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July 2012

EW is THE Topic

So, the other day I was minding my own business working at the laptop when EW gathered his gear, donned a cheap plastic barber’s apron, and sat down across from me.

Since I had suspicions about his intentions …

1-EW before 7-21-2012 12-56-46 PM

 

 

I grabbed our camera.

He was unaware.1-It Begins 7-21-2012 12-57-08 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until he looked up.1-P7210375

I was busted, but continued to snap while he continued to snip. (So to speak.)1-Concentrating 7-21-2012 12-57-27 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the result.

1-EW with Stach only 7-21-2012 7-10-19 PM

A few days later, the mustache was also removed and EW is once again clean shaven.

 

1-P7220121

 

 

I love him beard or no beard – and am really glad he (usually) doesn’t mind being The Topic (much).


EW and I Play Cricket (And I Scored!)

On Saturday, we played cricket.

Now, stick and ball games have not been my strong suit. In neighborhood pick-up softball games, I played far outfield, and had few (if any) hits, and never, ever scored. During my freshman year at university, I took tennis for a quarter and didn’t treat it with the reverence the instructor required. She would frequently “forget” something in her office and ask that I retrieve it just to get me off the court. Regardless, when some cruisers from Britain announced they would set up a cruisers’ cricket game, I quickly signed my name and EW’s to the roster. We had attended a cricket match a few weeks ago and it seemed to be a much more relaxed game than softball. I knew that the cruisers used tennis balls that are taped with blue masking tape to provide a softer ball with the right amount of play. Cricket bats are much wider than baseball bats so I have a much better chance of hitting the ball – and in cricket, all you really have to do is protect the wicket. If I could do that successfully for 12 pitches, than I wouldn’t disgrace myself at bat. The Aussies who had taken us to the match had very generously spent time teaching us the basics of the game, so I even had an idea of how things work.

There’s a great description and excellent diagrams and photos of the field on Wikipedia. But allow me to provide the essentials – keeping in mind that the rules of our game were eased to help the American and Danish  players.

250px-Pollock_to_HusseyCricket is actually played on a large round field, traditionally with a huge hemp hope outlining the boundaries. In the center of this circle is the pitch with two “wickets”. In a short game (there are cricket games that last for 5 days) each team is at bat once, and can remain at bat for hours. The batters’ primary objective is to protect the wicket. 1-Examining the wicket 7-21-2012 4-57-32 PMThere are two batters on the field all the time – both from the same team. The bowler, or the person from the opposing team who pitches the ball, bowls first from one side than moves and pitches to the other hitter.

I’m not sure how this works in real games. In our game, each batter received 12 pitches if he or she didn’t get out.  Each bowler pitched 6 times from one end and then walked to the other end of the pitch to bowl from the other direction. If the batters hadn’t run, then the bowler would be pitching to a new batter, but if one of us had made a short hit and run for a point, then the bowler would pitch to the same batter from a different direction. (This isn’t as confusing as it sounds. Really.) So, when I went out to the pitch to bat, my goal was to stay for the full 12 pitches, protect the wicket and run if I or my batting team-mate hit the ball.

The rectangular photo of a real pitch above was stolen from Wikipedia. Here is our pitch and wicket: beer crates with plastic bottles on top. The bottles have a bit of water in them. If they get knocked over, the batter is out. This can occur by the bowler hitting the wicket with the ball, by the batter hitting or running into the wicket, or by the fielders throwing the ball toward the wicket to get the runners out.

1-Batter Bowler and ump 7-21-2012 5-22-56 PMThe bowler tries to knock the wicket over when he throws the ball. Batters must protect the wicket. Batters cannot protect the wicket with their legs, or really with their bodies at all – but we weren’t called out if a ball hit our legs in this friendly game. (It didn’t hurt much either and the bruise is quite small.)

Remember that rope? We had boundaries in a more rectangular field. If a ball is hit over that rope (or our boundaries) without touching the ground inside, the batting team earns 6 points. If the ball rolls over the rope, they earn 4 points. They don’t have to actually run to earn those points. But if the batter hits the ball and thinks he (or she) can run to make points, then (s)he runs to the other wicket and the other batter on the same team must run to the opposite wicket. 1-Erling Batting 7-21-2012 5-22-32 PM

Our teams were made up of 8 or so (depending on whether the children were in or throwing a Frisbee to the corgis). We were fairly distributed by kids, women, those who grew up playing cricket, those who played baseball, and those like me who were in for comic relief. We were barefoot, in crocs, boating sandals, or sneakers. We wore floppy hats, drank beer while we played and laughed a lot. Those with bad knees could opt for a child to run for them. Said child was caught turning in circles instead of paying attention to the play, but it was all in good fun.

1-Young Batter and Ball 7-21-2012 6-03-35 PM

1-EW almost hitting the ball 7-21-2012 6-05-08 PM

Both EW and the youngster missed these pitches. The kid did hit one that  protected the wicket. EW did not.

He did, however make a good defensive play when his team wasn’t pitching.

