A new day

I woke up last Monday and discovered that we were almost done with our Rocket Hub campaign and we were less than 1% through our goal. Not only did it bum me out but it made me think long and hard about where we had failed or if in fact we actually had failed. The idea is as follows: This past July as we were making our way up the East coast of the United States under sail we noticed a tiny page posted by NOAA that had some truly alarming information on it. Simply put it said that our Earth was sinking. Of course we’ve all heard the gloom-n-doom sci-sayers of the past tell us that our planet was undergoing a radical climate change and for the first time in Earths history that change was being caused by one of its own species, us. From what I understand the Earth is constantly undergoing change in its (her? nah, not here…) environment and through the eons that change has been slow and deliberate according to the needs of the planets bio-regions. In other words the Earth knows what it needs and changes itself through the redistribution of natural resources according to its own bio-regional imperative. It’s a closed system that is continuously recycling itself. That all makes sense to me so I chose to believe it. Well, about 15,000 years ago along comes a hyper-lobed ape with opposable thumbs that is truly full of itself. This creature ignorantly decides within the last two centuries to make massive, lop-sided, redistribution choices in the bio-regions of its host planet without truly understanding the ramifications of such changes. And what do you know ,the planet changes back, only this time it has to change at an accelerated rate that is even more dramatic[…]

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Alone on Fishers Island Sound

So gently powered that we didn’t even bob, the boat floated across Fishers Island Sound. We’d motored out of the channel and zipped the sails into place – full, easy sails and we wouldn’t have known we were moving except the green buoy slid across the land behind it. Oh, and the GPS said 3 knots. Silence broken only by our musings on silence until the weather shifted. The wind built and so did our speed. Starting to heel, then really heeling. We reefed to bring her back to balance but kept heading for the Island, two miles from the Connecticut shore but legally a part of NY. A small ferry passed us, crossing our bow a safe distance ahead. We tacked. A harder beat, colder, windier, slower against the tide. We tacked again, then ran before the wind, creating a fiction of gentle breeze. All points of sail tested and re-tested. We looked at each other, shrugged and said, “Done?” “Done”. We doused sail and motored back into the slip. Sailing. I fucking love this shit.

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Sailing Lessons

Almost a week after Hurricane Sandy wiped us with her skirts, stomping all over New Jersey and barely hitting us at all, we returned to our boat. It had taken us about an hour and a half to do the hurricane prep – striking the sails, removing the boom and lashing it on deck, taking everything that was loose or could be loosened and tucking it belowdecks, doubling up on all the mooring lines.  Battening down the hatches, literally and figuratively.  It took us about twenty minutes less to put it all back together and be ready for sailing. Rather than set sail immediately to test the rig, we did another project that has been on the need-to list.  Engine maintenance.  We tightened the alternator and water pump belts, then ran the engine for a while.  Once the oil was warm, we took care of the oil and oil filter change that has been in the forefront of our minds.  This was the most-used system over the last summer and fall, and we both feel that it had been neglected more than we were comfortable with. The next day, we went sailing. Casting off, we got hit by a gust just as the lines were loosed.  The bow swung wide causing us to collide with the boat next to us.  No damage, not even scuffs, but it shook me (Dena) up more than a little.  Rather than tie back up and check both boats over, we continued out of the slip and got underway. This is contrary to our agreed-upon operating principles.  One thing we established quite some time back is this: we go with the opinion of the more cautious of us.  If one of us thinks it’s time to reef, we reef.  If one thinks that we’re anchoring[…]

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