I had been keeping my eye on several nearby ships which were now invisible. Big fun.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let's Splash-lah

Splash day! Watching paint dry for 5 days is enough. Outta here. Today the X-Cruise begins. In the last eleven days on the hard my hardworking friends and I:

Applied new bottom paint, filled 241 minor blisters, faired rudder, cleaned every locker, rewired the entire nav station, wired SSB, PACTOR, GPS and AIS for MacBook, polished topsides, removed redundant antennas, got a new FCC callsign, registered 3 EPIRBS, installed MacENC navigation software and new chart subscriptions and installed a folding propellor.

Tossed out 300 kilos of useless cruiser junk: WX fax, 1000W inverter, shore power system, broken 155% genoa cars, 30m rusted chain, redundant anchors, 5th and 6th table settings, extra propane bottles, dead electronics gizmos, cans of ptomaine veggies, rusted tools, towels for the 5th thru the 30th visitor (what was she thinking?), and the old spare docklines (does one need spare docklines?), all the instruction manuals for stuff long gone.

All that and 95% success in closing the hatches for every squall, which didn't stop me from:

Practicing guitar, updating this blog, working on my curry skills, grocery shopping, recon prowling every local chandelry, filling the propane bottles, crashing a local YC party, cleaning the bilge and pumps, repairing galley faucets, sticking SOLAS reflector tape on mast and transom.

Drank gallons of water and more than a few beers. When the heat finds me working in some cramped spot the sweat just pours. There's a puddle. It tickles. Drips off my nose. It's amazing for this foggy-Monterey boy. I stand in the boatyard with the hose over my head a few times a day. Hose water is hot, but better than sweat.

More than once, noon came and went before I enjoyed a beer. To prevent that from happening too much I programmed the trusty iPhone to remind me. I think it is funny that it offers Snooze as an option. Don't they know that comes after the beer? So I always push OK. There's a small goof in the photo. I assure you that Beer thirty's alarm is set at 10:30am. It took 67 minutes to drink a beer and figure out close-up on the camera.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Put chop, lah.

I'm not sure exactly when to use the Malay 'lah'. It's one of those funny almost meaningless words. Da kine, huh, yeah, eh. But I know when to Chop! We don't just sign official papers here, the boat signs too. For this she now has a cool self-inking rubber stamp. I've been stamping it on everything lately. Mine, mine, mine. So we stamp the official port papers and put our signature over the stamp. Very official and makes the event rather celebratory for the parties. Chop, chop, pretty document.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

42 X Geek = Whatever

Her name is "X". Why? Don't know. Maybe...

1. Marks the spot on treasure maps.
2. Greek letter Chi.
3. Multiplication sign, also the vector cross product symbol.
4. As a mark, means either 'yes' or 'no'.
5. Signature of an illiterate person.
6. Marks clothing as both bigger and smaller: XXS or XXL.
7. Greek numeral for 600.
8. The Roman numeral for 10.
9. Mathematical symbol for unknown or changing concepts.
10. In astronomy, a comet of unknown orbit.
11. In electronics, reactance.
12. X-band: part of the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
13. Hobo sign: don't knock here.
14. X chromosome: having just one is good, two...watch out.
15. Planet X, a hypothesised planet in the outer solar system.
16. Conserved quantum number in particle physics.
17. Rating given to films suitable for an adult-only audience
18. Written symbol of a kiss.
19. Symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for voiceless velar fricative.
20. Stock symbol for United States Steel Corporation.
21. Street names for the drug MDMA, ecstasy.
22. Symbol for a strike in bowling.
23. Straight edgers symbol to show committment to their lifestyle.
24. Embellishes online nicknames of girls who crave attention.
25. Abbreviation of extreme: X-Games.
26. Unnecessary letter, "z" and "cks" already exist.
27. Henry Miller's "mysterious element X" which makes creative people interesting.
28. Archnemesis of O in Tic-Tac-Toe.
29. Mark on a scholastic examination: "Wrong answer!"
30. Written across the hand of someone who is under drinking age in a bar.
31. Slang for "Christ": Xmas.
32. On a map: "You are here."
33. Anima mundi: the bands which form the soul of the world form an X.
34. One-third porn.
35. Used in the names of rock radio stations that repeat the same songs endlessly.
36. The last part of sex.
37. Along with the letter O, reads correctly upside down or backwards.
38. Slang for "cross": Santa Cruz translates to Holy Cross.
39. In chess transcription: takes piece.
40. In marketing: added to product names when actual improvements cost too much.
41. Egyptian hieroglyph it meant to damage, divide, count, or break into parts.
42. 24th letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.