I did not.

 

But … wait for it .. I scored!  I scored, I scored, I scored!

I was so excited. I don’t think I’ve ever scored in softball. Here’s the deal. When you run, you have to get “inside the crease” – the safe zone for the batter. It’s depicted by a white line on the professional field in the first photo. Here’s what’s hard for Americans to remember. When you run you KEEP holding the bat. In fact, if you are running from one wicket to the other and your bat crosses the line for the crease as the opposing team knocks the wicket  -- you are safe – even if your body is still outside the crease.

I understood that. I understood that I could be called out even if my opponent was the one who hit the ball. I was ready to run at all times when I was in the crease and I held my bat out as if I were preparing for a sword fight. “On guard!” I was crouched, on the balls of my feet and ready to RUN! When I was the batter, I was ready to hit and run, if the ball went far enough to give us time.

And I did it. I hit the ball, and it went into the outfield (inside the boundaries) and I shouted “RUN!”  to my batting team-mate Erling, and we ran, and we scored a point. If we could have run back again, we’d have scored two. We won the game 37 to 33 so my point wasn’t crucial, but we won and I helped because I SCORED!

Yes, EW and I had a blast. Yes, we are going to play again. We’re even going to go into Clark’s Cove Marina and borrow the equipment to practice catching. I caught one ball during the pre-game warm up because it hit my upper chest and bounced softly into my hands. (Picture that. It didn’t hurt.)

1-Peanut gallery and score keepers 7-21-2012 5-53-59 PMThis is a very civilized cricket game. Bob from Clark’s Court Marina, keeps the field mowed and brings up chairs, a small tent, and a very large cooler filled with beer, water, and sodas. There are two score keepers, Helen from Iguana who keeps count of the pitches and overs and score and Ricki, another cruiser, who keeps score of those who purchase a drink. We pay at the bar after the game. Ricki’s husband Colin was the very able umpire. Before the game, I bought him a beer and batted my baby blues at him. Not saying that helped, but it didn’t hurt.

1-Eric Bowler and Nick Batter 7-21-2012 5-00-24 PM

1-Cocoa Watching the Action 7-21-2012 4-42-39 PM

 

 

Nick at the wicket and Eric – one of the bowlers

Cocoa, the boatyard dog.

 

 

 

 

 

1-EW and low ball 7-21-2012 6-04-28 PM

EW showing the problem with American’s and cricket. We keep holding the bat over our shoulder – while the ball generally comes in below our knees.

 

1-Three fourths of the family  7-21-2012 4-59-46 PM

These three (and one older son not pictured here) are from England. They’ve gone around the world. This six year old boy and his older brother has circumnavigated and crossed the Atlantic twice. They are great kids. Their dad hits four and six pointers.

 

 

 

 

The photos of above of EW at bat and of the youngster at bat were taken by Jacques from s/v Panache, using my camera. I was actively playing outfield and had to pay attention to the ball.

These four photos were taken by Jacques and Annet on their camera. They were kind to email them to me for this blog – and for posterity. After all, I scored!  (Note that EW is running after his team mate made a hit, but he is no longer carrying the bat. That’s a bad thing as in …. You’rrrrr OUT!)

Barb at bat

Finally, I’m not sure how they relax after a game in Jolly Old Britain, but here we enjoy pot luck and karaoke at Clark’s Cove Marina. Here is EW with his MoJo working. 1-EW Gets his MoJo Working 7-21-2012 9-20-46 PM

1-EW MoJo Wide 7-21-2012 9-22-11 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New to Harts at Sea? I've written a book --  Harts At Sea-Sailing to Windward -- about our first year of cruising,
from Maine to Grenada. It's available on Kindle (or Kindle for PC or Kindle for Apple) for only $2.99. 
No Kindle? You can download Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac at no cost. Click here for the Kindle version.

NOW Harts at Sea - Sailing to Windward is available in paperback for $12.99. Click here for the paperback version.

 


Facebook for Cruisers -- and Anyone Else Who Cares About Their Friends

HomepageI didn’t really “get” Facebook when we lived back in Maine. I Tweeted. Now, I much more rarely Tweet, but visit Facebook every time I’m on-line. What’s the appeal of Facebook to cruisers?

1. Immediacy is not as important, now. In fact, I may not be on-line for days at a time, or on for only short amounts of time. It’s difficult to catch up to prior Tweets because there are so many in my timeline – even when I use lists. My Facebook friends are smaller groups, made up of family, close friends and their kids, sailing friends, and cruising friends from the various harbors. It’s quite easy to check in once a week or even twice a month and still know (mostly) what’s going on. Back in Maine,  I tweeted a few times each day when I took a break from reviewing resumes; and I tweeted via my Blackberry whenever I found myself with time on my hands – waiting for an appointment, sailing at night, eating alone. It was fun to ask and answer questions, respond to comments and news, and have an immediate “conversation” with friends in Maine, California, Texas, Norway, England, Australia, and Greece.

