Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: E-SE 10-15 knots

I’m sitting at the boat, at my usual post. We’ve repaired to the boat for some extended recuperation time, mainly involving vast quantities of DVDs, after discovering that Nappy won’t be back until Wednesday. A full Nappy-less week! Karl’s run out of work to do, so we should be doing work on the boat, which is always easier said than done.

I feel like I should lend some color to my surroundings, since Secret’s position hasn’t changed in eons. To my right, perched on the settee’s brown circa-seventies upholstery, is a green silk throw pillow, with an elephant embroidered in sequins. One of my luxury items, which I brought as boat interior decoration. Its presence continually uplifts my emotional state, and it is an additional perquisite that its forest-green hue fits in with the Secret’s color scheme. Next to it, one upright and one askew, are two cans, a 29-ounce can of boned chicken we bought at Ocean State Job Lot in Massachusetts and a can of Campbell’s Chicken and Herb soup. We have five of the six cans of chicken we bought left (one we ate for Thanksgiving), and canned chicken is such a deluxe item that neither of us can bring ourselves to cook with it. We’re saving it for a rainy day. We almost decided to cook with it tonight. Next to that, perched on our computer case, is a cryptic crossword, taken from the August 1 Miami Herald, Bahamas edition. Try as I might, I am stumped when it comes to the mystifying Commonwealth tradition of cryptic crosswords, even though I’ve been covertly downloading guides.

Here’s a clue: “So the bonehead went to bed and cried (6)”. That means it has six letters, but aside from that, I can figure nothing out. Cryptics can use homonyms, abbreviations, foreign words, anagrams, roman numerals, and anything else you can think of in their solutions. “So” could be “sew,” which could mean, in theory, although I haven’t actually seen this written anywhere, that some definition of “the bonehead” (say, oaf), could be intertwined somehow (because of the “went”?) into a definition of “to bed,” which all together, would mean “cried.” Confused yet? Me too. Since I was introduced to them on a college trip to Britain, I can’t let them go, like a bulldog and a throat. Nor have I ever been able to solve a single clue. Thank goodness the New Yorker stopped publishing them, or I would have long since gone insane. I did manage to solve one clue today: “Dash from Ireland.” Inside of Ireland is hidden the word “elan,” which also means “dash.” Brilliant, eh? Does it make sense? I welcome and helpful hints from Commonwealth-type readers. Americans are far too dense for this sort of stuff.

The computer case is resting atop the ubiquitous Gentleman’s Guide, in front of a vertical hatch cover to one of our can lockers, which Karl persists in not replacing, perhaps for ease of future can retrieval. All of this is next to the monolith that rests on the forward end of the settee, the folded-up 110-percent lapper, with forest-green sunbrella sun protection, which can’t seem to find a home above deck until we deal with our furler problem. Why it has to sit on the settee (which is supposed to be used for sitting) is a continual bone of contention between us. I believe that our sails should be bagged on deck. (Our staysail is blocking the path to the vee-berth, as is a six-gallon jug filled with brackish water from the well on San Salvador.) On top of the lapper is our folded comforter, which has no other home, and piles of Karl’s half-dirty clothes. Like all humans of the male gender, he can’t be bothered to put them anywhere else. On top of his clothes is a plastic bag filled with used paperbacks, inherited last night from Joel, about which I am gleefully rubbing my hands in anticipation. These would be among Karl’s bones of contention, although he was gracious and said nothing when I took seven of them. I have been making my way with great rapidity through our boat stock, and we just gave away three books.

On the bulkhead hangs a cross, sliding back and forth across the varnished teak with every roll of the boat, and on the bulkhead-mounted fire extinguisher hangs my blue bathing suit, a purple PCT bandana, and Karl’s straw hat, retrieved from the harbor in Stuart.

I could go on. It’s fun describing all the things that take up the space in our lives, these objects that beset and harass us, that are more present to us than our families or friends. I won’t, though--you’re probably bored already. As am I, if you can tell. Last night we went over to Frenchie’s house, who has another house on the sand, for a fantastic steak dinner, conch salad, and a delicious bottle of wine. We stayed into the early hours, chatting with Joel and Frenchie, and watching a Nascar race, of all things. The commercialson television entrance me these days--they seem to have moved to a deeper level of consumer mind-control, while we’ve been moving backward into the realm of non-existent audio-visual content. When they come on, I stare at the screen dumbfounded, completely forgetting whatever it was I’m talking about. A line of drool starts easing its way out of my mouth. I hope I didn’t embarass myself too much.

Nothing much to do for the next couple of days, except avoid getting anything done on the boat. One of the things I am best at.

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