the things i can’t describe

September 11th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Some things I see on the boat, especially at night, are impossible to describe or photograph. Night plankton is one of those things. Here is my rudimentary attempt at showing what it is like to activate night plankton:

lost and found

August 12th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

We try, we really do.

Me, I devoted the bulk of my career to the Clean Water Act. My husband, he’s just cheap. But both of us are highly motivated when it comes to keeping our belongings on the boat. Yet whoosh goes the cockpit cushion off into a gale, and splash goes the plastic clothespin right from my hand.

Its one of those things that boat life does to you – you are confronted with all of your impacts. There is no “away”, and all of life becomes a pack in/pack out scenario. I started keeping a list of our lost items.

The response to losing is to go finding. Esoteric? Maybe. Guilt-driven? Yes.

Now we collect marine debris, (how much and what type depends on several factors) and deal with it. First it was plastic caps on the beach, then it was a torn beach ball in the parking lot.

Blue bandana is full of beach plastic.

Blue bandana is full of beach plastic.

Ultimately, I found myself on the bow with the boat hook snaring half-deflated balloons out of the open water.

Worn balloons and the boat hook.

Worn balloons and the boat hook.

Our list of lost items now has a second column for the things we have found. Can we come out ahead?

The last item that was lost from the boat, one of our best outdoor pillows, went over during our approach to Fairhaven, MA, where we are now. We straight up turned the sailboat around. If you sail you know that’s a pain in the butt and you don’t do that if you are going somewhere. That’s right, dear readers, we are officially performing man overboard drills on our own marine debris.

I guess the best we can hope for is to be both lost and found.

This is a sailboat embroidered onto a found beach ball.

This is a sailboat embroidered onto a found beach ball.

PS. If you are wondering why my Instagram has gone silent, its because I dropped my phone in the water.


July 28th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Whelp now we are back to the starting line for real. We sailed our 50+ year old boat from Buzzard’s Bay to St. Mary’s River, going in, out, around and through. Fixing things all the way, parts falling off (clamping them back on), chopping stuff off, glassing it over, and sanding – always sanding. Now¬†we sailed her back up. She’s a new boat and we are new crew, somehow going backward and forward at the same time.SY Tranquility 2016Whew!

As we came up the coast, I learned of a big algae bloom that was ahead of us off the coast of NJ, and stayed on high alert for brilliant green waters. Either the bloom had cleared itself, or we transited it at night, for all I found in my tows were charismatic zooplankton:

My hopes of charging through an upwelling ribbon of plankton on my sail-chariot like a seaweed queen returning from an overseas battle were dashed. In other news, it gets weird out there without internet.