Sunday, August 28, 2011

From the Captain...

I arrived at Nuie - a small island nation of 1100 people.  It was a rough trip with high winds and I had to hand steer most of the last 30 hours because the bracket that locks the main tiller broke. The failure is a fatigue type - it's been going a long time - a lot of the failure surface has rust on it.  I see there's a crack on the other side as well.  Anyway, with the high winds 25 steady up to 40 in squalls and gusts in excess of 50 it was hard work.

The good thing is the boat felt really secure and safe despite all the hassle.  Anyway, I was about 6 hours later (time I spent trying to fix the unfixable and I had to heave to for a couple of hours just to rest) than I expected.

The island is couple of big 30m thick pancakes lifted from the ocean - actually coral reefs- so what you have is 5 m swell hitting a vertical, more or less surface which is cracked and creviced etc.  The surf you get is amazing, with huge vents that shoot hundreds of feet in the air.  Coming in in the evening meant the light was good, so I wished I had a decent camera.

Anyway, I'm really tired - this last 5 days qualifies as an epic.  I do feel like I accomplished something though.  This place looks really interesting so I'll stay awhile I think.  The diving is supposed to be amazing, plus the uplifted coral is full of caves etc. So, get some sleep, eat first now that my gut is OK (yes it was food poisioning - I thought seasickness was possibly reasonable since I'd had such flat sailing for so long and the motion at the beginning of the trip was just plain nasty - it just didn't occur to me that it was something I'd eaten)

Take care
Love Dad
At 25/08/2011 4:14 AM (utc) our position was 18°59.34'S 168°22.13'W

We might have a situation...

Me: Nope you can't eat those, they're emergency chocolate bars...
Mom: I could have an emergency any second now!
Sent... While in transit ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Why punctuation is important...

Does this mean I get $475 cash back?
Interesting *strokes chin*


I just used my hotness for a functional work-related purpose... What's that you ask? Well I quite literally, used it to test our new server room temperature sensor. It's soooooo cool! It sends an email alert to any given number of addresses letting you know the minute things are out of control in the server room!

I only stretched one, mayyybe two workplace safety codes... sitting on top of a ladder (not on the top step mind you ;), in flip flops, without a spotter.  My latest response to those 'protocol and procedure' type questions though has been "It's okay, I know first aid", and since my partner in crime also knows first aid... we can cover for each other *smug grin*

I also just proved that you can be in IT and be hot, it's a tough job... but somebody had to do it *buffs nails*

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quicker than you

Oh man I can't believe I totally forgot to tell you about this, I mean I know I was tired and all... but seriously!

I know this seems a little off track, but it will help clarify, or maybe even shed some light on the rest of this crazy post. Or maybe not *shrugs*, you decide.

Q: How do you tell the difference between black bear droppings and grizzly bear droppings?
A: Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them, and smell like pepper spray.
So, last night as I'm pushing my bike up the hill along the flat bit just before my place, these two teenage boys ride by... the one does a dirt jump off the bank next to me and the other slams on his brakes, skids to a stop beside me, and I kid you not says:

"Duuuuuuuuuude! Sweeeeeeet bike!" he then proceeded to point and go "Wow that's crazy! Is that your rear shock?!"

Me: I experienced a proximity loss of minus 50 IQ points, and was all "Uhhm no... that's my bear spray"...

*Then* he says to me... "So uhhhh, what is it?... Your gearshift injector? Does it make you go faster?!?"

I should have said: "Yeah it makes you go faster, as long as you don't get it in your eyes... and as long as you're faster than the bear that'll be chasing you now that you're all covered in seasoning" ;)

Thankfully I was rescued from answering as his buddy came back, jumped the bank in the opposite direction and promptly took out the neighbors garbage can.  They were gone with a wave and a "gotta go!"... faster than that 5 extra minutes after you hit the snooze button.

This is the joke behind the title...

There are two guys out in the back 40 on an acreage deep in the interior of BC, and they hear a hungry grizzly bear. The one guy sits down and starts lacing up his running shoes. The other guy says "Dude, what are you doing?! You think you can outrun a grizzly bear? Ha!" To which he replies, I don't have to outrun a grizzly bear...

I just have to outrun you.

Heh. *grins*

From the Captain...

This is a lousy passage.  Fast but short steep waves.  I thought I was seasick at first, fed fish a couple of times, now I think I'm sick - perhaps low grade food poisioning.  Ate out last nite.