ListsThat brings me to 2. While I have ‘friended’ folks I don’t know, they are people who cruise or sail or have read my book, or they’re friends of friends and family. I’m not using Facebook to reach out to the world, but to reach out to those we’ve left behind, and to those we’ve met along the way. Facebook helps me stay in touch with the most important people in my life. Thanks to groups, particularly cruisers’ groups, Facebook helps me to connect to folks in the major harbors we visit. Here in Grenada, we can find important numbers, cruisers’ blogs, activities, and local restaurant menus via the Grenada Cruisers’ Group on Facebook.

Granada Cruisers Group

LewyAnd that brings me to 3. I have friended and been friended by my young adult nieces and nephews and my young adult grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Since they live from Japan to Florida, from Maine to Baltimore, and from Buffalo to Hawaii – I’m actually more in touch with the younger members of my extended and chosen family than I was when we were in the states. Twitter didn’t do that. Facebook is perfect for that. I’ve been able to watch Hadley grow from the infant I diapered before we left, to a sweet three-year old who takes dance lessons. Emily has graduated from college and I saw photos of her special day. I keep in touch with Hannah and the fun she’s having in Japan; with Haley and the work she’s doing this summer in Jacksonville; and with Marc and Jenn as they await the birth of their Baby Girl. This is precious to me.

The inspiration for writing this post was a blog post I read a couple of weeks ago on MSNBC titled 11 Things to Never Ever Say on Facebook by Sam Biddle of Gizmodo.  Never ever? I read it and I thought about it, and kept thinking about and decided that he was just wrong in a number of ways. While, I agree that we don’t need to know how much you drank last night, and it’s just stupid to broadcast your phone number, Facebook wouldn’t be Facebook without some of the announcements that Sam claims don’t belong.  I want to know if my friends and family got engaged and I love being reminded of anniversaries. That’s what I thought Facebook was for – a way for friends and family to communicate. Hello? Facebook works for me because my nieces and nephews and sister and dear friends and sailing buddies and cousins and their kids post notes about anniversaries, engagements, birthdays, college admissions, births, and even deaths. I want to know these things. We don’t all have each other’s email and it’s much more fun to read my “Family” timeline and see a photo of our nephew in his navy uniform and see the comments from his dad, his brothers, and others. That’s what makes Facebook .. Facebook.Boot Camp

That’s what I thought Facebook was for.

NOTE: The photo at left is of my niece-in-law’s nephew. It’s her post. She’s proud of him and I’m happy to know that. In fact since she and my nephew live in Hawaii, we've never met. But we've become friends thru Facebook because we share life's moments.

I’m not sure what Sam thinks Facebook is for but he lumps engagement announcements, the birthday thank-you, and college acceptances in with asking for money and giving out your new phone number, saying “When it doubt, use the golden rule. Stay away from things nobody but you cares to know about or celebrate. Then, Facebook will continue to be a firehose (sic) of semi-interesting life gristle, instead of a dump truck full of tripe.”

So – friends, family and cruisers – Sam’s right – I don’t care to know how drunk you got on Friday, and don’t ever ask me for money on Facebook. But he’s wrong in a really important way. I do want to celebrate your joys and I do want to know if something’s wrong. Share your news on Facebook. Share photos of your belly bumps, babies, and pets. Let me know if you’re nervous about an exam, or job interview, or flying across the country. I’ll think good thoughts for you. Keep posting your life on Facebook and let me stay in touch with the people I care about and who interest me.

If I didn’t want to know these things – I wouldn’t have friended you.

D’uh.

Don’t friend me Sam Biddle - -you don’t want to know what I’m saying. Trust me on that.

 

New to Harts at Sea? I've written a book --  Harts At Sea-Sailing to Windward -- about our first year of cruising, from Maine to Grenada. It's available on Kindle (or Kindle for PC or Kindle for Apple) for only $2.99. No Kindle? You can download Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac at no cost. Click here for the Kindle version.

NOW Harts at Sea - Sailing to Windward is available in paperback for $12.99. Click here for the paperback version.


A Month of Music Jams at Whisper Cove Marina

Shortly after we arrived in Grenada, EW contacted Marie and Giles at Whisper Cove Marina to see whether they would once again host the Sunday music jams. They expressed delight and quickly agreed to once again provide free bus transportation from the other harbors so musicians don’t have to subject their instruments to wet dinghy rides. Each week Harry picks up musicians and groupies from Port Louis, Prickly Bay, and Secret Harbor, sometimes making two trips to fit all the instruments and people on board.

Here’s Linda from1-The Bus Crowd 7-15-2012 4-17-48 PM Troubadour getting off the bus on July 15th. (The dome behind her is Chris – the actual troubadour from their boat.)

This jam is one event EW never misses – it’s the fulfillment of his dream of cruising and playing music with others. Even when we had guests on board, we sailed (motored) back to the bay on Sunday so we’d be on time for the jam.

