24 January, 2006

a vague scratchiness

I feel the urge coming back, a slow pang, almost unnoticeable at first,
but then I start feeling the presence of something lurking -
I turn and look over my shoulder, but nothing is there.
But it creeps up still, starting at my heels.  It sort of tingles.
I try to stomp the life back into my feet, but it is so futile, vane; it comes on
all the stronger.  (Things become more evident the more you try and ignore them.)
It inches its way on up.  I'm a gonner long before, but by the time it makes it all the way
up to my throat and am threatened with asphyxiation, I scream out,
"My goodness, I have got to get the hell out of here
and sail - by God - or I am going to rot in my shoes."
After all, my youth is passing--everyday my boat is closer to its watery black grave.  Days don't really ever come back.
I have been in a peaceful place, comfortable in my semi-limbic state.  But now, again, I feel that urge gnawing at my cockles.  The time approaches.  Something will happen soon.
Hopefully tomorrow the vane will be ready so I can start the install.  (This will be distracting from "the urge", I hope.)  When that is through I will be on the brink.
Where is Till?  What will happen there?
My family cannot accept the idea of my sailing alone.  If I do go it alone, I am contemplating lying to them so they simply won't freak out.  I will tell them once I reach the Marquesas.
(Any feedback on this potential sin would be appreciated.)
I don't want it to come to that, but I can't wait forever.  I can't change Til's situation and neither can she.  We are at the mercy of fate.
Each day is a day forward.  The last two days I have spent painting the sole (floor) of my cabin.  It was in need.  I have learned how to use a shortwave radio and feel ready to find weather broadcasts offshore.
On a more comic note, Brian talked to Genevieve today.
He said that she went into the hospital at last and has recovered from her manic fall.  She doesn't remember much but says she got in tons of fights in San Fran.
She's currently living on a sailboat somewhere south of San Fran.  I am damn tempted to call her and say hello; tell her that I'm not mad with her.  Somehow, I figure it is a bad idea.
I'm so glad she's okay.

21 January, 2006

Back to La Playa and talk of Vane Gear

Spirits are high....
Weighed anchor and motored over to La Playa anchorage for the weekend, alot closer to town there.  It is nice being back.  I haven't moved the boat in such a long time.
Been doing some good projects  and things.  I found out that if I take my hurricaine jib and fly it off my backstay, then it works to steady the boat when I am sitting on anchor.  Araby tends to "dance" or turn back and forth on anchor when the wind is blowing hard.
The "backstay' sail helps keep in nose-to-wind, and is not to much sail for the job.
I hung out with some friends at the public / police dock last night and ended up on Brian's boat until late.  Eveytime I think
about it
I can't imagine being any luckier than we are.  We are so so fortunate.
So hopefully Monday I will move my boat to the police dock and get my windvane.  Then I will need to measure and see if I can get and bend some steel tobing to do the job of mounting the vane.
Once I have the tubing bend, then the mounting.  I think it will go smoothly, but the running lines that will go to the tiller maybe really tricky to manage.
This may all sound Greek, but it is very important to me.   A windvane is such an important piece of hardware.  I am so fortunate to have found one for such a good price.
Now I am really free in a way I wasn't before.  With a windvane I can go anywhere.  I am really excited about it.

19 January, 2006

Still here

So I'm still here in San Diego.  That's how it goes.  Still learning, still prepping.  That's all fine.
I just made a very important deal today.  I found a windvane for cheap,
cheap being relative.
I've always needed a windvane.  It is a devise that steers the boat using the wind.  But they're
very expensive and I haven't wanted to buy a new one, and they are hard to find used,
and often not much cheaper.
But here I am...in San Diego...the last stop before heading away to lands were hardware and supplies
hard found.
The short of it is that I met a man who had made one.  It was brand new
and a replica of the best, most expensive vane.  It is a beefed up Monitor-type.
I know that will fit on my boat.  So I made the deal.
It is expensive, but it is done--I'll never need another one and now I can truly sail alone
with out the stress of the helm.
This is a very good thing.
The boat is clean and well ordered.  i am about to stock up a serious pile of food. 
 My dinghy still needs a serious repair.  But I feel great.  I am not chomping on the bit
or tearing my hair out.  I have time.
March is the time to leave for the Marquesas.  I still have time to see Mexico before I leave
for the Pacific.

16 January, 2006

coffee shops and computers

I'm sitting in a coffee shop using B's computer. 
We're trying to figure out this whole weather fax through the radio thing.
All is relaxed.  Have had a few very informative conversations with old sailors
I have gotten a bit of work done, but all has been at a leasurely pace--
well accept for one or two days of frenic work.
I feel prepared, and that is what really counts.
I think.

11 January, 2006

yadda yadda

Getting back together here.  Getting some good work done.  Small stuff, fun stuff.
Hanging out with Brian and Dave a bunch.  What a riot those guys are.
I don't know whether my allergies are still going off or if I have a cold.  Either way,
my nose is a fountain.  Not so fun.  But I am eating healthy and recovering from the
carnage of S.C.  (All meat, no veggies.)
I am being tempted by a windvane that I stumbled upon for cheap.  It is a great deal,
but I don't want to do the work and don't want to spend the money.  I can't make up
my mind one way or the other for sure.  The shee to tiller and autohelm have
worked for me thus far.
All is well.  I can see the the end of the tummel not so far ahead.

Jonah Manning
128 Holliday Rd
Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Phone - (415) 377.3985 - expires 1/14
Online Journal - www.freejonah.blogspot.com
Email - bellyofthewhale.gmail.com

08 January, 2006

sad news

I made it back after a long time away--longest ever, perhaps.
Araby was just where I left her, which was nice, considering the weather, and I saw at least one motor boat on the beach where it didn't belong.
The sad news is that Moriah and Ben are leaving Hubris in La Paz and heading back to Port Townsend to work and earn some more money.  It isn't sad for them--it's a fine plan--but infinitely sad for me.  I won't make La Paz before they leave.  I don't know when I will see them again.  There is no telling.  And I love them like brothers.  It's a lonely feeling.  I was feeling lonely before I got the news.  This certainly doesn't help.
Life goes on and we accept what we first begrudge.
I am right where I want to be; I can't complain and don't want to.  Being sad is okay for a day.  But soon I have to get amped up for the next leg.  This was always supposed to be a solo thing anyhow, if it came to it.  I still have many friends ahead.  I am so fortunate.  But Ben and I started together, dreamed together, built together.  He was there for me when I was stranded in a blow.  We shared the same fears and overcame them.
It makes you love life to think of how amazing people are, how you come to know them and love them, and them lose them eventually.  But how wonderful.  What a gift.
True loneliness would be to not know them at all.