Anyway, reefed down, the boat sails itself.

My computer is shakey - got a blue screen of death - booted up again and it worked but it is ominous.

Take care - will ship boat home from NZ

 I'd right more but I still feel lousy and I'm tired of the constant bashing about
At 23/08/2011 3:48 AM (utc) our position was 18°47.41'S 164°35.42'W

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Remind me, I really wasn't thinking.

I'm not really the go-run-a-marathon-because-I-can type, but I can chase a soccer ball up and down the field in sprint distances until I keel over.. go figure *that* one out...

In any case, I've decided that I'm a social exerciser. For instance if someone else is doing something, I'm all over it. Dredging up the motivation to do it myself however *eeyyyah* not so much. Well, one of the ladies from work, has decided she's going to get in shape.  So I offered to be her moral support, met her this morning and we ran to work together. It was good, I didn't die.

The run home... seemed to take... way... longerrrrrrrr. Then I biked down to taekwondo... and did my stripe test... and then I biked home. I'm knackered, and hungry again *yawns* but I got my third stripe on my yellow belt *sleepy smile* and I got the form to take the next belt test!

Moooore fishin'

I worked all day last Saturday, I know, I know, I'm the first person to remind people not to work too much, but I took Monday off to chuck myself down a mountain *wrinkles forehead* which reminds me I have a couple pics from that... Anyways where was I? Right, fishing. Well Sunday, I got up at are-you-kidding-me-I-barely-get-up-this-early-for-work and we went fishing. Now, if we didn't try every different colour, shape, size and pattern of lure that Ed had... then Sam-I-Am-Not. Which I am. Either the fish finder was full of it, or those fish were used to steak and lobster bugs, because we were truly and soundly snubbed.

For four... and a half... hours. It was awesome! ...except when a dragonfly peed right on my knuckle, did you even know they could do that?!?!

We did countless loops around the lake until we had to pee, did a couple more loops and then stoked up our motivation and self-confidence by assuring each other that there must be fish that we should go try for on the little lake just before Edwin.  Part of our reasoning, we figured... was that with the trail down to it being relatively steep and probably a good hundred feet most people would be too lazy (not crazy enough) to get a boat down to go fishing on it... That and there were a couple of loons on it that morning, and loons don't lie!

We backed the truck up to the trail, took a wander down... assessing the soon to be situation with knowing squints accompanied by head nods, and started our attempt.  Now picture this... there we were with a decent sized two/three person aluminum fishin' boat, with one of us at each end... We lifted, carried, slid, dragged, and creatively wedged it sideways between a couple of trees... In fact it was much like the Grinch stealing Christmas trees and stuffing them one by one *up* the chimbley.

Incredibly no major injuries later, those two loons were promptly joined by a couple more loons, and two hours later we had been skunked for the second time that day. No fishies. Not even a nibble!

Y'know something though? I had a wonderful day refilling my solar cell banks, I just love being outside :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fishin' tales

Soooo, when we were out fishin' last weekend we heard this HUGE splash, looked at each other and Ed says "Wow that sounded like a 22 pounder, I'd like to get a hold of that one!"

He glanced back over a couple minutes later in the fading light, and goes "Waitaminute... is that a beaver? Whoa it is!! I take it back, *shaking head* I don't want to catch that one!!!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"The Cabin"

My best friend's parents have a 'cabin'... it's a 26 or so foot camper, parked under a roof with a huge deck (everybody likes a man with a big... deck), spare room, and loft with two tents set up in it! There are showers and flush toilets just across the way, and the power doesn't go out until 10ish depending on whether or not the guy in charge is watching a movie ;)

This is the view from the lookout I biked up to, it was only about an hour and a half but hoo boy I should have left my bike at the bottom of that last steep bit.

Went swimming a little later, and these are the eyes of The Hellcat... Beautiful, tired, almost hypothermic, still wants to go swimming... Hellcat.

Full weekend

So camper parking aside, I managed to squish an evening of camping and most of Saturday fishing in ahead of my biking plans... the result? I came home smelling like campfire and fish, with a fine layer of dust in my car, and some wicked memories and pictures.


Goat Lake

Done motoring around the lake, rinsing our fishing lines ;)

From the Captain...

