Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blogger Blog

I had a real treat yesterday.

In this world, this life, connections with other people are some of the most important things we have... maybe the most important.  And yesterday, one of those connections got a lot stronger.

It seems that Rick and Ruth Bailey, of s/v Cay of Sea and the Middle Bay Sailing blog had made a cross-country drive to deliver a 7 foot antique clock to their son on Whidbey Island.  Rick contacted me, and we arranged to meet for lunch at Dad's in Anacortes.

What wonderful folks they are!  As you would undoubtedly guess, the conversation ranged over boat topics...  lots of boat topics.  And if you knew the correct pronunciation of Cay:
 A cay (/ˈkiː/ or /ˈkeɪ/), also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island on the surface of a coral reef.
then you would not be surprised to know that music was covered too.  Tho I must confess that the right brain simulator I run in my left brain (my actual right brain is a shriveled up raisin) doesn't hold a candle to either of these folks, who both have huge glowing right brains, Rick in music and Ruth in art (Rick often features Ruth's work on Middle Bay Sailing).  I knew that I wasn't going to attempt to play when Rick picked up my guitar and ran thru the opening riff from 'Blackbird', flawlessly.  Oh my.

It was a wonderful visit.  And firming up these tenuous connections we have with each other over the Internet with actual personal contact is too a wonderful thing.  I only wish that it was possible to do more of it.

Thanks for visiting Rick & Ruth!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Time Passes

In 1980 when our kids were just toddlers, I took a picture of this intriguing tree in Washington Park in Anacortes.  It was the occasion of our second trip to the San Juan Islands, and our very first ever boat charter (a Newport 28).


We had occasion to be at Washington Park again this fall, and I was surprised to see that the tree was still there.  But sadly, the intervening 34 years have not been kind to it - tho still in place, it is sagging downward, and it has died.


One other thing is apparent in these two pictures...  the technology of photography has changed dramatically over those years.  The first picture was taken as a 35 mm Kodachrome slide.  The second was a snapshot taken on my iPhone.  Clearly 35 mm format slide film with a 250 mm zoom lens beats the pants off of an iPhone, digitally zoomed out to the max.  Nevertheless, I'll probably never go back to toting around a big heavy camera bag full of expensive lenses.  The convenience of having the camera in my pocket wherever I go is for me an overwhelming advantage.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Micro-forecast iPhone App

An area like Puget Sound and the San Juans has many micro-climates. No "one size fits all" forecast is going to do a decent job. What you need is a micro forecast - one suited to just where you are.

It's not free, but for less than the cost of that last latte you bought, you can have it!  The app is called "Dark Sky" - search for it on your app store.

So you can see what it does, here's a look at some of the screens.  First, the current forecast for your location, for the next 60 minutes:

Next hour
Swiping to the next screen (see the dots at the bottom?) gives you a little longer range look:

Next day
One more swipe gives you a look at the next seven days.  Here I've touched Saturday and so it is being shown in greater detail:

Next week
Finally, for a graphic view, you get a look at the radar loop. 

This view is shrinkable to show the whole world, or you can zoom in to show your location in great detail.  In the zoomed-out view, the time scale changes to days instead of hours, and you will get a couple of days to the future of the 'now' point - that is, a predicted radar loop.  It can also show a loop on temperature, but I find that less interesting.

Now tell me that you wouldn't find this handy on board!

Monday, October 13, 2014


I moved aboard at the end of 1996.  It was the end of the year, so a) I didn't spend much time outside, and b) neither did anyone else...  It was cold, after all.  But as the seasons progressed and the weather warmed, the sounds of spring filled the marina: sanders.  Whenever it wasn't raining, the air was filled with sound of sanders, near and far.  Multiple sanders - on G Dock, F Dock, and even as far away as the nether reaches of E Dock.  People were cleaning up their teak for the annual varnish job.

But times have changed.  It is no longer profitable to mine the dumpsters for scraps of teak - there are none.  And the sound of sanders is gone from the marina.

Now instead what you hear is the whine of the boat detailers' buffers.  Boats no longer have teak on them - it's just too expensive and too hard to keep looking good.  Now they are all white fiberglass, frequently buffed by that detailer's wool pad.

Progress, I guess.

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