Finally, some serious downpour. There’s a feeling of sedate holiday here as people decompress and enjoy the moisture and absence of crowds. Limited ferry service means some folks got stuck here for a few days. There are worse places to get stuck.
From Dock Dork to Hawk Dork. Such is my life.
People keep asking me if the falconry license test was hard. The test was 50 questions and about 15 minutes – 30 minutes after I double checked my answers. The hard part was the many hundreds of possible test questions and not knowing which ones would be chosen. Not unlike the Captain’s test where you go over huge quantities of material and end up with a smattering of questions over a range of related topics.
Now I am a one-topic-pony again, as I was when I ran the art gallery, as I was when I had the non profit about VegOil, as I have been with the sailing for the last 6 + years. All conversations now go back to birds of prey.
Heroic birds standing in their pantaloons surveying the beach like a BayWatch God, and…
…lounging in the grass, alas. Too pooped to fly another flip.
Today we “cast” a bird (wrapped it in a towel so it wouldn’t hurt us while we fixed something on it’s leg) and it made the most endearing little chicken peeps. Who knew such a tough bird could make such a tender noise?
It is still surgey out there in the harbor. I visited La Bonita today. She bucked and kicked like a fussy foal. I was hoping that the nice rain we had would calm down the waters, but not so fast. If anything, it seems worse. Plus, the dink is now full of water. Austin giving me heart failure by trying to balance on the soggy saggy flabby flacid dinghy pontoons in the wrenching heaving of the swell while I am trying to bail with the dogbone sponge. He was not excited to be out in the harbor when the option was his big red overstuffed chair in the studio. I tried to explain that the fault, dear Austin, is in our moon.
And the moon will do what the moon will do.
Boats and Dogs both have a way of letting you know when you’re not paying sufficient attention to them. Austin tucks himself into a very tight defensive ball and gives me baleful, sarcastic looks and grumbles and sighs. He’s doing it right now. La Bonita starts to smell funny, like any home that has been left un-lived in for too long.
Yes, I’ve been spending some time on land. It’s because of syzygy. Greek for “yoked together,” as when three celestial bodies line up. New Moons and Full Moons are often times of syzygy of the Sun and Moon, throw the Earth in there too, and you get wonky gravity and extreme tides. Then the boat begins to behave like an angry horse, pulling and tugging and lurching. It can be quite menacing. And puny-making. So we’re staying at a friend’s hotel until the waters settle.
But that’s not the end of syzygy for me and Austin. We are aligning with Avalon as we get yoked together, for better or for worse. I have a year lease on an office now and finally moved the 400 lbs of comics out of the v-berth. So many other things have come off the boat that the water line has dramatically changed. The holding tank has not been an issue this past year, and now I think it is because there were so many objects between it and my nose that I didn’t smell it. And I have a very attentive nose. Now those things are gone and to address the ew de head, I made a headliner fabric cover for the tank, and sprayed it thoroughly with Febreze. That seems to work. I’ve also had all the barnacles scraped off the hull and La Bonita is going to be ready to sail again soon. It’s been a whole YEAR! How did that happen?
And then there are other mornings where the world feels like a big mango raspberry popsicle full of possibility and hope.
I am sending out tentative roots on this rock. Nervous they won’t hold, nervous they will.
I’ve never been much for Christmas and most Santa Claus types give me the creeps. But Roger here in Avalon is the sweetest, best Santa I’ve ever met. Partly because he requires no fake anything. He’s the real deal through and through. His beard, his tum, and his extremely kind and generous soul. Plus, he works in shipping packages at the Flying Boat UPS store! How perfect is that? Roger and his wife very nicely dress up each year and preside over the holiday festivities here in Avalon, strolling down Front Street, shaking sleigh bells, ho ho ho’ing and allowing themselves to be impulsively hugged by young and old alike.
So on that cheery note, I’ll give you another sunrise.