I'm sitting in the heat in a lovely atol in the southern Cook Is.  Got here Saturday afternoon, managing to ground on the way in, the channel is 1.5 m deep, I draw that.  I got a bit off centre and got stopped, backed off OK and kept on going.  The "anchorage" is a tight little harbour iwth the boats scrunched in.  I've got the anchor out, and two stern lines set to shore.  I shouldn't move.

It was "interesting" getting in here by myself - really need a pair of eyes in the bow for the channel and extra hands for setting anchors and stern lines in a confined space like this.  I'm here, no hurts to me or anyone else.  I've hung around the boat and the immediate harbour today - I haven't checked in with Customs etc. yet.  Tomorrow I may get some tourist time in.

Take care
Love Dad
At 15/08/2011 5:37 AM (utc) our position was 18°51.91'S 159°48.05'W

From the Captain...

Sailing currently sucks.  No wind.  Motoring hoping the engine etc. is fine - hasn't missed a beat.  The Ahelm is however not happy so am hand steering.  65 mi to port, should make it there if I motor most of the night.  Must arrive Sat - they get grumpy if you show up on Sunday - take the religion thing serious

take care - gotta get this off onthe radio and eat and get motoring.

Love Dad
At 13/08/2011 4:02 AM (utc) our position was 18°33.41'S 158°43.72'W

Give me one ping...

4 low quiet beeps, pause, 4 more

 Listen really carefully, standing in the companionway, sounds are faint and seem to come from the lazarette. It's dark. I'm drifting, becalmed.  Sails down, engine off.  All is quiet.

 Electrical?  Everything is shut down, dead calm, conserving electricty.  Is something on?  Is there an alarm, instrument or something going off??

WHOOSH = almost an explosion right next to the boat!  I jump, heart rate hits new record.

Adrenaline rush.

I've been pinged by a whale! who surfaces less than 30 m away and he's BIG judging by the swirl but I can't see much - he's gone.  I hope he's not amorous and looking for a snuggle, or pissed and wanting to hit something.  Haven't seen anything alive for days.  He comes up a couple minutes later maybe 20 m away, blows again and has a good look I guess.  Scares me again.

Have to wonder if the underside of the boat looks like a sleeping potential mate.  That could be a worry 'cause he was way bigger than the boat.

And he's gone.

Heart slows down to normal after awhile.  This can't be good for me.

Love Dad
At 13/08/2011 3:53 AM (utc) our position was 18°33.51'S 158°43.70'W

From the Captain...

I'm bobbing out here with the sails down and no wind - 100 m short of Aitutai Atoll  in the southern Cook Islands.  This was supposed to be a 3 day sail, but if I'm lucky I'll get there in 7!  I don't want to motor because there's a nasty noise in the drive train I thought I'd dealt with - but I was wrong.  To make matters more interesting something is hay wire with the batteries again - I think there's a dead cell somewhere but I don't want to try and sort it out here - so I run the engine and charge daily.  The weather is hot, wind is minimal.  I was doing 2 k most of the day but when the sun went down, the wind (all 3 to 4 knots of it) went down as well.  The Gribs say I should be getting 5 to 15 --- sigh.  It's supposed to pick up.

Anyway, take care and have fun.

At 12/08/2011 4:48 AM (utc) our position was 18°23.96'S 158°06.06'W

Where the weird pattern matching comes from

BTW I forgot.  Dad has tripped over 5555 on the odometer he zeroed off at the beginning of your trip last fall.  Hard to believe the boat has travelled that many miles.  I told him it was a good thing I didn't know it while I was there or I'd have been meandering all over the bay and lagoon to get an interesting reading.
(Internet, just to put things in perspective... I remember driving up and down our little side road backwards. In the Volvo... so that Mom could see the "Septuple 7's!!!!" ... or the "Octuple 8's!!!!!" that she missed while Dad was driving.)

From the Captain...

I'll get out of here yet.  I'm still hanging on the mooring at Bora Bora and the wind is howling as a front moves through.  I don't mind the fronts when sailing, not comfortable but no big deal, however when anchored I worry constantly about the anchor dragging and there's always something hard to bump into around here as the boat dances about.  At least on the mooring there's a sense of some security - misplaced though it may be (recall Sausilito).  I think I mentioned there as Vega next mooring over.  That is enthusiasm, especially with 2 bodies on board.

