20 April 2012

In Memoriam

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic, lately, for who I used to be.  Not like I want to go back and be that person again, mind you.  I don't miss her, exactly.  But, you know, I liked the old Jane.  I feel that some kind of memorial service is called for.  Here's a picture of Principal Jane.

Principal Jane, God bless her, was intent on Making A Contribution.    She was a serious gal, on a serious mission to Reform Urban Education.  What would you do if you were queen for a day?  Principal Jane would Improve Student Achievement and ensure that her fifth graders went on to decent middle schools, knowing how to read and write and think for themselves.  Principal Jane worked her ASS off to that end.  She got up early, worked late, and collapsed in front of the TV, totally drained, at the end of each day.

She was the opposite of light-hearted.  The weight of the world was on Principal Jane's shoulders, and she didn't know how to play.  She was passionate and impatient, bright and sharp.  Good ole' Principal Jane.

In a slightly different vein.  As I look at the picture, I recall fondly that Principal Jane was the kind of gal who:

   Bathed daily.
   Combed her blow-dried hair at least one or two times a day.
   Wouldn't be caught dead (much less alive) wearing barrettes.
   Paid $200 every eight weeks to get her hair cut and colored.  (Check out those highlights!)
   Put on make-up before she left the house - at least mascara and a little eyeliner and some lipstick.
   Wore different clothes every single day - mostly suits, with stockings and high heels.

Yep, them was the days, my friend.  Sailor Jane looks back and thinks, "Can I Make a Contribution, too?" and "Can play and JOY be part of the equation?"  And most importantly, "Should I take a shower today?"

Rest In Peace, Principal Jane.

17 April 2012

Space Dreams

Jane smiling up through the hole
where our fridge, freezer and wine cooler used to be.
Once upon a time we had something resembling refrigeration.  It didn't work particularly well (read: beer chilled down to about 62 degrees).   Half of it opened from the top--the other half from the front--so if you wanted to see what you were reaching for from the part that opened from the front, you had to open the part that opened from the top so you could let daylight in, or else use a flashlight.  The freezer opened from the top as well, so between the two there was really no counter space.  At least unless you were the type of cook who could think of everything you needed ahead of time, which we aren't.

Eventually, the compressor seized altogether.  Then we had two dark, damp spaces that frightened the foods we put in it.  So we took them out of the dark, damp place and put them in a nice, bright, albeit cozy cooler.  And there they stayed nice and cold so long as we got them fresh ice everyday.

But we were sad. )c;

09 April 2012

The Art of Slow Sailing

As we made our way from Great Harbour Cay to Bimini, and from Bimini to Key West, we had some Light Winds.  Also, some No Wind.  Ean has been playing a new game.  Let's call it How Long, and here's what one round looks like.  First he looks on the chartplotter to find out our SOG, or speed over ground, and then he uses the "ruler" function to measure distance.  Next, some quick mental calculations.   He says, "At our current speed, it will take us 122 hours to get to Key West."  Then he starts wondering how long our water will hold out.  Will we run out of food?  "You know, this isn't even normal walking speed," he reminds me.  "This is wandering-through-an-art-museum speed."   Gazing toward land, he asks if I will dinghy him ashore, so he can walk down Key Largo.   "Then," he explains, "you can pick me up at the end of the key, and oh by the way I'll have plenty of time to stop for lunch.  I'll bring you something!"

We have been practicing the Art of Slow Sailing.

05 April 2012

What Would Bimini Be?

Alice Town, North Bimini, Bahamas

Sunday morning.

We're sitting at a table against the far wall of Capt. Bob's restaurant.  If this were a New York deli its wall space would be plastered with autographed headshots of celebrities.  Here it is given over to the local corollary: sport fishermen displaying their catch.  Capt. Bob's is reputed by our guidebook to have the best breakfast in Bimini and true enough, the place is nearly full when we walk in.  We are, I notice, the only customers to arrive as a duo.  Seated at the other tables are groups of all men, all dressed in the uniform of sportfishermen: white, long sleeve Ts, commemorating some previous sport fishing event,  cargo shorts, flip-flops and randomly-logoed ball caps (the cruiser uniform is nearly identical differing only in that the ball cap is usually replaced by a visor and the  well-washed T-shirt invariably advertises some Caribbean locale).

01 April 2012

You Should Have Seen the (half of one) that Got Away!

Threw a hook in the water on the way to Bimini just to see what would happen.  Look what happened!
I think a 'cuda ate half my fish.
That's what I get for being skeptical.  By the time I realized I'd hooked this kingfish, somebody (I'm pretty sure a barracuda) took a huge bite out of it.  

Then I threw out another hook and got this guy in two minutes.  Go figure.
Eat half my lunch, will ya?

Drifting to Bimini


JOY on the glassy sea
Flat calm today.  The moist airs are balanced with the dry airs, the cold airs are balanced with the warm.  No wind.  No sailing.  No point  in hoisting the sails even; we could just weigh anchor and drift to Bimini--or somewhere else depending on the current.  But we have enough water for another day or two (and room for more garbage than that), so we aren't in a huge hurry to get back to the States.  All the more time to play on the little pocket beach by our anchorage.

But first, a bit about yesterday…

Making Our Way from TC to Great Harbour Cay

We left TC on Sunday, March 25, with two items left on our Abaco must-do list. 1. Guana: Partake of the world-famous Sunday pig roast at Nippers; and 2. Man-O-War: Pick up our sail from Jay, who was patching a small tear. (We need a sewing machine, we've decided.)

The wind was what they call "fresh" (when they don't want to say "damn it's windy"). We put a reef in the mainsail before we even got underway, which seemed prudent: we could see whitecaps even in the canal. We were also flying our baby jib (100%), since the big genoa was off getting some love from Jay. The wind was blowing hard from the southwest, and even with the greatly reduced sail area, we flew to Great Guana Cay averaging over eight knots. A great sail, and we were feeling quite competent - it was like we actually knew what we were doing, ya know what I mean?