Monday, January 5, 2009

Finally over

The holidays are officially

I can say with relief that the Barco is well and done with the frivolity and contrived happiness of the solstice celebrations. I don't think the Lord intended a celebration of Jesus' birth to really coincide with the bacchanalian Roman Winter solstice celebrations.

And I am just getting over the worst illness of the past four years, so this explains my cynicism. She who will be obeyed has picked up my ailment and has to suffer herself. Doubleplusungood. Bad, since we intend to get underway at 1200 today for Fernandina. We pick her up at the Jacksonville Landing at lunchtime.

She tells me that I want to pick up something called "tonic" and "Snacky-poohs".

"Beaujolais Actual" Arrived yesterday from London, and we naturally had to destroy a couple bottles of bubbly to ward off demons, or whatever. The departing demons left a bad taste in the mouth and a curious thumping in the cranial area. Waking up at the crack of six will do this, too.

We have some coffee from Vanuatu. It's called "Tanna", Beaujolais Actual says that it is the best in the world. I asked if the beans had been fed to a Civet Cat, and the resulting product of defecation had been lovingly scooped up and roasted? Response was to the negative. Lucky for us; we will not be drinking coffee from Sumatra. Just Vanuatu.

The Barco Crew really enjoys this international Bohemian lifestyle. I guess it pays to keep friends from all the places one travels to. But they turn up at our house at varying occasions disrupting what we laughingly call a routine.

Keep a passport. Otherwise get one. Be ready to deploy to other lands at a moment's notice.

Sitting at a local Jacksonville drinking establishment, I had the pleasure of correcting an English gentleman as to the name of a certain pub on the North bank of the Thames, next to the "Little Ship Club". And he acknowledged that I was right. Hah!

The joys of having been there.

By the way, when in any Fullers Pub, be sure to enjoy my favorite beer in the entire world; London Pride. Or "ESB". On the Barco, you will be offered Pabst Blue Ribbon. I have been a believer since Dennis Hopper set me straight

Back to boating:

Received 2009's PHRF renewal certificate for "White Lightnin' (1978 San Juan 28, hull #103). The handicappers say it has a rating of 189. I pay the North Florida Sailing association 30 bucks, and they confirm that 189 is indeed our handicap. Newer and faster boats will tend to have a lower Performance Handicap Racing Fleet. This PHRF ruling makes people want to come out and race, even in slow boats. But the frustrating thing is that someone will game the system by sailing some old piece of crap that has been extensively faired and smoothed on the bottom, removed the engine and water tanks to reduce weight, but wants to have the high digit PHRF that makes their old boat unbeatable by us mere mortals.

I have never won a race in my own sailboat, ever. Could be because I am a terrible racer and lack the fundamentals of a good sailor. But I am a good crew and have been on many winners, over the years. So another year, another PHRF.

Have a fine Navy Day.

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