So, take care and have fun. Do the maintenance on your bike if it needs it - always look after your tools - be they bikes, cars, skis, canoes, sailboats, and bodies.  Mother nature bites hard enough and does not need to be assisted by mechanical failures.  Get good gear and look after it - and retire it when it's toast -- in the meanwhile, push it and you to the limit and have a blast.  Always  work safe, but that doesn't mean you don't do things.  End of lecture.  And no, most of the rest of the world does not get it - so patch yourself up and go do it.

Love Dad
At 06/08/2011 7:26 AM (utc) our position was 16°29.98'S 151°45.44'W

From the Captain...

I just cycled around Bora Bora - 32 km of mostly flat riding on a paved road - on a pusher style bike with a big soft saddle.  My bum hurts.

It seemed like I should at least make an attempt to see some of this tourist mecca and the most sensible way seemed to be by bike.  There is only the one road that circles the island.  Anyway, I rented the bike this morning and off I went - a liter of gater aid, a couple of granola bars and the guide book.  Don't laugh - the high point of the exercise was riding by the open gate of the RO plant (desalinization of sea water for drinking water - the municipal water supply) and inviting myself in for a tour.

First is was "not possible" but then I said I was a Canadian Engineer - and all things were possible.  His english was minimal but I could fill in the gaps and he as pleased and I got a good look.  They do nice work with HDPE pipe.  Chuckle - you can add that to fish ladders, culverts and sewage treatment plants.

A treat - there's a Danish couple on the next mooring with a Vega.  A very long way to come for two people in a small boat.  I really could have done this in Osprey (the imposing driveway decoration) but I like my comfort.

So, I cycled around the island and there's not a lot to comment on. They use the submarine base from WW2 for a small craft harbour.  There's various other concrete remanents plus several 7" gun emplacements of the conflict.  There's hotels etc., some abandoned and falling down - actually there's quite a few derelict structures of concrete - for what should be a permanent material lack of understanding of it results in a realtively short lifespan.  It's sort of neat seeing columns busted apart because of the rusty rebar and poor mix and rough workmanship.  The geology is neat and the vegetation is lush.  The diving is "OK" but heavily used.

My crisis yesterday morning was the anchor chain wrapped around a coral head. I had to dive on it, in the course of which discoverd one of my scuba tanks is useless - the O ring under the valve has failed.  A $0.50 item that can't be had here it seems.  Fortunately I have two tanks - I debated that, glad I brought both.  The weather is hot.  The dogs here are interesting.  Exceedingly laid back and all stay well away from anyone.  They are also expert and sleeping in the heat. Generally speaking they don't bark at you, charge up to sniff etc., growl or anything - very well mannered and I haven't seen any evidence of the locals making any effort to "train or disipline".

Similarly with kids - they're all over the place, all pleasent and happy - not mean, very seldom loud or yelling, no crying, screaming or tantrums etc. - and again, parents don't seem to disipline or order them about etc.  Very laid back and easy going.  And unquestionably friendly, pleasent and polite and helpful.  (A couple of times I've been carrying water jugs or groceries and a kid has come up and just stepped in to help.  Seems weird.

 They are also fun, and love there outrigger canoes.  Coming in, feeling my way into a narrow pass to the anchorage, two 12 or so year olds come belting up and yell  "safe here"  and then were racing me, then hooked on yelling "faster, faster" (which I did not oblige) Quite wonderful actually.  So there you have it - generally really nice people, quite well off compliments of low cost of living and a lot of subsidy money from the french government plus high costs to the tourists.  Nice enough place but other than the physical setting, not spectacular and almost over run with tourists.  Glad I came, but I won't make a great effort to come back other than it's a convenient stop to check out of the area and get the bond back.

So I'm off tomorrow to the Cook Island group.  Aitutaki Atoll is the target.

Take care
Love Dad
At 04/08/2011 4:28 AM (utc) our position was 16°30.60'S 151°46.21'W

From the Captain...

I've since sailed to Bora Bora and sitting here in the heat and the wind.

I think I figured out the drive train noise that's been bothering me.  It sounded like a bearing but it was intermittent - travelling along and suddenly there was this aweful gravel sound, slow down and it would stop, shift to neutral, shift back to forward and it's fine.  Checked everything. I got to thinking it sounded like a car's clutch chattering and slipping.

A light went on (still don't know if it was the right light though).  I re-read "the bible" and there is a phrase that Hurth gearboxes are particularly sensitive to the shift lever being properly adjusted, and a minimum throw of 30 deg. is required.  I made up a little paper template for 30 deg (used the dividers to construct an equilateral triange, then used them again to bisect one of the angles) and it looked like the lever was 'just' making the 30 - and maybe not always.

