February 2005

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swan song?

Out in the Dink this past Saturday, former RBVIYC Commodore James Bridgewater called out to ask if i cared to go sailing the next day. Go sailing in the harbour and get invited sailing? Not bad!
A few Loyal West Endians refer to James as “Bilgewater”; rich, british, and a touch snobbish. Still, he knows a good hand when he sees one, eh? Not for the company but for the boat did i go. The boat, Tikitas, is a beautiful classic S&S-designed Nautor’s Swan 43. i had done a little work on the boat, interior woodwork and some deck hardware, so i knew the layout, but i was still itching for a sail.
Well, as it turns out, James had invited along some work friends and some girls he’d met on the beach; not a sailor among them. Everyone else sprawled out, drinks in hand, while i settled myself to sailing the beautiful beast. James claims the boat is “a bit much to single-hand”, but it didn’t seem too much of a bother for me while he went about serving drinks and chatting up ladies. Certianly, to get it really hustling along in racing trim, you’d need a bunch of folks, but i just couldn’t agree with his complaints for cruising.
The Swan 43 looks and sails like a much smaller boat. The visibility over the diminutive deckhouse in incredible, belieing an incredibly roomy interior with full standing headroom all the way forward, even under the long flush deck forward. Tikitas has long been one of my favourite local boats in the harbour, and snobbishness aside, it was a great day of sailing!

goodbye gonzo

Hunter S. Thompson shot himself last Saturday night. i was reminded of another great writer, Richard Bratigan, found dead in the woods behind his place, a .45 and an empty whiskey bottle at hand.
Shades of Nick Jones too, my friends; the mad mystic, the creative force not so much driven to destroy itself so as to choose its own ending, its own destiny. Kim and i discussed this once. She told me that she had long-ago determined that she felt she wanted to kill herself in the end; not so much out of a sense of helplessness or depression, but as an act of supreme self-determination. My own suicidal tendancies always ran in a more melancholy vein. In any event, we agreed that we’d rather not live our last days tied to some medical machine or otherwise wasting away.
Over the last few months, i’ve been embracing stranger energies again, letting my life be governed by circumstance. In a great discussion last night with H.E. (my old Rasta friend), we got talking about theology and spirituality. We agreed that the path you take that is greater than the destination or departure point. All endings ought to come just as they naturally do; in the end.
Hunter S. always blurred the line between observer and participant in life’s circus. Perhaps the act of ending his life was the best obituary he could write…


Rigged a new spinnaker pole on the Dink and got out into the harbour this afternoon. Blasted downwind past the usual flotilla of bareboats and cruisers out into the outer harbour to do a couple laps around a special lady anchored out.
Yup, Velsheda is in Soper’s Hole for a couple nights. The last J-Class yacht in Soper’s Hole was Ranger, which i (unfortunately) missed getting up close to. Not so this time! i got a great look of Velsheda… perfect!

Busy busy lately. Taught and coached sailing on Saturday, raced on Sunday. Great winds, great boats! The downside? Getting into the dinghy to go out to Ruffian (my race ride for Sunday), i heard a sickening “kerplop”, and turned my head just in time to watch my (fairly) new digital camera make time a stone for the bottom. Snatched it from the water, but it was too late. i removed the battery and memory card, wiped the worst from it (some parts still dry, as it was in a case), and left it to dry a bit. Later that day, dissassembled it and washed out the salt scum with fresh water, and dried it more carefully. Still, but for one brief flicker, nothing. Ah…
On the other hand, we had a great race, and i’ve finally gotten myself a new coveted Mount Gay “Red Hat” to replace my lost BVI Sping Regatta one (which i have a feeling i left in Seattle). Some trade, eh?

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