MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo, now serving as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

19th hole

RE - 92
MW - 95
SE - 105

lost the skins 12-6

Doug tees off on 17

Traditional 17th portrait

My drive on 16

It didn't slice.

Stevens 2nd on 13

After 293 yard drive. No shit.

Roy tees off on 13

My 265 yard drive on 10

With cart path assist. On my way to a 6.

At the turn.

RE - 45
MW - 49
SE - 51

down 5-3 on skins

My birdie attempt...

Missed got the par on 8

Steven tees off on 6

The golf gods looking on approve.

Roy tees off on 6

After I hit it OB on 2 roy decided we were playing skins. I'm down 4

Live blogging Lincoln

Playing with team Erickson

Friday, August 22, 2008

My drive on 17

From the blues. 240 yards to 5 feet.

The putt:

video

Bird.

I just played the back nine this morning to try and remember which end of the golf club to hold. I wasn't intending to start blogging any golf until I finished getting the Morpheus Hawaii SF passage journal finished. But... this was probably my best drive ever on 17 and I think my only birdie ever on this hole. Had to document it.

44 on the back. No pars, No "other", one birdie. Not bad, especially considering I have not had a club in my hand for over a month.

For anyone looking for the Morpheus journal. Try here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ita is trying out as my replacement...

...on the crew. That is Ita in the lower right in her first race. She'll need to gain some weight to fill my shoes as Ballast First Class.

On the boat again

After unloading Morpheus Jim, Deb, their son Patrick and I participated in the Richmond Yacht Club "Beer Can Race." Pat was driving, and Morpheus acquitted herself well. I had several beers as requiried by the race charter.

Clean up day

Unloading Morpheus.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Home again. Almost.

Morpheus spent the night at the St. Francis Yacht Club. We celebrated our arrival with the Humphrey's and closed down the SFYC bar. Not hard to do on a Sunday night. We finished the night with pizza and beer at our place. This morning I dropped Jim and Deb back at the club and here they prepare to take Morpheus home across the Bay for a well deserved spa treatment.

Reviewing the blog, I was distressed to learn that all the "sail-mail" posts I thought were cross-posting at Morpheus Sailing and here, were actually not posting here at all. Checking the Morpheus mail client, I learned that I had mis-typed this blog's e-mail address. Very distressing. Seriously aggravating. I am an idiot.

Well, at least they were all posted there. To try and make lemonade out of this, over the next few days I will cut and paste most backposts from Morpheus Sailing along with some illustrative photos and videos. This post will stay on top for a while while the voyage journal backfills. Stay tuned, we got some great pics.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Not such a great day

Scott on Watch in Foul Weather gear. He seemed to get the most exciting watches. Just Lucky I guess.

video
My Sunrise Watch

video
Killing the engine during my watch.
I don't understand why the kill switch is not in the cabin.

Jim G SailMail Post:

Grey Sky

Windy aprox 20 knots

Confused Seas, swells from a variety of directions

Some onboard not feeling so good*

Rain

Squalls

Uncomfortable, but safe and sound!!

Tomorrow better.

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*That would be Scott.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reporting from Morpheus 081308


Scott's one and only SailMail post for the entire passage:
Just wanted to report nothing happened today.

A B S O L U T E L Y nothing.

Scott

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Ok... Well and good. But I do think it is incumbent on us to amplify exactly what "absolutely nothing" means on an ocean passage.

This picture shows a lot of nothing going on. Clockwise from the left: Scott is making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; Debbie is reading Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land"; Jim is editing pictures on his laptop. I (feet in foreground) am on watch.

It also means taking pictures of shadow puppets on the sail.

It means studying hard to learn whether Port is on the right or on the left.

And it means catching up on your reading.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Drug Transfer at Sea - A done deal


Composite FIStracking screenshot of the Morpheus Recidivist rendezvous.
Don't ask me to explain that Morpheus Heading and Speed. Ask FIS.