I moved the pin from the control cable yoke to the inside position on the transmission shift lever which increases the throw (hence the angle), and then looked at the cockpit lever / control cable set up and realized that it's easy not to move the cockpit lever all the way forward.  It may be that I haven't, at times, pushed the cockpit lever far enough - so I just really have to be careful to do that and hopefully that's fixed the problem.  Find out tomorrow.  Part of the issue likely stems from the fact that I raised the cockpit floor so I can see over the dodger.  While the raised section doesn't directly interfere with the cockpit shift lever, I think anyone's tendency is to push the lever just to that floor level, not past down to the original floor where it needs to go.

That's really about it.  Weather is good if at times blustery.  The cooking has deteriorated significantly - and I have to use up all my home canned stuff before NZ because they'll take it away otherwise.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I think it's a sign

What is that... spreading damp wet feeling under my foot...? *perplexed*

Oh. I'm standing on the bite valve for my water bladder.

Now might be a good time to go to bed. *sigh*

Sent... While in transit ;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to park the camper

It is very important, that when you go camping, as a couple you have worked out how to park a camper...

Man's criteria: The area should be relatively flat.
Wife's criteria: Closer to the washroom, closer to the picnic table, must have the nicest view available, and... I suppose relatively flat.

It is important to note here that the Wife's relatively flat is not the same as the Man's relatively flat. In fact these figures can differ by almost a foot.

Start off with a light verbal fencing. Both arguing in favor of the spot they've chosen as the right one... even though they both know, Man will come around to the Wife's position when she says: "You're such a good driver honey, I'm sure you can back it in here no problem." At this point Man's ego puffs up his chest by blowing hot air up his... *coughs* and says "Of course we can, we are Man!"

Next the wife assumes the role of the air traffic controller, consistently standing *only* in the blind spots using a rare dialect of hand signals known only if you're telepathetic... all the while shouting helpful hints into the roar of the exhaust including such phrases as "Yep just a little bit further, no no tuck it in a bit... yep, no the other way... straighten out, wait pull forward a little... hang on... oh yeah, yeah you're good... now you just need 4 more inches" (This is similar to the relatively flat size discrepancy thing...) Man's muttering and grumbling drowns in the rumble of the diesel, which has saved many a marriage.

Finally comes the device of measuring levelness... followed by the shovel, and most of a box of flat firewood. A half-foot stack of firewood on one side, a trench on the other, and some serious golden horseshoes later and you have yourself a perfectly level camper. Be sure to build up that bottom step though, as the camper has more or less attained porch height status!

Woman's Conclusion - "See honey, I knew you could park it here, nice work! Just look at this beautiful view!" Translation: I told you you could do it ;)

Man's Conclusion - "If I'd gotten out here before her, I could have had the camper parked and set up in 10 minutes and been drinking a cold one already!"

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I don't think it's supposed to go like that...
This picture really doesn't do it justice, but that chain is wedged in that wheel like a thong in your whoohoo. No, like I had to get a ride back to the village.
This is why you pay $25 for insurance... Because this is easily $200 worth of damage! The guy at the shop pointed out though, expensive as biking is... It's still cheaper than a drug habit. See Mom, it's still good for me.
Fantastic day though, and no extra scrapes... Couple bruises but nothing photo worthy... Yet ;)
*this* even happened on close enough to the last ride down that I didn't mind catching a ride back lol (don't tell Mitts though, she *always* lasts longer than I do)

Edit: latest estimate comes in around $400... sooooo glad I got the insurance :D

Friday, August 12, 2011

A good day

Programming is like an epic adventure, there are long monotonous treks... without which you'd never reach the raging battles, soul crushing defeats or times of magic when the stars align and legends are born.

Right now, as we speak lightning fire is flowing from my fingertips and pixie dust sparkles are bursting from my eyelashes. It's a good day of programming!!!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


Thanks to my inspiration into the wonderful world of good cooking... I couldn't just throw together some scrambled eggs and dry toast at eleven o'clock at night, nooooOoo...

So here I am at 11:30 putting the finishing chive *garnish* on poached eggs over toasted English muffins with cream cheese and tomato on them...