June 17th.   Each week is extraordinary – and each week is different. The first week could be sub-titled “Guys and their Guitars” as there were no other instruments and no women participating. I take that back – while there were no women participants – Zoë, an eight year old girl from South Africa – heard EW promoting the jam on the VHF Net and told her mom that she wanted to go. Zoë is taking guitar lessons. Her mom warned her that the guys may play too fast for her, but she said she’d watch and learn – and she did. Jam 6.17.12 Young Guitarist and mentor 3 6-17-2012 4-16-58 PMOf course the guys helped her out. One tuned her guitar and three others gave her chords. Here, Bruce got her interested in playing as he performed Dancing with Bears – a perfect song for Zoë or any kid at heart. I loved it.Jam 6.17 EW singing with Group 6-17-2012 3-46-43 PM

Here are more photos from the first jam on June 16. As you’ll see, they were ultimately joined by a harmonica player and Peter from Jabiru played his pipe in addition to guitar.

 

 

Jam 6.17.12 Harmonica at night 6-17-2012 7-10-28 PM

 

 

Jam 6.17.12 Fierce Singing Face 6-17-2012 5-17-22 PM

EW had a new fierce singing face.

Jam 6.17.12 Ross leading a song 6-17-2012 4-14-20 PM

Jam 6.17.12 Two guys on guitars 6-17-2012 5-12-34 PM

Jam 6.17.12 Peter with Whistle 6-17-2012 3-47-07 PM

 

 

Jam 6.17.12 Young Guitarist and band 6-17-2012 4-19-01 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the more honest T-Shirts we’ve seen.

Jam 6.17.12 Favorite Shirt of the Day 6-17-2012 5-35-01 PM

At right – we have two imported Mainahs and a Kiwi. EW with our buddy D’irv taking photos, playing with an outstanding guitarist and song writer.Jam 6.17.12 Two Friends EW and D'irv 6-17-2012 7-11-34 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jam 6.17.12 Young Guitarist Front on 6-17-2012 5-34-33 PM

 

 

Jam 6.17.12 Jerry Singing 6-17-2012 5-54-10 PM

 

Jerry, sailed from California, and is a solo sailor except for his two poodles, Tiller and Sparky. Jerry shares show tunes during each jam session, singing acapella.

 

 

 

 

June 24th

1-The Four of Us at Whisper Cove 6-24-2012 6-53-05 PM 6-24-2012 6-53-05 PMStu and Cathy were visiting and I took fewer photos. Still got EW’s fierce face, Peter, and Chris from High Heeled – plus a great shot of the four of us.

1-EW Fierce Face 6-24-2012 4-07-04 PM

1-Chris High Heeled 6-24-2012 4-07-37 PM1-EW and Peter 6-24-2012 4-07-19 PM

 

 

 I enjoyed the music and was delighted to share this experience with UA and Cathy.

1-UA and Cathy 6-24-2012 4-08-58 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July the First.

Women! Percussion!  New voices and new instruments!  You can tell from EW’s face that he’s enjoyed himself during this jam.

1-Jam 6.30.12 EW happy with group 7-1-2012 4-29-18 PM

 

1-Jam 6.30.12 Diana Ross cu 7-1-2012 3-41-06 PM

 

Diana joined her talented SO, Ross, and proved that she can hold her own singing and playing with the group.

The crew from Mobion at far right – Elle sings and plays guitar and her SO sings and really knows how to make small percussion instruments add to the mix.

1-Jam 6.30.12 Mobion and group 7-1-2012 4-05-11 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were joined by Nina (next to EW) a visitor from France who is a trained opera singer, and Diane from DJ.

1-Jam 6.30.12 Greek Chorus 7-1-2012 5-46-47 PM

 

1-P7010716 

 

 

The Greek Chorus at left and EW and Nina perform a Brazilian song at right.

 

 

1-Jam 6.30.12 Jerry 4 7-1-2012 5-00-56 PM

 

1-Jam 6.30.12 Sweet Sunny 7-1-2012 5-46-08 PM

Jerry at left.

 

Sunny from Notre Vie at right – getting into the swing of Sweet Caroline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 8

Diana and Ross from One White Tree go over music with Chris (center), the troubadour from Troubadour.

1-Jam Diana Chris and Ross 7-8-2012 5-04-46 PM

1-Peter Singing and Playing 7-8-2012 6-46-09 PM

 

Peter – at his last Whisper Cove Jam of the season. They’ve sailed off to Trinidad.

 

 

 

Diana and Ross leading a song together.

1-Diana and Ross  7-8-2012 5-29-41 PM

1-Nina Singing 7-8-2012 5-12-42 PM

 

 

      Nina at right

 

 

 

 

 

1-Jerry with Nina and Aleta 7-8-2012 6-23-27 PM

 

1-Kirk with Chris Spirit Du Libre 7-8-2012 6-45-27 PM

Jerry was joined by Nina and Aleta.

 

And Kirk really enjoyed playing with Chris (Frenchie) on the harmonica.

 

 

 

1-Chris from Troubadour 7-8-2012 5-32-54 PM

We all enjoy Chris’ Pirate Song. Grim but tuneful and very funny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s the deal. Each week we have a wonderful time. The musicians all learn something. No matter what instrument is presented, it all works together. (More on that for the next music jam post.)