JG SailMail Post:
Like clockwork (an hour later than predicted) Morpheus and Recidivist sighted each other traveling in opposite directions 972 miles from San Francisco.
Recidivist tacked and took up a course towards San Francisco. Morpheus fell in behind and slightly to leeward. Seas were moderate and the wind was blowing 15 knots. Pretty perfect conditions for getting the required med's transferred between boats.
It was easy. As we pulled along side they tossed over a throw rope (those things really work!). At the end of the rope was a dry bag attached to a second rope that Recidivist controlled. Scott and Mike stuffed the drugs in the bag (well Scott did, Mike was busy taking pictures), and once closed the bag was pulled back across to Recidivist. That's it. Easy as could be and we were off again!!

Hope they work! Nice day out here. Another one. Easy downwind VMG sailing under main and jib. Home sometime late next weekend. - Jim

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MW Addendum
Once again I find I must make a correction to Jim's post. This experience has made me question his posts from any and all of his voyages where I was not on board to fact check his work. Scott did catch and manage the throw line. He then handed me the dry bag. I opened the dry bag, stuffed the drugs and resealed it. Scott released it back to the Recidivist. While I was indeed taking pictures before and after the handoff, there are no pictures during.

I don't know why Jim missed this, all he was doing was drive the boat.

Recidivist Rendezvous
video

That said, the whole thing came off astonishingly well. After all, this is not something that either captain or crew practices on a regular basis ever. Two boats under sail in moderate seas and 15 knots of wind - and it looked like something we do every day. Perfect navigation, perfect alignment, and a perfect transfer on the perfect first throw. Very cool.

We received a sail-mail from Recidivist a day later, saying they thought their afflicted crew member was responding to the antibiotic. I'll update if/when we hear more about what happened.

This post is a Work In Progress. I am hoping to get pictures from the Recidivist crew and will append to the post and video if/when we get them. Ideally, I'd like to post matching photos taken at comparable times from the two boats.

NOTE: While updating the voyage journal, my political blog has been lying fallow. I need to shift gears, but will try to finish updating the Morpheus delivery over the next couple of weeks.

x-posted from Morpheus Sailing Blog

Fish Story


MW SailMail Post:

MW - Fishing Correspondent - Morpheus Bureau - Somewhere in the Pacific High

During the 2003 Tahiti to Hawaii passage, I spent many hours with Jim and Deb's sons Christopher and Patrick, sitting in the cockpit under the stars discussing theoretical physics including relativity, quantum mechanics, and the theory of parallel universes. No - really - we actually did. Sitting in a small boat with the deep blue sea below and the limitless stars above, it just seemed like the thing to do at the time. In particular I recall discussions we had about the theories positing the existence of infinite parallel universes - many only slightly different from each other - existing only a short dimensional shift from each other. For example, in one universe you may catch a fish, but in the otherwise identical universe next door you don't.

Somewhere in a nearby universe there is a photograph taken on Sunday afternoon, with Jim and I standing on the stern of the Morpheus, each holding a four foot dorado/mahi-mahi that we just landed within 20 minutes of each other. I believe that some terrible mistake has been made, and I am supposed to be living in that universe. But I don't live there. Instead I live here in this universe with you, where that photo does not exist.

This is what happened in our universe:

Jim called out "Look at that fish jump!" I looked in the direction of his outstretched hand and saw a big dorado crash back to the surface. Then behind it - another - and another - and another. "It's a school!" I said. The dorado/mahi-mahi is a beautiful fish - long lean, metallic gold green, almost like the paint job on a two tone California hot rod. It was a spectacular sight as they leaped through the calm water, sparkling in the intense mid-day sun.


"I think they are heading for our lures." Jim said. They were. We were motoring through the Pacific high. As usual we had two lines in the water.The hand line was attached to the cedar plug. The reel with the underweight replacement line was trailing a ridiculous rube-goldberg abomination I had fashioned out of pieces from the tackle box that morning. The school was moving in the opposite direction as Morpheus, quartering in toward our wake.


"Look." I said "That one is heading for your lure." Snap. He was on the hand line. I grabbed the line while Jim slowed the engine and put on gloves. I handed the line to Jim. The call of "Fish on!" brought Scott from below and Deb with my camera. It was a big fish. Four feet long. Well, to be precise, I'd put it closer to 3 ft. 11 inches.


