Saturday, June 16, 2007

Georgetown, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: SE 10-15 knots, severe thunderstorms with gusts to gale force

I’m sitting at our little white formica-topped table, writing in my notebook yet again. I’m almost our of notebook space, and good notebooks are impossible to find around here. My kingdom for a college-rule! It’s dreary and thundering outside, giving us another excuse to not do anything. I’ve been fiddling with the weather radio all day yesterday and today, with no real luck. On Thursday night I got a great signal and a beautiful weather report and I anticipated, too soon, that this short-wave thing would be easy. Now I think I’m going to go crazy because of static--death by SSB.

It’s hard (particularly hard, next to impossible, for me, a night owl) to drag my sorry ass out of bed at 5:30 in the morning when the clearest weather comes in. I hit snooze on the alarm clock for a half-hour this morning without meaning to. I’ll have to try again tomorrow, and keep on trying. I knew nothing about short-wave signals before this--I had no idea they were affected by the solar eleven-year cycle of sun spots, that the radio waves reflect off the ionosphere, nor that signals vary significantly in different wavelengths by day and night. Yet another thing I’m getting a rapid-fire college education in: Radio Waves 101. My real college classes in Physics are coming in very handy. At least I know what a wave is.

This morning, while I was making tea (I’m out of coffee--argh), Karl said, “Maybe you should try the weather again.” I looked out at the cockpit and the sky was absolutely black behind it. I’ve never seen a sky that color, like the cloud of smoke from a soot fire. Worse than the smog in Los Angeles, rolling towards us. It didn’t end up being that bad, just one more thunderstorm, but it gave me incentive to study my weather books and spend another couple of hours listening to static and amplified lightning strikes.

I’m despondent that we didn’t get to town today. It was meant to be our grand, hundreds of pounds of produce reprovisioning day, because the mail boat come in on Friday. Allegedly. The mail boat is also the produce boat. We have a great view of the docks, though, from where we’re anchored, and we haven’t seen a mail boat yesterday or today, and we’re too shy to radio and ask. So Monday we’ll have to try again, and hopefully all the produce won’t be rotted or full of fruit flies or gone as it was on Thursday when we checked.

Pegasus stopped by in their dinghy this evening for a chat, and they’re planning to go to the Pig Roast on the other side of the harbor tomorrow, where there’s supposed to be free internet, too. So maybe I’ll be able to post something. I’m beginning to feel again, like I’m talking to myself. I hope someone’s finding this educational. Or entertaining, at least.

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