And these sessions point out the transient nature of our lifestyle as folks join in for a week or two and then move on to other islands. We miss the folks from High Heeled, Jabiru, Spirit, and Bruce and the harmonica player from the first week. Sail well and keep playing. We’ll catch you at another jam someday.


Net Controller

1-Net Controller 7-18-2012 6-40-19 PMI have control issues and I get to use them to good advantage every Friday.

I also like to talk (no kidding). I MC’d events and Pep Rallies in high school and college. Heck, I majored in “Human Communications” at the University of Maine.

“What’s that major?” asked my dad.

“Speech, Daddy. I’m a Speech Major.”

“Jeezum Crow. All you do is talk. Why do you need to study that?”

I didn’t really have an answer for him.

Anyway. Very shortly after we arrived, Lynn from Silverheels III made a dooryard call in her dinghy – waving a red t-shirt. “We need a Net Controller for Fridays and you’ve been voluntold.”

Frankly I was delighted. I would have volunteered if they’d put out a request.

The Grenada Cruisers’ Net pretty informal – but we do have a suggested script. Now, I’m one who made fun of the Georgetown Cruisers’ Net in the Bahamas. That is a formal net which can last an hour. If you want to participate, you must call the Net Controller prior to the net and get on the list for the appropriate category. I was not “into” the Georgetown experience, but I’ve enjoyed the information and camaraderie found in the cruisers’ nets in the different islands. Some are run by local business folks who (bless their hearts) take time every morning to help us all learn what’s happening, set up social events, and find necessary parts. Here in Grenada, where sailors tend to stay for a month or more, it’s possible to find enough cruisers to take a day or week on a regular basis.

I have two goals: 1) to slow my speech enough to be intelligible on the radio and 2) to make most of my “audience” smile – or even laugh – at least once per “show”. These may be the only goals I’ve met so far in Grenada. In addition to (mostly) following the script, I’ve added in tidbits each Friday. Sometimes I steal an idea from John Gould’s Maine Lingo. At other times I’ve made fun of the tides here. The other day we actually had a one foot tide. I’m not sure why we give the times of these tides, but my public expects it.

I had a lot of fun on Friday, July 13th, discussing how sailors traditionally didn’t want to lay up keels or set sail on long journeys on Fridays; or that many wouldn’t sail with only 13 on board, believing that one would surely die. But my favorite find was the word, friggatriskaidekaphobia, ending my broadcast with, “The fear of Friday the 13th has been called frig-ga-tris-kai-de-ka-phobia. Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom "Friday" is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen.

Of course the rest of the day, I would meet up with cruisers who asked me to pronounce the word again for them. I was able to comply without the notes. I’m afraid that word will rattle around in my head until I die. I’ll probably forget important things, like EW’s name, and still be able to spew out friggatriskaidekaphobia. Of course my favorite comment came from our good buddy D’irv on ReWa, who called me after the net and asked what fear of that word would be. I promptly answered, friggatriskaidekaphobiaphobia.

Damn it. I can’t ever remember that judgment has only one “e”, yet I can now spell friggatriskaidekaphobia.

Go figure.

Oh – the front of the shirt says: “Have no fear, the net controller is here.”

Here’s the back. I (of course) altered it since it wasn’t gender neutral. 1-T shirt back 7-18-2012 6-41-05 PM

No, I don’t wear it when I run the net. Really.


When Every Day is Saturday

 

1-Flamboyant Tree and Blue Boat 6-23-2012 4-10-42 PMIt’s hard to remember the day’s of the week here – and forget knowing dates – every day has the potential to be the same. The reality is that this cruising life takes discipline.

There are times when I have no discipline – that’s when a week or two – or whole month – go by when I haven’t written any new posts, completed any major boat projects, exercised regularly, become a better person, saved the world … well – you get it.

Somehow I lost my oomph in June and am still working on getting it back. Today I resorted to creating a check sheet similar to the ones parents create with their eight-year-olds. Here are the things I must do every day, and here are the things I must do every day we don’t undertake a major excursion or full-day boat project. I need to get my groove back and am willing to do what it takes to make that happen. (Except this check list will not become a colorful poster on the door of my room. After all, I am not eight years old.)

On the other hand, living a month of Saturdays once in a while is definitely pleasurable.  We’ve both read a lot – and mostly good books. EW had never read To Kill a Mockingbird and so enjoyed it that I re-read it after he was done. I’m working on learning my “new” camera, and taking a lot of photos. The new project there is to learn how to adjust the settings when subjects are backlit. Suggestions will be appreciated – particularly when I once again take photos at the Sunday Jam session.

We go to bed when we feel like it and wake earlier than I want to.

I am provisioning and cooking much better than I did the first year out. We’ve only had popcorn for supper twice in the past three months.

We are making new friends, moving the boat into different anchorages, sailing some, swimming, and have completed a few hikes. We had company and that was my favorite week of Saturdays.

