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WEEK 11 2007

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 17 March 2007

Saturday - Ann Althouse is going on and on about law school teaching and The Paper Chase. I never watched it. Well, okay, once I caught part of an television episode that took place on a (moored) sailboat.

In that episode the student what's-his-name challenges the professor to drink two glasses of wine and then "box the compass", to prove some point. The professor fails.

compass rose
A Compass Rose (stolen from Wikipedia)

In a mildly related aside, in Nicolas Monsarrat's great novel, The Cruel Sea, the fictitious Flower Class Corvette that his protagonists' sail aboard - similar to the one pictured below off Dominica -  is named The Compass Rose. The seamen aren't entirely happy with the cut name, but you can't argue with the Admiralty.

Friday 16 March 2007

Friday - just an eight hour day. A really long week. I need to find a job that pays better for fewer, easier, hours. Or a rich wife.

Friday Cat Blogging.

Cool link, from about a year ago:  an interesting page showing the current location of ships at sea. There seem to be more that I recall from last year. But modern marine radio's now link the GPS with the radio, and broadcast a location automatically, so that may be driving the perceived increase. Still there are only about eight ships shown near San Francisco when I zoomed in today, which is probably 10% or 20% of what is probably there.

The page seems to work better as well - you can now break the display into yachts, cruise ships, Tall Shps, and display a lot of other stuff, weather, charts, etc.

Thursday 15 March  2007

Thursday - warm, 87F, supposedly. But I was stuck indoors, with a walk to the cafeteria my only break out doors. Bah.

Book #18 was Skeletons on the Zahara*, by Dean King. I've rarely been happier to finish a book. Not because it was a bad book, but rather because the subject matter and the tale telling - the enslavement of American sailors by the dwellers in Saharan Africa - was so brutal.

Wednesday 14 March 2007

Wednesday - a long day. Then I went out for a beer with friends.

Tuesday 13 March 2007

Tuesday - still busy, but just a ten hour day, not twelve...

Why spring can be a hassle-
Photo taken at 12:25 on Sunday March 11th.

Not a lot else to say tonight.

 Monday 12 March 2007

Monday - warm weather continues, it's very nice. I put in a long day and didn't really get to enjoy it. Getting home it was dark and Orion was high in the sky - and it was shirtsleeve warm. Usually those two things don't go together.

In Baum's book he is going through the West Indies in 1956. He is warned against Puerto Rico - but has no problems. There he is warned in Puerto Rico about Dominica - and has no problems. He does. mention passing by a Dominican gunboat, in 1956, and took a picture:

Flower Class Corvette, Dominican Republic, 1956
"click" to get an enlarged version.

Perhaps someone recognizes the ship type? Anyway, in Dominica he is warned against the pefidery of the Haitians - and is welcomed. They in turn warn him of the evils of the Cubans. Because of winds he doesn't go to Cuba, but you have to wonder...

Sunday 11 March 2006

Sunday - went out to dinner with some friends, at a new sushi bar in Lancaster. Very tasty!

Book #17 was By the Wind, by Richard Baum (1962). It was originally a series of essays for sailing magazines in the 1950's and early 1960's, reorganized into a book form at some point. A fun read. Baum doesn't have an engine and spends a lot of time, obviously, convincing people that it isn't too unsafe or slow. He keeps a log and shows that in two years of sailing along the Maine coast that he only gets becalmed a few hours.

His descriptions of Bermuda and the West Indies are almost heartbreaking - nothing like the immense crowds and development that have apparently grown up since the book was written. It's old school sailing - no Loran, no GPS, no engine, no windvane, and a wooden boat.

Picture of the Week
detail of an iron gril in San Francisco

Photo Notes: Detail of iron grillwork in San Francisco.

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