*rolls eyes* so it might be a little extreme, I may need an intervention... I would have taken a picture, it was beautiful, but I was starving so I'm not quite there yet.

By the way, despite this sounding like I'm just making it *right now* I'm not gonna lie, I totally ate first...

Sent... While in transit ;)

Poetic injustice...

My friend Mitts just texted me: "The dog just farted by me and then walked away."

I told her it was just "for all those times you thought you got away with blaming it on him"... He knows you did it, and he was not amused. Revenge, is that dog farts stink more.

I give up

Biking obviously isn't good for me. Maybe I should stick to walking, and just wear a helmet.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Time well wasted

Today I got up at the ridiculous hour of 6:30am on my weekend to go fishin' Which is a minor miracle as when I went to hop in the shower to wake up, I discovered that the power was out. I only attempted to turn the bathroom light and fan on and off twice before I figured it out.

Needless to say I was moderately disorganized as that threw my entire morning routine completely out the window... well that and I couldn't even put oatmeal on. Due to the layout of my apartment, you can literally walk in circles. For me, this is not always a good thing... and I did a couple laps this morning, you know, just to uh get the blood flowing. Yeah, that's it.

The troubles of the morning were soon forgotten though with a large double double in hand, and we drove off to the backwater lakes of Lavington.

This is Herb lake. We didn't catch nuthin' on Herb lake... oh wait, that's not entirely true... we did catch ourselves. Somehow we managed to get three of our four fishing lines, lures, clips and weights tangled. I don't know how that could have happened in such a small boat?!?! *giggles*

I'm honestly willing to bet that the nibble I thought I *might* have gotten (other than the colossal cluster) was probably a weed with a fishing line deficiency.

Three hours later, I had concluded that fishing was a zen like state you used to test your patience... and that being outside enjoying this beautiful world that we live in, and the company was more important than actually catching fish.

Then we went up the road to ummm some other lake *squints* I can't tell you the name cause it's a secret, but there were lots of fishies in it, and they were biting! It was so funny, because we were about two minutes away from the boat ramp when Ed says "This is about where we were when we caught them last time..." and BANG! He had a fish. I'm not even kidding you!

Of course the first fish I caught was the biggest one, probably weighing in at about a pound... soaking wet ;)

We did innumerable laps around the lake and caught a tonne of fish! And by tonne I mean I caught at least four, and had a bunch of good solid teasing nibbles... and Ed caught a bunch too *smiles*

What a fantastic way to wrap up the weekend! I mean really, how spoiled am I?! Please, don't answer that ;)

Did you know that...

Little niggling question, brought about by Mom on the boat and not being able to find the popcorn. (I'm not actually sure that we ever packed any in the first place) Nonetheless, she was complaining that the grocery story in Tahiti only had microwave popcorn...

Well that got me to thinking. "Can you cook microwave popcorn in a pot on the stove?" Like your Granny used to, back in the day, you know before microwaves.

I mean really, I don't see why not.  The basic premise of popcorn, is that you heat it until it can't contain it's water anymore and it explodes into a fluffly white air filled snack lacking any nutritional value whatsover.... A snack that somehow tricks you into thinking that your stomach is full.  The only thing with microwave popcorn is that someone put it in a paper bag, figured out the optimal cholesterol per kernal ratio... and that it should take *waggles hand* aboouuuut three minutes on high.

Two sore arms later ~ that haven't made popcorn the old fashioned way since Girl Guide camp, the answer is yes... more or less. I got one small bowl of beautiful normal fluffy popcorn. Further testing is required to determine if you can actually pop the whole bag, without burning the second half. So if you're feeling enthusiastic try it out and let me know, I don't think I'll be doing it any time soon... my arms are tired.

The pen was mightier...

Just working on a project which I will hopefully finish in this lifetime... Involving strangling a fountain pen to death, I mean an attempt at some old school calligraphy. It's not all fancy, the way the professionals do it... but I really think it's coming along and starting to look better!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dori sings "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

One thing in life I've learned is worrying only wastes your energy - don't get down on yourself, you solve more problems when you're energetic and ready to go.  Find little successes and celebrate them.
Sometimes I need a poke in the ribs reminding me to pull my head out of the proverbial bucket water to breath. This was it today. Thanks for the gentle nudge in the upwards direction.


Funny just happened at work, there was a bug in Aaren's office and I was all ewwwww what is that?!?

