on the water

Everything floating

The world is starting to flame. The economy is in the tank. “Nothing will ever be the same”. Say it, think it, feel it, express it all or not at all; okay, I get it. But why the negativity?

I’m getting so tired of the same old piss and moan. It flirts around the edges of every coffee-shop conversation these days, or boldly proclaims, and in every form still feels to me like the worst self-fulfilling prophesy of recent memory.
Lately I’ve been given to reminding people that it’s not as if “they” took all the money out of the vaults by the wheelbarrow and burnt it in the streets, or dumped the global gold supply into the sea… Okay, okay, they DID dump most of the above into China somehow, but it’s not like all the money/energy in the world is actually gone.
As far as I understand it, economies are not built upon having money/energy, but are built upon moving it. But get this: far far far too much of the global economy has so far been built not upon the movement of money, but upon the movement of debt. Money may be a portable, transferable medium for human energy, but debt, if anything, is the inverse.
Now, finally, there seems to be more debt than energy in the system, and it should be completely unsurprising that the economy is going to shit. Hell, it went to shit a long time ago, on that long-past day when somebody started to equate credit with cash.

But the piss and moan! The fucking piss and moan! We all get it! Now stop whining, get out there, and produce some energy! Then move it! And in the meantime, try to remember:
When the rent money is tight, that you’re still alive, that air, water, and sunshine are free.
When you’re actually brewing your own coffee, that you’re not a kid in Starbucks-less African warzone.
When you’re walking down the street not actually being maimed/raped/shot at, that at very, very least you’re not floating in the middle of the ocean on a crippled boat wondering what the fuck just happened.

Oh, does that last one bias me a little? Maybe, but please forgive me. It’s been a rough year. This spring I’ve already lost everything I own, lost all my savings, lost the product of 4 years of labour, and, oh yeah, watched my last great impossible-yet-just-barely-within-my-grasp dream bobbing off and away, broken and behind me, into the sea.
Don’t coyly cough and smirk into your coffee, pretend at cynicism, and try to hide your fears for this unrecognizable economic future behind a stuttered parody of hope. C’mon folks; it’s every bit as bad as “they” say -probably worse-, and yet simultaneously not that bad. I call out fear as the flipside of hope; let us now take a lovely deep breath of free air and cast out both.
I know you’re afraid, but there’s fear and then there’s The Fear. How can you tell the difference? I wouldn’t have known the difference myself before this year.
All I can tell you now is that fear is what you feel when you’re afraid; The Fear is what crawls up your spine when you try to remember how you felt before, that time you should have been afraid, but weren’t.

And now? Economic implosion? Fear? The Fear? Nuh-uh; I’m still breathing free air and movin’ my energy…

Log notes

I’ve been slowly transcribing the Ship’s Log from Centaurea and publishing it to this site. The posts are in chronological order, and back-published to the days they were written on. To view them all, try this category link.

By request, a few notes for those of you not used to the format and abbreviations: The positions are given in degrees/decimal minutes rather than the older degrees/minutes/seconds. SoG stands for “Speed over Ground”, and is an instantaneous reading from the Maretron GPS. CoG is “Course over Ground”, also an instantaneous GPS reading, given in degrees true. Occasional reference is given to degrees “C”, which is a reading from the steering compass. This compass was never properly/accurately swung aboard this vessel, but seemed to conform to the usual 11-15 degrees of west deviation found in that part of the world.
Speeds are given as “kts”; knots, while distances are given in “nm” (nautical miles).

Our initial course was pretty basic: due north from St. Croix, passing through the Virgin Islands, then on a generally NNW rhumbline direct to the mouth of the Chesapeake. Of course, as you read through, you’ll see that we are diverted from that line towards Bermuda… A “rhumbline” is simply the shortest straight-line distance between a starting and ending point (actually, it’s a little more complicated, but this explanation serves for the purposes of this log).

The bits in [brackets] are added as i type this out, for some clarity. Passages marked [CJ] were Cory’s entries into the log. As I finish up transcribing the log, I’ll add in some further anecdotal information, as well as the transcripts from MSC Malaysia and RCC Bermuda.

May 10th

00:00:10EST – 23º02.989’N 066º38.734’W SoG 4.0kts CoG 300ºT Trip 430.6nm

05:07EST – 23º17.640’N 066º55.357’W SoG 4.0kts CoG 315ºT Trip 454.9nm
Wind has continued gradual shift S-SW overnight – now steering 330ºC

09:31EST – 23º31.818’N 067º09.570’W SoG 4.5kts CoG 315ºT Trip 478.4nm

11:02EST – 23º37.500’N 067º14.010’W SoG 5.0kts CoG 330ºT Trip 486.6nm
Reported to router.

12:03EST – 23º41.400’N 067º15.835’W SoG 4.0kts CoG 330ºT Trip 491.4nm
Called router. Multiple shit systems off US east coast. Advised to divert to Bermuda.

17:49EST – 23º57.914’N 067º03.464’W SoG 4.0kts CoG 355ºT Trip 519.7nm
Divert [to] Bermuda. Called in friends to obtain BDA entrance plot.
Gybed twice, tried wing-on-wing, but boat would not [self-] steer DDW [dead down-wind] in such light air. Now port gybe, jib poled to leeward, reaching deeply as possible.

Motor on for battery charging. Wind too light and aft for decent motorsailing.

19:15EST – 24º04.016’N 067º04.225’W SoG4.5kts CoG 350ºT Trip 527.5nm
Motor off.

May 9th

00:03EST – 21º20.242’N 066º10.519’W SoG 5.8kts CoG 330ºT Trip 293nm
145nm/day average!

05:18EST – 21º50.200’N 066º13.496’W SoG 5.5kts CoG 360ºT
Wind shifting further SE through night. Our course has clocked north to 010ºC

09:10EST – 22º10.078’N 066º13.208’W SoG 4.0kts CoG 350ºT Trip 353.5nm

11:37EST – 22º21.545’N 066º13.680’W SoG 4.6kts CoG 350ºT Trip 367.5nm
Reported position to router.

[CJ] 15:10EST – 22º38.124’N 066º14.176’W SoG 4.5kts CoG 004ºT Trip387.3nm
Mellow – made awning from stained sheet and moved cushions to cockpit. Lounged in the sun and read… and napped. I phoned parents.

16:41EST – 22º44.575’N 066º14.066’W SoG 5.0kts CoG 340ºT Trip 394.8nm
Motor on, charging, motorsailing. Winds very light SE. Checked engine oil – okay.

Gybed under power to 320ºC
Gybed early – hopefully will get us back onto the rhumb line as predicted winds shift S-SW

Motor off. Engine repairs!
#1 exhaust valve lifter rod found to have slipped out from under rocker… repaired. Rod slightly bent!

19:15EST – 22º52.018’N 066º22.053’W SoG 4.0kts CoG 300ºT Trip 408.9nm
Steering 315ºC
Winds slightly increasing, seas still calm. Local ESE swell now further astern on port gybe.

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