1-Cricket Protecting the wicket 6-29-2012 1-45-01 PMA few weeks ago we attended a cricket match between the West Indian team (made up of athletes from a number of different Caribbean islands) and a team from India. It was incredibly exciting not, in fact both our friend Dave from ReWa and EW fell asleep for a time. 1-Cricket D'irv snoozing 6-29-2012 2-27-56 PM1-Cricket EW snoozing 6-29-2012 3-31-18 PMWe attended with crews from the Australian boats Jabiru, White Rose I*, and Blue Pelican. The stands were nearly empty as this “Saturday” was on a Friday and most of the local folks were working. Our Aussie mates spread out among the Yanks they had enticed to the match and cheerfully taught us the rules and customs of the game. 1-Cricket Jack learning from Steve 6-29-2012 2-12-53 PMThe West Indian team was badly beaten, in fact their bowlers were disgraced with at least three “Golden Ducks” – essentially getting “out” without  having a successful hit. Bowlers have a lot  of chances to make a successful hit and often each team may use only 2-4 bowlers for the entire game.

(At right, Jake the Yank is being instructed by Steve the Aussie . Steve’s the one with a beer and the sneer. Evidently beer is essential for Cricket matches, and the fans get just as disgusted with bad plays as Red Sox fans do.)

1-Golden Duck 6-29-2012 1-49-06 PM

 

 

The Golden Ducks are depicted on the score board.  This quacked me up. In this game, each team would receive 85 pitches. The Indians were up first and earned 142j in their 85 pitches. The West Indians didn’t make it to 85 pitches. Once a bowler is out, they are out for the entire game, and the West Indian team went through all of their team before receiving all 85 pitches and the game ended.  1-Cricket Score board 6-29-2012 2-58-24 PM

 

Part way through I had figured out that math is important to cricket and kept trying to figure it out in my head – then I finally noticed that the scoreboard does it for you. Cool.

The Aussies were disgusted that we hadn’t seen a good game, but  this excursion whetted our interest in cricket and allowed us to understand the game better, I think. We will certainly attend another game – more intriguing is that we’re going to play in a cruisers’ pick up game on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.

 

1-Cricket Zamboni 2 6-29-2012 1-05-02 PMFinally – cricket has their own amboni – every Yank in attendance thought he or she was original in exclaiming that fact when this rolled out onto the field.

EW went on a major  hike last Wednesday the 11th , and spent the next few days icing and tending to his knee. He’s fine now (thanks to a excellent idea from Lynn of Silverheels III). This hike lasted 8 hours and was brutal. Since I didn’t attend (thank goodness!) I suggest you check it out on zero to Cruising’s blog post.

I’ve been working on a strange article/story using boat names. It’s been a good and fun exercise and keeps me writing when inspiration was fleeting. I have to see whether I can fix the “z” key on my Toshiba. It’s a pain to type “amaing”, and do spell check to get that “z” to use in other words. That would be a Saturday project in the real world.

This morning, armed with my check list, I arose and immediately went on deck for a yoga session (exercise every day – check); after a smoothie breakfast, I am sitting at the computer writing (check) and getting some on-line work done (check), while EW replaces the engine zincs and changes the oil. Once he is done, I’ll defrost the freezer and skewer clean the galley today’s one-hour-of-cleaning project (check). Later I’ll get myself cleaned up and visit a bit with others before I work on editing the book (check). It may feel like a Saturday, but it’s Wednesday, July 18th and I’m going to get some things done.

I am. Getting. Things. Done.

*Factoid: In Australia, your boat can’t have the same name as another registered boat. So our friends Lee and Don had to add the rather foolish “one” after White Rose to create a legal name.


Anniversaries and "Another Projects"

EW and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on July 6th. It was the perfect Caribbean Cruisers’ Anniversary – even if EW felt guilty early in the day.

This second year of cruising has been much easier – fewer unexpected (Another Project) boat projects; not quite as much sailing to windward; many fewer “intense discussion” (arguments). There will be no book about the second year because it would be a boring book for me to write. Nevertheless, right before our first guest couple’s visit (Cathy and Stu from Florida) one of the stainless steel uprights for the stern pulpit broke at the weld. Dang.

We decided not to fix it until our guests had left, simply cautioning them (and ourselves) to refrain from using that upright as a support when climbing aboard from the water. Last week, EW and our friend D’irv took the dinghy around to Prickly Bay to deliver one part from each boat to “TechNick” a welding and metal shop, owned by Nick somebody at Spice Island Marine. It was too rough to retrieve the parts via dinghy, so I walked with them a few days later, over hill and dale and hill from Secret Harbor to Spice Island Marine. We retrieved the parts, carried them back over hill and dale and hill in reverse order and sat our half stern rail on the bow while we took care of other, more important projects: snorkeling, writing, grocery shopping, book swaps .. well you get the idea.

