Thursday, August 6, 2009

While The Boat is Hauled

A new picture is planned for this blog. One of Hogfish out of the water, showing all her beauty and secrets. Hogfish maximus needs necessary care and we are up for the task.
What we are not in gear for is answering all the questions and requests. Please be patient. Chris is getting so much done on Hogfish maximus and enjoying the sailing life but will be in the future be able to get plans out and info.
The beginning is slow for us and I apologize.
Thanks for your interest and I thank you for your patience in advance.
Oh, and a teaser,
The ENGINE works great!!!!
salut! Rachel

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Has Anyone Seen This Dinghy?

12 foot SKIFF constructed of fiberglass and foam core, grey hull, white interior, interior layout with large forward locker with hatch and two round view ports on the side bench/floatation lockers, mast step made of 3 inch PVC pipe, starboard offset dagger board trunk (it leaks at full speed) four cleats fore and aft. Under she has a full skeg for motoring.
Chris designed the Ultimate Dinghy, to row, sail and motor; all very well. And she was built to withstand us.
Up until the Saturday evening of the Bequia Island Easter Sailing Regatta this skiff was our family truckster. She was 12 feet of workhorse and safety for our family and we miss her greatly. We miss her because the evening of the prize giving at the Sailor's Bar in Bequia she went walkabout, never to be seen by us again.
She has a name, it is minimus.
We take the blame for the loss. Though Chris did carefully tie the unusually large painter that by heft alone would confuse the mistaken owner of another boat who might untie by accident ("hey, big enough painter you got there?" was almost always remarked to us at dinghy docks) and checked the knot, we did not lock minimus. Our mistake.
We did not lock it because we were foolish enough to think she was such an unusual boat that no one would choose her among the many inflatables that look the same, are easily stowed, and would resell anonymously. We thought no one would would want such a beat up looking old skiff scarred from ten years in service to a demanding crew, adults and children alike, as well as various dogs and a cat. The outboard was painted pink to match the coving stripe on Hogfish maximus. Of course it was a Yamaha 15, a much sought after outboard for resale value and because it is a damn good engine (started every time, as long as there was gas in the tank...)We had heard many stories of its popularity with the t'ief trade, and of course engine cowlings can be replaced easily, but we thought... And we trusted the goodness of our fellows on the water. And we wanted to get ashore to join in the fun that we were having that was supplied by the regatta committee. and we did not lock her. Really, really. Foolishly naive? Even after a rediculously long time spent livivng on the water? Oh, yes.
Like I said it is our fault.
So we were able to purchase a new rowing dinghy and have learned it is best to lock up the dinghy and to warn others to lock up theirs. We now notice, with regret for the necessity, all the other locks on the other dinghies at dinghy docks.
But that does not make it any better or make it right that during regattas dinghies go missing at an alarming rate. Nor is it okay that during regattas there is the practice of "borrowing" any dinghy to get back to a boat and then not returning said dinghy but "setting it free" because such an act is theft. Borrowing denotes the act of returning. Nor is it okay that the local police find the practice of dinghy theft so commonplace that it is a bore of a chore to record it and the reply to action is the advice to "Check the anchorage because there are a lot of French boats out there..."
Stating the obvious, it is not okay to steal and resell. Really, really.
We don't know how the dinghy left the dock. We do know there were two other dinghies that did not leave docks with their owners that night; one found two days later back under the dock where we left our dinghy with very large tattered flip flops and a machete on board with little pilchards swimming in it (bait? or did the pilchards really wear such big flip flops when the fairy godmother returned to take them to the ball? and the machete?... I doubt the French keep machetes in their inflatables) We do know that there were two young men startled by a couple who returned to the dock to find the men in their dinghy with a piece of line wrapped around the quick stop button trying to start the couple's dinghy minus its red safety cord which was in the couple's possession since it was their dinghy. The response by the startled young men was oops wrong dinghy. Yeah, you bet.
We did make a call on the VHF to report the loss and got a response from another yacht who lost their dinghy that night and also a saint on St. Vincent who reported the loss to the St. Vincent Coast Guard. I was so shaken that I originally reported minimus as being green. It is grey. It was green, it's original gellcoat colour, many years ago. The Bequia Regatta Committee were very sympathetic and wanted to give us microphone time to explain our loss but who wants to be a bummer on the happy occasion at the final prize giving? Thank you, we did enjoy the Bequia regatta very much and would love to return. Some of my favourite people on Bequia are the Ratsas at the market. One suggested that someone else wanted the dinghy more than us. Maybe so, but I don't like that philosophy so much.
Now minimus could be anywhere, Easter being months ago. And she could be green again or white or blue, or all of the above. or she could still be floating on the currents, because she is core she will be floating, even full of rainwater. She was our life raft.
We fantasize that minimus is being enjoyed by a family who found her floating off some quiet island in Panama maybe and there are many fish being placed into her again and the family is being taken safely home in any weather as she made the passage for us many times over.

BUT, if you do see this dinghy let us know. There is a reward. Maybe she will be our dinghy once again.

And if nothing else, lock your dinghy. Give someone reason to not let your dinghy be taken from you.

stay safe,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Setting up a website..again

Like Hogfish maximus in this photo taken by Chris after he put our boat on the beach at Manjack Cay, Abaco to work on her, I am still not off the ground and into smooth sailing. But for me there is no beach, instead an old laptop. The ocean water Hogfish is waiting for consists of internet Blogs and Websites for me.

I am Chris' wife Rachel, let me explain.
Both Chris and I are from another era of exploration. Surfing the web is less exciting than surfing a wave and navigating the web is definately not either of our expertise. But we do get out from time to time on the electronic ocean and enjoy reading other people's blogs and seeing photos on websites from all over the world. We are information junkies and the internet is a huge fix! And so, we too would like to enter into the current trend (yes I did type that and will carry on, pun intended) Oceans and seas, oh my.

BUT, as I typed at the start, In the beginning there is a lot to learn... And time to spend... and a perfectly good ocean to swim in just next to me. And children to keep track of, yes Kalessin you are still me child; THAT will never change, and Lilly, you are just behind me, looking over my shoulder but I still need to nudge you on to another activity other than bugging your Mom when she is trying to type (is the computer keyboard the new telephone?)

All this and technology that has a language that consists totally of non words like HTMLs and SSPs and WTFs?

What I have learned so far is that most of my photos appear to be of things of a size that I never in my life as an adult have observed, there is a delete button that means it, my computer is outdated and everyone except me thinks I should use it as a dinghy anchor, and I am an optimist because I think there is a high tide for me here on the Web (to float in and even swim strong keyboard strokes) and therefore soon there will be a Blog worth reading about Chris' art, Chris' boat plans, and of our sailboat Hogfish maximus and our adventures aboard her. We also want to show you our slice of Bahamian shoreside, and invite you to enjoy it as we do love it. As always we have plans A through Epsilon and want to create an interest through the internet.

Be prepared for biased opinions, very strong opinions and even grander provocations. This is going to be another Shallow Minded adventure but this time into the Deep Sea of the internet.

Thank you for your patience. especially you Cristobal.

Dive, dive, dive!!!!

Hogfish maximus during The 'Round Island Race in Bequia Easter Regatta.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Starting up

In the beginning there is a lot to learn...