42 meanings, what a remarkable coincidence.

Photo: X Tee Shirt Logo/Matt Seidenzahl, Silkscreen Express, silkexpress@sbcglobal.net

Made Her Bottom Bright Red

X leaves Danga Bay, Malaysia for the boatyard at Raffles Marina in Singapore. With the ship's new Certificate of Documentation in hand we're cleared for international travel. It's only a dozen miles. The documentation was greatly delayed due to some blunders by the previous owner and the agent. There was also the previously unanswerable mystery of whether any duties or taxes might be levied by Malaysian Customs. This has clouded my finances ever since signing the deal back at New Years. But all went smoothly. Customs either doesn't care or didn't notice. I wasn't going to point it out. I've a long official paper trail now so I should be safe from taxes. Happily, I paid the 6 Ringgit, two dollar, port fee. It pays for those helpful buoys and lights. Which, by the way, are all brightly painted and winking their lights quite unlike those I tried to spot off California recently. It's probably simpler here. I pay 6 Ringgit, somebody puts fuel in the boat, goes out and replaces the bulb. Direct, simple. No long forms approved by Washington to buy the ten light bulbs needed for California buoys.</rant>

So we motor toward Singapore. X and I. Very slowly. The route is down a long arm of the sea. The prop is completely encrusted with barnacles. Because we must arrive at the marina at high tide we traveling against the tide's current up the channel. So we hoist sail. Much faster. We arrive at the marina and quickly check-in with the border officials. Chop. Chop. X gets hoisted out and into the boatyard. Ugh, she's a mess from neglect.

So the workers clean. It rains. It continues like this for a week. Sand. Rain. Rain. Grind. Rain. Grind. Rain. Epoxy filler. Rain. Rain. More filler. Rain. Sand. Rain. Paint. Rain. Paint. Rain.

And today she's beautiful. Clean, smooth, red and looks fast. It rains.

That entire week I'm inside cleaning and organizing the lockers. I did this once before a month ago. I did it a week ago on Eupsychia. I don't want to do it again for at least two years. There are about 40 lockers and cubby-holes here.

Some lockers are inside other lockers. All of them have treasure. Some of the treasure might have value to somebody. Out goes a few hundred pounds of rusted, or bent, or unidentifiable treasure. The rest gets stowed where it belongs. All I have left is a small pile of "Do I need this and if I do where does it go?" Cleaned the bilge too. Just like when mom let me clean the fireplace at three. I now have a huge amount of room for food, beer and toys. Here's the beer selection so far: S'pore Tiger, Danish Carlsberg and Chinese Yan Jing. There's other brands available, but the tax is high and these are the smart-shopper ones. Actually some cruisers see these fancy beers and remark "Well over at Giant I got Olde Sheep Dip liters for..." But I just won't drink that stuff unless it's handed to me free and cold.

The manager says I'll sail on Monday. It's Thursday now.

All this time I'm eating curry rice dinners on the street instead of tacos on the street. Same spicy yummy cheap idea. Remarkably different asian flavor! Sometimes I cook for myself. Sometimes it's good. I'm also trying to eat through vast stores of Western food like canned tomato sauce and pasta that is cluttering up the lockers. And of course I can't miss the muelsi breakfast.

