On Being Ballast

I know, I know, where are the log updates?

Well, about 3 weeks ago, my laptop died right in the middle of my attempt to save western Europe from the Axis advances. Actually, I conceded France to the Nazis, because really, whats the difference between a Frenchman and a Nazi?

I worked on my wayward laptop for the better part of three days, but to no avail. As near as I can tell the integrated ATI video card has come up toast and as such I will need to send the entire unit back to HP to have a new mother board put in.

Of course, being a former computer professional, I hadn't backed up my data in almost 4 months because data loss only happens to amateurs right? Shitty death! I was pretty sure I could get the data back, just not with the equipment I had on board.

Couple my lack of computer along with a serious shortage in U.S. steaks in the freezer and about 30 other things we needed state side led us to decide to send me back to Maryland via air plane for a few days to take care of business.

Prior to my departure to the states, we partook in the Family Island Regatta. This was our first time staying for this regatta and we're glad we did. The festivities included 4 days of Bahamian sailing boat races and I managed to secure a ride on the class B boat Hummingbird with Brian(Tonga Time) and Ollie (Dejarlo). Our boat was never really competitive, but that didn't stop us from having a great time.

The highlight of Bahamian sailboat racing is being human ballast. The Bahamian sailboats have a full keel, but no ballast and as such, we use two or three 12 foot long, 10 inch wide boards called pry's to allow the ballast (crew) to slide way out of the boat and dangle over the water, thus preventing capsize. It took some getting used to, but it was lot of fun.

I'd like to show you lots of pictures, but our camera battery is dead and we have a new one on order from the states. The two pictures at right were kindly provided by Jimmy on Zealous.

After the week long regatta festivities, the harbour was down to less than 80 cruising boats. We took advantage of the open anchorage to move Amy and the weasels in to hole 0 behind the Chat and Chill as it was up to them to keep the boat safe while I flew home.

My trip back to the states was uneventful and I managed to get all of the important jobs taken care of in just 3 days. I also got to meet up with my family and say hello and I even got to attend my mom's birthday dinner. I haven't seen my family in almost a year, so it was nice to get to catch up with everyone. For the record, I have not been dis-owned.

While home, I bought a square Igloo cooler and stuffed it full with 20 pounds of shrimp, 10 pounds of steak, 10 pounds of pre-cooked normal bacon (American ?) and 24 pounds of Canadian bacon. I also manage to fill a duffel bag with another 40 pounds of miscellaneous spare parts and chocolate candy bars that we needed back on the big boat.

One of the pieces I procured while home was 2 lengths of 3 foot long and 8 inch wide PVC tube which I will use as the forms to lay up my fiberglass pontoons for the dinghy. Needless to say, with all of the gear and food I brought back, clearing customs back in to the Bahamas was something of an adventure. If anyone has questions about the best way to smuggle stuff in, contact me directly.

So anyhow, I am now back on the boat with Amy and the weasels and as soon as we get a window, we're going to head out for a couple of weeks to relax and decompress. We now resume are regularly scheduled logs.

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