Sunday, August 05, 2007

Pittstown Landing to Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas

Pittstown Landing to Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas
.5 nm
Wind: NE 15 knots, annoying swell during night, boat held by current
Latitude: 22°49.46’N
Longitude: 074°20.82’W

I got to see the house today. Whoa. It’s exquisitely and a little extravagantly designed, with crazy angles, elaborate screened porches, and giant tile angled across the entire house. It’s like someone’s dream of heaven, or like the Platonic ideal of a beach house, with wide views of the perfectly blue-green sea on one side, and the other side with views of palm trees and the salt pond (with flamingoes! or so I’m told). The whole house is basically made of glass--giant windows, French doors, and two full-length screen rooms on the two off-square angled sides of the house. Inside is nothing but view, the sea surrounding you on what feels like all sides.

I’m tempted to look up the work of the architect, based in Baton Rouge. He’s only 35, which makes one stumble a bit. If I had chosen a different life path, I could have been designing houses
like this six years from now. I guess six years is still a long time. I could accomplish a lot in the next six years. Still, it’s crazy to have this as one of the standards to judge my life by. Nappy, too, is only 36, and he’s built tons of these beach houses on the road that heads down to Pittstown. Both of them must feel proud of what they’ve managed to get done.

Is that the beginning of middle age? To begin to feel that one must compare the accomplishments of one’s life to others of the same age? I guess we’ve all felt those feelings since infancy. And there’s no way I could have ever designed houses, anyway. I have talents, but that’s not one of them. It was very interesting to look at the plans, though. Karl had to investigate them to understand the rigging, too, and I’d never seen architectural drawings before. Too cool. I’m helping Karl do the counting and the calculations (one of the things that is one of my talents) and figuring out whether Nappy has enough materials to do the job.

We also moved the boat today, down closer to the house, where we hope we can get some protection from northeast winds from Pittstown Point. It doesn’t make the swell of the current from the southeast any better, though, and it’s pretty miserable on the boat, rocking and rolling back and forth. It’s continually amazing to me how little the boat rolls when she’s held well at anchor, with her nose pointing pertly into the wind and seas. I insist on believing that her lean lines and pointy bow help her streamline the wind somehow. Fin-keeled racing cruisers are accused of “searching” at anchor, sailing back and forth, but Secret only does that in really heavy winds, when any boat would unless it had no mast and no rigging. Maybe it’s the windage from our barbecue holding us still, or maybe just how much weight we have in the stern.

I guess the skinniness and how light she is makes her roll a lot more when the swell hits her on her stern, too. It’s frustrating to think that the only way we can amend that is by putting more weight below her waterline. Karl keeps trying to think of ways to do that--building in some kind of water tankage to the cabin sole or adding to our cabinet space but floor space is exactly what we need in the boat! In one of the things that has me breathing a huge sigh of relief, Karl seems to be more into the idea of fixing up Secret again than selling her. Honestly, even if we were to lift the entire cabin two inches so Karl would have standing head room, and make the cabin smaller so we had walkable decks, as much work as those two things would be they’d probably be less work than finding a new boat, fixing everything that was wrong with her, and finding someone to buy Secret at a price with which we would part from her. Everyone says the hardest part is cutting the dock lines, and they’re right. A new boat means a whole new pile o’ dock lines.

So that’s what I’m thinking about, Secret, and this brand new house sitting across from her, gleaming slightly in the dark. The house that’s supposed to look like a sailboat. It even has “teak” decks--plastic planking in all the balconies made of that environmentally-sensitive recycled plastic stuff that lasts an eternity. It looks really good and it feels good on the feet. Maybe we can put some on our boat’s deck. The rigging’ll look amazing when it’s done. It’s no wonder that Nappy couldn’t find a Bahamian who knew how to do it. This stuff’s complex. I’m impressed that Karl knows enough about rigging to understand it. While I’ve been writing all these months, he’s been getting a doctorate in rigging.

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