Photos: X on the hard/DA; Future bilge cleaning man/Mom; Singapore beer and salami/DA

La Cruz to La X. Lah!

This disjointed blog wobbles and staggers onto another boat. Eupsychia's third cruise in Mexico ends with a fast uneventful 1500 mile trip from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, home of many good friends, to Monterey, home of family and more good friends. I don't take any pictures during my solo 13 night passage to Monterey so I have none to post here. Not much to say. It is as exhausting as it is adventurous. Grey and wet. Water over the bow and dodger several times a minute for two weeks. A nice break in San Diego as cruiser friend Monte finds me wobbling around Shelter Island on my sea legs just after arriving. Visiting with Monte makes for a nice evening.

Back in chilly Monterey daughter Chloe is loaded on a plane for Spring Break Costa Rica. I go to the cabin in Big Sur. I forget to take a key. My mother is on her way down so I fall asleep on a bench while waiting. She eventually arrives, unlocks the door, puts a blanket on me. I wakeup, sharpen the chain saw and set to manufacturing a huge pile of firewood from brush that sags into the driveway from rain loosened roots.

Eupsychia is being watched by a young family of German Cockroaches. They've brought their own goods so I move everything off Eupsychia. The galley's food and gear goes back to the empty apartment. The sailing gear and toys to storage. I load two hundred pounds of the most interesting sailing gear into luggage bound for X. Eupsychia floats three inches higher. This good work accomplised in Monterey I fly, for the fifth time in two months, across the Pacific Ocean and China Sea to Malaysia. In my heavy gear bags are critical toilet parts for friends in Malaysia. This is the psyche of cruisers, "Oh, you're going to the States, can you bring back toilet parts?" X, the new-to-me Santa Cruz 50, is just how I left her: stuck a half meter in the mud, her bottom covered with barnacles and her deck soiled with the soot of industry.

Photos: A colorful wagon in Costa Rica/Chloe Addleman; Buck Creek Canyon, Big Sur, California/David Addleman

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter – This Blog Returns to the Moment

Here we are freezing in Monterey again. I am mostly just standing around waiting to drive Chloe to her next event. School – homework - school – doctor – hair – school – mom's house - party – homework – school. I just stand here in the apartment looking out at the dreary grey uninviting Monterey Bay. I'm making an effort to see all the local friends while I'm here. While my general rule is that no plan is the best plan, I have made a tentative plan because airlines, boat sellers and such see business differently. I will dawdle here in Monterey for a few days. Then go to Mexico to take the old spoiled cheese out of her fridge, check the docklines, pickle the watermaker and have a few fun days with the friends there. I'll return to Mexico at the end of February to sail Eupsychia up to Monterey where she should have an easier time finding a buyer.

When the purchase of Red Sky is completed, and there is nothing simple about international business, I will fly to Malaysia. The current owners are leaving immediately for an extended stay ashore in Thailand. I will take the boat a few hundred miles north to the island of Langkawi. Chloe and I visited there during the Christmas holiday and found Langkawi is a popular yachting center. While there I will haul the '50 out of the water to freshen up the bottom paint. I am planing on having time for a short cruise before I need to fly back to Monterey and Mexico.

This Santa Cruz 50 is presently named Red Sky. She's been cruised by Steve and Carol Easterbrook to Southeast Asia over the past few years after an extensive refit in San Francisco. Prior to that she was sailed in the San Francisco area by Bartz and Bernadette Schneider as Entropy. The records become sketchy, but apparently she was at times sailed as Cara, Clark Kent and Six Belles by various owners perhaps in Florida and on the East Coast. She's hull number 23, built in 1982. Standard size rig plus an inner headstay. Standard keel but a newer carbon elliptical rudder. Her interior is typical. She's encumbered by a good bit of the necessary cruising gear but I believe I can cruise lighter than most people so hope to unload a few hundred pounds to refloat her on her lines.

