Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dig the Vacuum

I'm right there with you, girl.

Feelin' it!


Friday, January 4, 2008

Davey Jones Come Unlocked Last Night

Had a bit of a blow here in the San Francisco Bay Area last night. Here's a peak at my writings from today which, naturally, veered into the telling of the tale of my night in the storm. (This is just a snippet. Included are two shots taken out my forward hatch, one off the bow, the other to port and doctored a bit to capture the mood. Click images to see them full size.)

As the storm gained power through the night, my finely tuned rocking chair morphed into a theme park bumper car ride with no one at the wheel. I was jolted awake at some bewitched hour by Jeliza thrashing about in her slack tethers. With a "Snap!" the ship would reach the end of her aft lines. Then, usually after a good 30-second pause, "Thwack!" she would come full forward in the slip.

To add the excitement and punctuate the aforementioned jolts, a wave would slap against the port hull once every few minutes. How could this be? I wondered. I'm protected on two sides by docks. As my mind cleared a bit, I realized what must be happening. Could the wake in the estuary be so great as to be hurling waves over the end dock and into the side of my boat? It was the only explanation.

(Note swell nearly cresting the dock well after storm's peak)

I leaped up in the dark and grabbed my VHF radio. Immediately, I heard the obvious reported back to me in the robotic tones of the national weather service's tireless voice simulated reporter (now male, now female, just to break the monotony). But there was scarcely anything monotonous about tonight's reports. Swell in the bay's deep channel reaching upward of 12 feet. Winds a constant 25-30 knots with gusts upward of 60. One storm front overlapping another in tumultuous succession. Possibility of hurricane force gusts of over 100 mph on land in areas over 1000 feet in elevation.

Jesus, I thought. If it's this bad in the Oakland estuary, the storm must be trashing all to Hell the more exposed ports like Berkeley and Pier 39. Having no desire to go out in the storm and sensing my lines would hold despite the no-longer enjoyable rocking and jolts, I turned off the radio and drifted, over time, back into a wary half-sleep.

For the better part of the pre-dawn hours, I slept at an angle as the powerful offshore wind tipped my boat and held it there, a giant fist holding the mast at an almost constant 20 degree heel to starboard. I awoke again at first light with a headache from the slapping of sheets (ropes) against the hollow mast, donned full rain gear and clambered out into the wind to quell the cacophony and stave off what I could of the storm's relentless assault.

And I hear it ain't over yet.
(Satellite image provided by the Natl. Hurricane Center)

Looks like we're in for another wild night.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

007 is Dead!

And there was much rejoicing.

Dazzling fireworks over London reminiscent of V for Vendetta!

I myself entered the new year rather subdued by a head cold. I didn't go anywhere grand nor see anything fantasmagorical. I had no New Year's kiss. No fireworks. No romance. Oh, dear. Pity me.

I don't care. I'm a cool cat, a suave ship's captain, a self-actualized writer who dreamed a dream and when it failed to come true of its own accord, beat it into submission I did. And if it wasn't self-published and utterly lacking in publicity, it would be a best-seller. No question in my mind. Who out there among you knows the agent or publicist or publisher to carry this book that is sooooo beloved to those who've read it, who among you can help get it out there to the masses? Anyone?

This year you'll see the rebirth of this author. Getting off all the drugs, God willing. And I ain't talking street drugs. I'm talking all the pharma-crapical shit I've been scripted for and been leaning on for years. Gonna get clean, we are. If it kills us. Had enough of their drugs.

What will take the place of all those groovy little pills that have constituted my life support system of an entire decade? Dunno yet. Working on that one.

If I'm absolutely going bonkers in another month or so (I've been off the anti-deps for over 100 days now), I've promised myself to follow my own advice as writ in "Dead Men Hike No Trails" and drag my blues-broken bones out to Georgia and that's right - hike the damn AT again if I have to. If I can hold out til mid-April, maybe I'll be hiking the PCT.

I wish you all health and happiness in the new year, and good fortune. We're gonna need the latter. I prescribe plenty of humor to get us through what - to this writer, appear to be the darkest times of my adult life. But then my vision is a little skewed.

Will Ferrell. He's a funny man. Keep your eyes on Will Ferrell, and my apologies for the lack of substance in this blog these days. I'm saving myself, as it were, for the next book.

Semper fi,