He promptly stepped on it and said "That's an earwig..." Now I know what earwigs look like, and that wasn't an earwig... So he takes off his shoe, looks at the unidentifiable smear on the bottom and goes "Yep, that's definitely an earwig"


Why can't the little things just be easy?!?

And I thought it took a long time to do things on the boat.

One hour, and four trips later to two different bike shops... and I finally have a quick release collar. What is so special about a quick release collar you ask? Well now I can quickly change the height of my seat without setting up an all you can eat buffet for the local mozzie population.

Trip one was really more of a recon mission, so it doesn't really count. I learned that you need the outside diameter of the down tube, and that I could just bring it in and they'd measure it.

Trip two I brought my bike down and Buddy measured the down tube diameter. Please note that this was *with* calipers.

I got home, easily removed the old collar and realized there was that moldy green grease on everything *before* I got it all over myself and my apartment, and on top of that I managed *not* to get it on the new part... that. didn't. fit.

Trip three was so I could exchange return the collar that wasn't going to stretch enough to fit even if I had some kind of spreader...

Trip four was up the road to the *other* bike shop, which after some digging finally found a Kona one which would fit.

So all in all, $11 dollars later I have a new "ooooh shiny!" quick release collar of awesomeness. I will no longer be able to blame walking up steep hills on the lack of torque due to seat height... but seat changes will no longer take as long as a full service pit stop.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

From the Commadore

Reflections on my Trip

Well I've been home just over a week now and am finally getting my brain back into work mode.  I realize the problem this year is an allergy I've developed.  I got hay fever for the first time ever this spring and it's making my head fuzzy as well as runny eyes and nose.  The problem disappeared in Tahiti but is back with a vengeance now!

Talked to your dad last night.  The first time we've ever made contact with the home radio.  Woot! Woot!  The band conditions must have been just right.  He's going to leave soon as his visa runs out in 5 days.  That means he's been in French Polynesia 90 days!  Wow, hard to believe it's been that long.  He was going to check out the storage yard on the island he's at now tomorrow and then head out for the Cook Islands or Tonga after that.  Also, he was going to do another guided dive but it got cancelled due to high winds in the anchorage.  Hopefully he can do it today.

Anyways, about my trip.  Being back makes me realize how thankful I am for all the modern conveniences.  I love not having to pump the toilet to flush; the dishwasher, clothes washer and shower are all a huge treat having been away from them for a month. I'm not really the camping type.  I loved camping with Brownies & Guides for a 2 1/2 day weekend but I really missed all the water appliances while I was boating.  
On the other hand, I really miss the gentle rocking of the boat when I sleep, the fantastic view from the bunk porthole, the warmth of the air and sea, swimming with the tropical fish, all the fresh tropical fruit and veggies which were all so sweet, the vendors that sold the stuff every day on the roadside and the amazing flavours of ice cream.  
I do not miss the dirt on the boat, the sharp corners on which I stubbed my toes and the fires on shore every day which led to some seriously smokey days at times.  Bathing in a horse trough is not my idea of a fun thing to do although hand washing clothes while looking at palm trees was a very Zen like experience which I would love to achieve at home staring at the trees.  I guess the lesson there is that I need to do my hand wash clothes outside on the porch rather than in the bathroom which has no windows.  And being away from all the demands on my time was good.  I'm slowly ramping up into work mode again.

Love and hugs,

The Commadore

*whispers* after surviving a whole month aboard Marimba 2, I thought a promotion was in order... Ok, well that and Mom thought that "The Captain's Consort" sounded Mistressish...*waggles hand* Heh. Sorry Mom, love you! ;)

I did look it up before I used it, just to be sure she wouldn't outrank me, The Admiral, and I kind of liked all the definitions. (Although, I don't mind being a pirate wench, so I'm not really the best pilot audience)

Consort: (For pronunciation sound it out.. I don't have all those special characters on my keyboard)
  1. The husband or wife of a reigning monarch
  2.  A family of similar musical instruments playing together
  3. A husband, wife, companion or partner
  4. A ship accompanying another
In honor of the volumes of personal growth attained on your voyage, I shall henceforth refer to thee as The Commadore.

  1. (military) a commissioned naval officer who ranks above a captain and below a rear admiral; the lowest grade of admiral.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I just ate sh...*ahem* dirt...

... and after all these years nothing has changed. I reached the same conclusion I did when I was 5. It *still* doesn't taste good.