Of all the things that a boat's name is, from the philosophical to a clever play on words, for a busy cruising boat the name needs to read well over the radio. Eupsychia is a cool word with its new age ring of sweet soul, but it is frustrating on the radio. Some know it but cannot read it - others can hear it but not repeat it - port captains cannot write it even when spelled echo-uniform-papa-sierra-yankee-charlie-hotel-india-alpha in the phonetic alphabet. The pen refuses to form the letters. So I am considering a simple name. Very simple. Something like X. I have several other choices too. Whatever I choose I will explain my own whackiness in this blog. I've got the science to back up my choices.

Summer Fades to Fall

Chloe drags herself back into high school as a junior. Eupsychia and I get ready for another Baja Ha-Ha. The Ha-Ha is best done with some crew. I choose to take some relatively beginning sailors rather than any of the known rabble of sailing friends. I can have my way with them while introducing this very fun event to some new people. I find these two characters, Evan and Christine, by making a posting on the Ha-Ha crew-wanted list. Evan is a eager and well spoken recent college grad. Some sailing experience. Christine is roughly my age, eager, and sails her own big boat on San Francisco Bay. While all the applicants for the positions, and there were about a hundred, express their eagerness and experience I am only looking for people who will not be boring. No experience expected. I can do it myself if necessary and most of the experience claimed is only on paper. I succeeded.

The Ha-Ha starts from San Diego. I choose to make the 3 day sail south from Monterey singlehanded. I had a great trip that was however not without its challenges. In a pretty good evening blow while very close to Santa Cruz Island approaching an anchorage – Bang -all the boat's power went out. No autopilot, compass lights, navigation equipment – nothing - very dark. Windy and bumpy enough that I really couldn't leave the helm to investigate. Fortunately nearby was my new geeky iPhone. The iPhone has a compass, a GPS, and I'd recently loaded a program that has all the California nautical charts. Pretty cool and it sure made the evening safer and easier. Sitting there in complete darkness I pondered just what might cause the power to go out with a bang and what I might do to restore it. Evantually I was able to restore power by simply flipping a nearby switch to a new position. After anchoring I discovered that the liferaft had become unstowed down below and fallen onto the main battery shutoff switch. Swithing it to off, of course.

The next evening, becalmed behind Santa Catalina Island, I start to motor. Bang - the boat becomes a shaking blur. Something bad has happened with the propeller. Forced to motor for 30 minutes because yet again I'm closer to land that I really should be – this time with no wind with which to maneuver. I take a look at the engine. Its just a blur of vibration. But I figure it's maybe not enough shaking to actually damage anything. I very slowly motor out to where the feeble current and breeze will drift me all night away from the island into open water. At morning light I jump in with the mask for a look. Sure enough one of the propeller blades is completely missing. As nice as it is to have a simple and certain diagnosis the prospect is dim for replacing the propeller in the few days remaining before the Ha-Ha start. But I get on the phone to my always supportive sister Sue. Sue gets on the phone and locates a propeller at a San Diego shop. They recommend a diver who can replace it. Christine finds a boatyard to accept us. It all works out great. As an added bonus I get an extra two days at sea sailing very slowly to San Diego. Can I brag here about docking at the unfamiliar boatyard singlehanded under sail? Should I recommend that everyone practice such things as often I have?

The Ha-Ha was great of course. Christine proved she can both cook well and lean on the instrument switches every time she comes on deck. Evan proved he has all the optimistic energy of youth. There was some rather rough weather for a few days. We broke some minor things when sailing went haywire. Some of the watch standing was pathetic. We all learned a lot. The parties were in the tradition of Ha-Ha fun. And the weather got warmer and warmer each day. I was really missing having Heather along like we were the past two years.