December is a Blue Moon month (there are two full moons before the year’s end). Full Moon is a big moon, closest to the Earth, and this is the biggest all year which makes for a King Tide. Highest and Lowest. Sloshiest. Gravity gone wild. More water content moving in and out means more swells. Big rolling rippling chunks of water that throw boats around like crumbs off a tablecloth. Top that off with 30 mph winds on the nose (from the East, in our case) and 46 degrees you’ve got a cold, busy-motion ocean. Not particularly conducive to sleeping. Promised two nights of that, I went to stay with a friend on land on night two. Austin had had enough and I didn’t want to put him off the whole boat idea. When your mast sways side to side it is called Metronome, front to back,Hobby Horse, all around, the Washing Machine. We had the latter for five hours until daylight when we abandoned ship to go find coffee and breakfast.
If I stay prone during the churning I don’t feel ill, it’s when I try to accomplish anything that I get sick. Accomplishing anything lately has been futile so I’ve been doing a lot of laying low and living moment to moment. At present I’m fed, rested, with a warm sun on my back and a happy dog at my side. I would be greedy to want anything more.
I have received a few requests for copies of Issue Two of the LiveAboard Series. Believe me you I would like to grant those requests but it is not done yet and cannot get printed until I have about 40 more business card referral orders. See below:
Namely, The Berkeley Bubble. Don’t you want one?
One of the most seductive sights on Catalina is the interaction of sky, light, sun or moon, and water. Sunrise and sunset are the high drama nature moments of the day, and it is impossible not to impulsively take photos of the colors.
The palette shifts happen within the time frame of drinking one cup of coffee while it’s still hot.
Human interaction on land is equally as changeable and dramatic. I feel fortunate that my mantra on arrival; Anything Can Happen and Usually Does, is still apropos.
Winter is coming on and, yeah, I know winter in SoCal ain’t no big thing, but there are storms and such to consider. Plus they take out the dinghy docks and make it wicked hard to get to land. First mate Austin is going under the knife next week to remove the pesky anal glands (I’ll spare you the details) that have plagued him for the four years we’ve been together. Extra hydration means extra pee breaks and extra rowing in to the non-existent dinghy docks. Plus post surgery healing time. Not sure what’s going to happen with that.
The falconry program for which I have worked since June has, itself, been abated. Well, the contract has expired and I am now looking to create a Coalition of interested parties to fund the pest bird management for the next five years. No small task, it involves finding a suitable vehicle and housing for the PBAT (Pest Bird Abatement Team). Wuff.
The radio show plugs away every Monday at 11:30. I have made a page on my web site where you will be able to listen to archives of the show. http://www.cynxing.com/KISL/LifeLines.html
There’s a new community TV show on at 6 pm Wednesdays on Channel 3. I’ve been providing brief little movies for them. Also findable on my website soon. Here’s the link to the Falconry Trailer I made: www.youtube.com/watch?v=upYlyvMNPs8
I’m teaching social dance on Thursdays at 7 pm at Tremont Hall, and have already signed up for the three day Swing Camp in November here on the island. Check out catalinaswingdancefestival.com.
WordPress has even changed the way we blog. I didn’t get the memo. It’s so unnerving how fast the internet world changes. Just when you get used to the arrangement of your phone company or bank’s home page, they smoodge it around, as if rearranging the pieces will improve anything. Why do they need a “new look?” I’ve had the same “look” since high school and it hasn’t hurt me any. Well. Mostly.
Still here. Still kicking. It’s Cruise Ship Day and we are hiding on the boat.
After a week of classic hot summer weather we woke up to this today:
A heavy dense fog that feels almost like it’s raining. Kind of refreshing after the achingly toasty past few days. But this is the day that all of the people in the harbor are heading home to their jobs and the start of school. I wish for them safe passage and to not do anything dumb during the mass exodus from the harbor.
Meanwhile, those of us who are staying are breathing a sigh of relief. It’s been an intense summer – business as usual, I hear. Time to fix up the boat to get through what we hope will be a rainy winter. Get us out of drought conditions.
Yesterday was a delightful new tradition, a Dogathon to celebrate the vet on the island. We had a parade of dogs down the forbidden Front Street followed by a party on the ballfield all afternoon. Austin placed in the dog show for waggiest tail and best costume ( Hawaii Shirt). It was a great All Day Doggie Date for us.
And about what the imminent future holds for us, as the German expression goes, Ich bin gespannt…