I just had the worst bike ride ever.

I drove up Silverstar to go for a ride starting at the cross country ski area, and there were mosquitos but they were alright... I made it through riding the majority of the uphill bits, and then not too long after starting on the downhill I totally did a faceplant over the handlebars, I think I caught my pedal on the edge of the trail or something and then I just didn't let go in time, it wasn't really that big of a deal I wasn't going very fast, just scraped my knee a little.

It irritated me more than a little though.

I was having trouble finding my groove, so I decided to take the shorter trail down and skip the other uphill bits... and not too far down *that* trail there was a tree that was down. I think my wild angels must have been frolicking around with the butterflies, or they took a day off and forgot to mention it... because I tried to ride over that tree and totally did the hugest endo *and* scorpioned. (My bike landed on top of me facing backwards) and it wasn't just a little bit on top of me, it spread its weight out like a champion wrestler!

I scraped and bruised the same knee a little more, pouted, ignored the mosquitoes, regrouped over some powerade, then dusted myself off and carried on down. 

Hot, sweaty, dirty... bruised, bleeding and sore I couldn't even just walk away and lick my wounded pride... The mosquitoes were so bad I had to keep moving fast enough just so that I could see where I was going, and every time I slowed down the dark cloud of biothermo carbon dioxide nano-syringe's proximity alarms went off, and they threatened to consume me... literally. Or at very least turn me into a non-suitable blood host, leaving a mere husk of Sam... Just add the necessary pints of blood and other plasmids for your very own life size model.

I have never been so glad to see my car at the end of a ride, even that time we went camping and it rained for like 10 days... and everything that wasn't wet got wet when I fell in the creek. That was just a tired peaceful relief compared to this.

Even being at work after a long weekend was better *storm cloud frown*

Oh well, at least I had peas in the freezer... scientistically or not, they still make the best ice pack for the funny shaped bendy parts of your appendages.

When duct tape doesn't fix it...

Just add a dribble of epoxy, and duct tape over that!

Anatomy, from a 5 year old perspective

G-unit: "Nooo don't poke me in the belly button..."

TC *innocently dripping with mock sincerity*: "Why don't you like being poked in the belly button?"

G-unit: "Because my belly button is attached to my penis, and it hurts"

Being five he proceeded to demonstrate... poking himself in the belly button, falling to the floor and rolling around like a soccer player who's just been kicked in the junk. All by itself it was funny. When his 3-year old cousin "the hell cat"started imitating him (and she's a girl) it was all over.

From the Captain...

I'm sitting in the heat in Raitrea and the decision has been made that I'm going on to New Zealand and not exercising the other options that were available. I have to clear French Polynesia in a week because my visa expires, so I head for the Cook Islands and then Tonga, in basically two 5 day hops. After that it's island hopping to Fiji, than hanging around until mid October for the final leg to NZ. Then find a marina, work on the boat, probably fly home for Christmas for a month or 2, come back to NZ and,with crew, sail home.

That exercise will, I figure, be in three legs. NZ to Tahiti (3 weeks of getting beaten up), some cruising around here, then Tahiti to Hawaii (3 weeks) with a couple weeks at most there, then 3 weeks to Vancouver Island. If I leave NZ after mid March, I get here around April - but I shouldn't leave here until about June 1 -- so there's an opportunity for some cruising time in Fr. Polynesia if one wishes to avoid the long hauls. Alternatively, time spent in New Zealand might be fun as well. So, if you wish to book some time, proceed to plot - I don't think I need to know until say Christmas. I will be posting a request for crew and see what I get for each of the three hops. Apparently crew is generally not a problem as people are looking for the experience etc. See what happens.

I think I outlined the diving I did, the only other thing was time spent with a mechanic trying to find the cause of the noise that haunts me - without any success. The engine etc. "looks" fine - I just hope there's nothing seriously wrong that won't wait until NZ. Getting fuel from the main fuel tank may be a challenge - I think I may have to cut in the fuel pump I had your Mom bring so I can pump into a gerry can and put that into the keel tanks and run the engine from there - seems to work. Then there's the main water tank that seems to have a leak so it's empty and not in use. I've bought a couple of 20 l jugs and I'm trusting I won't have a problem with the short hops before NZ. That's about it. Take care.


Anyway, moving on.

At 31/07/2011 6:29 AM (utc) our position was 16°43.64'S 151°28.76'W