Despite my constant ribbing and mild abuse of the crew they decided to stay on for the several day trip from Cabo San Lucas south-east to Bandaras Bay. We spent several fine days in the beach side village of Chacala before dwaddling into La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, my favorite place to idle. But idleness does not happen. Life here is busy and fun. We sail, we race, we party, we wreck kayaks on the beach, we tease women and they tease us. Sometimes we eat bad food other times the alcohol eats us.

Throughout this time I am calling and emailing regarding buying a Santa Cruz 50. On paper Red Sky, the '50 out cruising in Southeast Asia, is by far the best deal. She's all set up for cruising, has a new rig, good rudder, apparently well cared for, and since she's busy cruising must be mostly functional and seaworthy. However her being in Malaysia makes communication, inspection and buying a formidable project. I get serious. Chloe and I decide to take a Christmas break holiday to Malaysia. Wow, I have forgotten just how dreadfully uncomfortable a long flight is. This discomfort becomes a small consideration in moving my cruising venue from nearby Mexico to distant Southeast Asia. I'm thinking an infinity asea is better than 20 hours aloft. On inspection the boat look good. A bit worn, like Eupsychia, from her 3 years and thousands of miles of cruising. But all-in-all in fine shape. She will do just fine. I agree to buy her.

Photo of Red Sky: Yachtdomain, Bundaberg, Australia
Photo of Eupsychia: Richard, Latitude38

A Winter Blog about A Summer

It's mid-winter now. Visiting in Monterey for a few days. No blog updates since summer. A large amount of life has happened. All pretty good. Some a little painful. Saw many local friends at the yacht club last night – its January now. Each remarked that they miss knowing what I'm doing. Their dreams are suffering. Here's a stumbling summary. Spent the summer in Monterey. What the local's call summer. Cleaned and painted Eupsychia's bottom but the weather was so cold the paint wouldn't dry. It might harden in a few days. The sun might even shine. But each day out of the water costs money and there is no time to wait for global warming.

Daughter Chloe and I went to New York. Cool music and hanging out in Washington park. Shopping in Soho and seeing the Hair musical. Viewed the Bodies exhibit. Real bodies stripped of the flesh. Very interesting and somehow not as upsetting as I had expected. Perfect weather, Central park, subways, great pizza, all good.

Worked on the cabin in Big Sur where we are not really keeping up with the decay, bugs and rodents. The worst invasive pests are the fellow humans pretending to be friends and neighbors. But it is a nice place. Maybe someday I'll retire there from cruising. Fortunately, like the sea around my boat, the redwoods, rocks and waterfalls are best left to maintaining themselves.

Pulled the cantankerous engine out of Eupsychia. That greasy relationship was blogged above. The little beast powered us all the way up from Mexico last Spring without a single complaint. But I'd left a redundant bolt out of a part deep inside her. On taking the engine apart to simply replace the bolt I discovered more internal damage. A pile of metal chips. Something not understood was causing havoc. That was a Thursday morning. A couple of phone calls, the checkbook, and Friday saw me up in Sausalito picking up a new engine. On Monday Eupsychia was humming with her new bright red engine.

On the subject of broken: All summer I dragged my broken heart around. Parting with “the world's best girlfriend” so she might pursue her own dreams as I do mine was more painful than I expected. We sure had a good time, as the earlier blogs attest.

While in La Paz last spring Bay Wolf, a Santa Cruz 50 sloop, was out of the water for painting. There's some earlier blogging about the fine sailing family that sails her. At some point I made a now widely reported remark that a Santa Cruz 50 is the only other sailboat I would consider owning. Well that comment echoed around all summer. I spent a good deal of time looking into buying a such a boat while considering if it was a reasonable and sane thing to do. I came around to the idea that neither reasonable or sane was necessary. But buying such a boat proved harder than one might expect. Of the few that were available one has been modified so much as to become useless to probably anyone. Another was maybe for sale and maybe not but either way at an uncompetitive price. The most desirable boat was 8000 miles away actively cruising in Southeast Asia. Nothing came of this all summer.