Our anniversary was on the First Friday of the month, so by unanimous consent,  the monthly jazz/poetry event at the Granada National Museum was slated to be part of our celebration. EW suggested we hike to the bus route at 10 or so, take a bus to “the city” of St. Georges and enjoy the day there prior to the jazz at 5:30. I asked for a later departure so I could get some work done in the morning and we agreed to leave for town – showered and dressed up – just after lunch.

Of course the stern pulpit had been eating a hole in EW’s to do list, so he began that project. It took, as most projects do, twice as along as EW anticipated. I was needed to hold the rail and help set the bolts. AT 11:00 AM we could be found perched on the stern, hot and sweaty with fingers blackened by caulk. “I’m sorry.” said EW.

“No worries,” I cheerfully replied. Despite not being able to tackle my list, I was actually enjoying working on this project with him. TechNick had expertly welded the two pieces back together exactly as EW had requested, and the eight bolt holes lined up perfectly. However, the weld had evidently added just a skosh of thickness to the aft end of the broken post mount and two of the bolts were not long enough to reach through the deck and accept washers and nuts.

Damn.

Of course we didn’t’ discover this prior to gooping up the holes and mount area with gooey black caulk. If we didn’t’ complete the project that day, we’d have to clean up all of that partially set caulk and start again. After many tries to “stretch” the bolts EW hauled out his fastener box and  found two appropriately sized longer bolts. Much longer -- they’d have to be cut.. EW quickly discovered that I am not an effective vise. (I may be his vice, but am not a vise.) I was game though, holding the bolt with locking pliers, resting on a can while EW wielded the hacksaw. After a few passes he exclaimed, “I keep banging into your thumb!” “I haven’t complained,” I replied. He looked at me. “That’s just wrong. We need a vise.”

I went on the VHF radio on the cruisers’ channel 68. “Query for Mt. Hartman Cruisers: Does anyone have a vise we may borrow the use of?”

You can imagine the responses. Bob from Spirit immediately replied. “I have a lot of vices. Which one do you want?” An unidentified slightly accented lady replied, “Sure! Alcohol, sex, or gambling?” I thanked them with much laughter, and was delighted to hear from Tom on Tiger Lily. “I have a vise you can borrow. It’s attached to a board so you can come and get it.” That was the response I wanted.

Fifteen minutes later, we had bolts that fit. (EW uses the two nuts method for cutting a bolt and ensuring that it still works with the nut. I have no idea what that means. I just know it works.)

Here’s the thing. EW was a bit distressed that the project was eating into our anniversary celebration. I didn’t care. I was having fun, working with sticky black stuff, helping him, on the deck in a beautiful harbor on a perfect day. This is cruising and this is our married life at sea. It was the perfect way to spend part the day. Once I realized how stressed he was about ruining our anniversary, I said, “No problem. I’d like us to be on the way by 3 at the latest. Other than that, don’t worry about it.”

We completed the job. I returned the vise and kept all of our vices. (They may come in handy later.) We showered, I put on my new best (only) dress --  a truly generous gift from Cathy who gave me her dress when she visited here – and we met Lynn from Silver Heels who had offered to show us a different, more rural walk to the bus stop.

I wore make-up.

We walked for 30 minutes in 85 degree weather over hill and dale on a rough path around goats, one very large bull and all of their droppings. It was wonderful. This is cruising.

We hugged Lynn, caught the bus, and went to BB’s, approved by Oprah and  home of their famous crab back appetizer. We shared the 1-Anniversary. EW and me 7-6-2012 5-10-49 PMexpensive dish, enjoyed the view and had piña coladas for “dessert”.1-Anniversary Pina Coladas 7-6-2012 4-52-26 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Anniversary View from Nutmeg 7-6-2012 5-41-40 PM

Then we wandered the area, settling in at Nutmegs for a light dinner and their second-story view of St Georges’ Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Anniversary Algy Talking 7-6-2012 7-08-13 PMWe made it to the museum before the 6:00 start with time to chat with many of the cruisers who had gathered for this event. I took photos. Folks wished us “Happy Anniversary”. We listened to good music, great music, incredible original poetry, and chatted with cruisers and locals. (Note to careful readers: The evening is advertised as starting at 530 – but this is the Caribbean. It never starts before 6:00)

1-Anniversary Peter and Algy cu 7-6-2012 9-12-05 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Anniversary Mom with three 7-6-2012 7-18-20 PM

1-Anniversary Two Saxes and a Bass 7-6-2012 7-13-57 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Anniversary Violinist 7-6-2012 7-46-35 PM

 

1-Anniversary Front Row Group 7-6-2012 7-04-18 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Anniversary Guitarist unfocused 7-6-2012 7-21-43 PM

 

 

1-Anniversary Trumpet 7-6-2012 7-17-39 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Anniversary Peter and two cu 7-6-2012 7-28-02 PM

 

Let’s see ---

  • Boat project involving goop – check
  • Working with my sweetie – check
  • Walk through the trails to the bus -- check
  • Dining on deck in a Caribbean harbor – check
  • Evening out with friends and great music -- check

 

I’d call that  the perfect cruisers’ anniversary.

