Because sometimes this happens…

I used to pretend to love listening to those “Salty ‘Ol Captains Courageous” at West Marine drone on and on about the strange and impossible mishaps that occur on boats. They’d say things like  “the darndest thing happened” or “you’re not going to believe this…” When it could almost always be attributed to either neglect or some kind of miserly chinzyness. More often than not, it was the latter. Anyway…the darndest thing happened! That (above totally bad kitty) cat managed to work a cardboard box, that we were saving to recycle, into a position to leverage the primary bilge pump switch to “off”. Now, we have a drippy packing gland, or rather “an active bilge” that is a total pain in the BODY to get to so, yeah, we like our bilge pump to work. Anyway, During the height of the storm, formally known as T.S. Henri, we discovered that the bilge was completely full of sea water, the #1 Battery bank was sunk and all the electrical connections to it were dissolved into the muck of our beautiful sailing vessel. Battery 2 was at 30% but functional, so we shut everything else off and ran the (working absolutely perfectly) bilge pump for well over a hour. After that, we drank rum. The next day the storm was stalled over New England and we dinghy’d in. Which was still a really big deal. We only went ashore to buy the main connection terminals to the big 8D, #1 battery bank. In fact, the only things we didn’t have as a redundancy on board were those two terminal connectors. We got the parts (we bought 2 sets), got back to the boat, re-wired the bilge and then the sun came out. As we were cleaning up later that day Dena actually[…]

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Pointing the boat

To have a destination on a sailing adventure is to not actually understand what it means to live underway. I think maybe Chuck Berry understood. I don’t mean to say that having a place you’d like to be isn’t a nice thing to think about. It’s always nice to have goals. I (James) have been focused on my new writings, the boat and the Hunter-Gatherer aspects of our aquatic lives and haven’t really been very attuned to the fact that our sailing experiences have been slim this summer because of… Life’s non-aquatic aspects mostly. Dena works quite a few miles inland so the fact that we haven’t been doing a lot of sailing this summer has been weighing heavy on her as of late. But when you’re shipshape and kitty safe… All you have to do is haul the main, tie the dink to the mooring, toss off the lines and you’re underway! And let me tell you, we were completely underway. Just like we were crossing an ocean. Pointing the boat on a broad reach as far down east as that light south-east breeze would take us we made for Manchester By the Sea to survey a southern approach. Why, the fuck, not. Another sea story of a no-hyjinx sailing day is worth telling, for sure. If for no other reason than to just be able to relax and enjoy the perfection of it all. That in itself is a rare enough pleasure and worth reflecting upon but the fact that we just pointed our home, S/V S.N. Cetacea, to a place we’d never been before and the Earth’s forces took us there and back safe and full of love and wonder for our natural world made yesterday’s wanderings another truly incredible adventure. “…with no particular place to go!”(*)[…]

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