It has been a few days since I arrived at the boat, but my decision to see if I can’t sell her has lingered on my mind. I am putting her on Craigslist today to see what options are out there. If nothing else, I think I will come out on top financially. It is easy to write when things are going really well, but a little harder when times are tougher. Isn’t that what builds character, the hardships in life? I have been overwhelmed by all that there is to take care of on the boat. I raised all the sails to see how they look, just a few pinholes to be repaired with sail tape. The engine we got running with some starting fluid, though it had a knock and a seawater port which is clogged. The extra sails were damp from the leaking forward hatch, so needed to be aired out and refolded. It is almost impossible to get anything dry in this climate, since a misting fog covers everything in the morning. On many days the sun comes out and will temporarily make things dry. I lost another half of my potatoes to mold(should have been better about cleaning the dirt off thouroughtly). There was no propane tank or regulator, so still haven’t gotten the inboard stove working. It is hard for me to want to spend money on such things, since my income at the moment is zero (vanagons stove works just fine). I hope however to remedy the monetary situation by boarding one of the boats that takes off looking for oysters daily, and take in a small cut of the forty bags weighing ninety pounds that they are allowed each work day. The work is possible only if Muddy can come along: the crux of any work I get here. In general, boats are hole into which the amount of money which can be thrown into it is unlimited. I am getting so used to the boat, that I actually had the sensation that the van was rocking back and forth this morning while I was cooking my breakfast.
There is a brighter side to life here: mainly the comfort of wearing shorts and a T-shirt all day long. I even find it hot during the portion of the day that the sun does decide to come out. Muddy may find it hot most of the time, since he’s got such a winter coat. Right now he is panting in order to cool himself off, which is his modus operandi most of the day here. I also get to go surfing and kite boarding on the regular, a consolation for not being able to ski or ice climb this year. I have had five good winters of skiing however, so it is a nice change of pace to be chilling in the warm climate here. The forcast is for a slight wind this afternoon, which will hopefully burn off this fog that has settled into the harbor. If I am lucky it will be strong enough for me to launch my kite again, and be pulled around the shallow beachside just a walking distance away.
The birds that are around are my sole ecological companions. I was watching a great blue heron catch fish last night, standing on the edge of the pier peering into the water, then pouncing head first and arising with a fish three times the size of my thumb. He then oriented the fish in a head first manner to the back of his throat, and down it goes. I have also seen cormorants diving, and common loons. The brown pelicans are sitting at the end of the jetty where I go surfing. Grackles are continuously scouting their next meal around the van, and seagulls, which outnumber all the other birds, are similarly cruising and scavenging, often battling with one another for a coveted perch. There is a tower like fountain across from the boat which many birds frequent for water.
If you ever wondered where the cotton for your T-shirts came from, you can bet it came from central texas. I saw plenty on the drive down to clothe the country for a decade. I also have found everybody to be quite friendly here, especially among the boat owners. I have had no shortage of advice on what to do next. I will continue to tinker, and fix things until the next stage reveals itself.
The problems of the world persist, despite my losing track of them. Oil money and the opinions which favor it are prevalent down here. I saw a kid, a twenty-five year old, throw a beer can into the water because “the harbor was full of junk already.” He grew up here and has the mindset that it doesn’t really matter anyhow, it will always be all polluted and junked up. He has worked on oil rigs in the past, but has also worked on fishing charters. He, and the rest of us who consume goods, are part of the problem. In the navy we threw aluminum cans overboard in burlap sacks with reasoning that the oxidation-reduction reactions with the saltwater would decompose them in a reasonable amount of time. When far enough out, we also pumped radioactive water overboard. Dilution is the solution! Fukushima is still emptying into the pacific anyhow…