I love EW.

 

New to Harts at Sea? I've written a book -- The Harts At Sea Sailing to Windward -- about our first year of cruising, from Maine to Grenada. It's available on Kindle (or Kindle for PC or Kindle for Apple) for only $2.99. No Kindle? You can download Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac at no cost. 


I’m a Writer?

Not lately.

I must be a writer because I’m having “Writers’ Block” – big time.

After closely documenting the first year of cruising, turning those essays into a book, and creating that book in both Kindle and Paperback format – I have been silenced. (Well, if you’ve met me, you know that I’m not the silent type – but I’ve not been writing. Not writing at all.)

I am taking photos. The new Olympus we picked up in December in St. Thomas is a delight to work with – much better than any camera I’ve ever had and some of my photos are better as well. This improvement could be directly related to how many photos I’ve been taking. The law of averages would indicate that some of them would be good, whether I’m getting better at photography or not.

I’m also working on marketing the book. Eventually I’d like to make money with this writing thing. The experts in self-publishing are clear that you need more than one book to make any money. So I’ve begun notes for the second book, and dreams for a third. But first, I need to market this one more consistently, fix the typos and mistakes in the Kindle version and put up a second Kindle edition, and complete the www.SailingtoWindward.com blogs of photos from that first year.

I still need to write new things – I have made a list of 16 different posts for this blog, have two magazine articles in the works, and ideas for the second book running around in my head at odd moments. I’ve sat down at the laptop a number of times over the past few weeks and deleted every effort. Ugh.

So what finally motivated me to forego an outing with EW and other cruisers and sit and write today? Two things. 1) The knowledge that if I’m going to ever make money at this I must write every day, hone my skills, and keep the ideas flowing; and 2) A really bad Amazon review for Harts at Sea – Sailing to Windward.

Up to now, I’ve enjoyed reading the reviews – almost all of them were positive, and only one was from a relative. None of my dearest friends wrote a review, feeling that folks would know they were biased. A few cruisers and boaters known to me kindly wrote reviews, but most of them were written by strangers. I was actually delighted to get my first negative review and tickled that he used a quote from one of the essays to emphasize how much he didn’t connect with me. That’s cool. A lot of people don’t find me funny – something I got over when I was in Jr. High.

This most recent review was just a bit nasty. He didn’t have to mention how agonizing he thought it would be to sail on a boat with me. That’s just plain mean. And he was wrong when he suggested that all of my reviewers were relatives. After I got over that, and “processed” (whatever that means) I realized that this review didn’t matter any more than the other negative one. He didn’t like the book. Not everyone will like the book. I’m truly OK with that. Even though I still find things to fix or change as I work on the second edition for Kindle, I still like the book. I’ll get better, but I had things to say that people found interesting, educational, or funny and I said them. (Mostly with correct grammar.)

I’m a writer. Time to get to work.

In the meantime, please enjoy these photos – a taste of things to come when I get those 16 posts written.

Regatta Des Saintes GFA Heeling 6-2-2012 2-03-15 PM

A couple of boats in a regatta in Isles des Saintes, Guadeloupe.

Regatta Des Saines Wooden plus 6-2-2012 2-13-38 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illusion Night Gail 6 6-6-2012 8-54-17 PM

Illusion Night Jacke 2 6-6-2012 9-12-51 PM

 

 

Gail from Jaibaru and Jackie from Compass Rose, getting into the swing of things with Illusion at Clarks’ Court Bay Marina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jam 6.17.12 Fierce Singing Face 6-17-2012 5-17-22 PM

EW in his new fierce rock star singing face. (A (only slightly inebriated) cruising lady thought he might be Jerry Jeff Walker. I laughed. (I can be mean like that.)

Peter from Jaibaru and Ross from One White Tree.

Jam 6.17.12 Peter with Whistle 6-17-2012 3-47-07 PMJam 6.17.12 Ross leading a song 6-17-2012 4-14-20 PM

EW really getting into the Lime Comancheros Pan Band exhibition.  Pan Band EW in Headgear 6-14-2012 9-41-06 PM

Pan Band EW on Cello with audience 6-14-2012 7-48-32 PM

I don’t think the head gear is is best look, but he was definitely WERQ’ing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-Cutty Trip Critter at Falls 6-27-2012 11-18-56 AM

1-Cutty Trip Barbara Petting Monkey 6-27-2012 11-59-15 AM

A little green critter and a friendly young monkey.

His fur was so incredibly soft and I love that he held my arm as I loved on him.

 

 

As you can see, writers’ block and one bad review hasn’t stopped me from having any fun in Grenada. Life is good, and I know that.

 

New to Harts at Sea? I've written a book --  Harts At Sea-Sailing to Windward -- about our first year of cruising, from Maine to Grenada. It's available on Kindle (or Kindle for PC or Kindle for Apple) for only $2.99. No Kindle? You can download Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac at no cost. NOW Harts at Sea - Sailing to Windward is available in paperback for $12.00. Click here for the paperback version.