Jim slowly and methodically brought the fish closer to the boat. I stationed my self on the swimmers platform in the stern of the boat to gaff or net the fish. Unfortunately, there is neither gaff nor net on board Morpheus. I was not sure exactly what I was going to do. I knew what I should do - grab the fish under the gills. But Jim had the gloves and there were flashing teeth and a big hook, and I was not sure what I was going to do.

It is important at this point to note an obvious fact - the fisherman handling the line loses control of the fish once someone else nets or gaffs or grabs the fish or the line. Back to our story in progress.

The fish was at the boat. I grabbed a stanchion with my left hand to anchor myself to the boat, reached down with my right hand, grabbed the leader in front of the fish and heaved the gold green brute out of the water. Every bit of 3 feet 11 inches. He was over the transom now, but still flopping on the hook under my straining arm. I could not grab him with my other had without releasing my hold on the boat. What to do? I tried to lift him higher and throw him over the lifeline onto the Morpheus deck. He flopped, lost the hook, bounced off the transom, and was gone.

There was a long uncomfortable silence while we all looked at each other. I'd rather not describe the look that Jim was giving me. Before anything could be said, the drag on the brass reel started screaming. We had another fish on the line.


I could not get out from under that gaze fast enough and scrambled behind the brass reel in the holder on the port side. Conscious of the light test line spooling out of the reel, I babied the drag, tightening ever so slowly - the fish jumped. Another dorado. Another four footer. Well, to be precise, I'd put it closer to 4 ft. 1 inch.


Long story short...er.. Long story not so long... I fought the fish for about 20 minutes, treating the line like a thread. The fish jumped at least six times bringing it in. Finally it rolled on its side and I could draw it slowly up on the stern. It was every bit of 4 ft. 1 in. Jim was already on the step in the transom wearing the gloves. Somewhere behind me I vaguely heard a small voice saying "Hey guys - I know how to do this. I snag fish in the delta all the time." I think it was Scott. Must have been. But I was focused on Jim. "Jim, the only way to bring it on board is grab it under the gills."

Jim said "I can grab the wire leader."

I said "Jim, the only way to bring it on board is grab it under the gills."

It is important at his point to note an obvious fact - the fisherman handling the line loses control of the fish once someone else nets or gaffs or grabs the fish or the line. Back to our story in progress.

Jim grabbed the leader and pulled the head of the fish over the transom. Then his hand slipped up the leader to the line. The fish flopped. The line broke. The fish was gone.

video
Another long uncomfortable silence ensues.

I dunno.

Both fish were caught. Both fish were brought on the boat. Both fish were "released" depending on how one interprets the "state of mind" of the fishermen and gaffers. Regardless of psychological interpretation, it was one of the most extraordinary fishing experience of my life.

That night Deb made a very nice Hamburger Helper plate for dinner. Hey, I'm not complaining. It was good. This universe that you and I are stuck in is still a pretty darn good universe, but...

They were eating fresh Mahi-Mahi on the Morpheus in that universe next door.

Update to things we have learned about how to not catch fish on Morpheus:

RULE # 9A
If your name is Jim and you have a fish on the line, have Scott and not Mike bring it on board.

RULE #9B
If your name is Mike and you have a fish on the line, have Scott and not Jim bring it on board.

RULE #10
Bring a friggin' net.

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ADDENDUM:
I know I am being a bit obsessive about this, but upon returning home, with a little applied theoretical physics, I was able to open a quantum tunnel into that neighboring universe. I could only maintain the portal long enough to extract this one distorted image:

I knew it! I am sure that I am supposed to be living in that universe.

Pending Rendezvous at Sea and Half Way Party

FIStracking screenshot of Morpheus and Recidivist tracks shortly after the 8/11 midnight roll call. Note the Recidivist heading.


JG SailMail post:

Good Morning. Celebrated passing the half way point yesterday with a few afternoon Morpheus Mai Tai's. 5:30pm cocktail hour has become a standard daily event. I think it's a nice addition to our passage routine.

During last nights roll call, Recidivist announced that it had a crew onboard with Cellulitous (spelling?). I guess this is something that has been developing over several days and has become a big issue. Normally this is treated with Penicillin, but the crew member is allergic to that. So...an alternative drug is needed. Lucky for everyone, we have the drug they need and we were the second closest boat to them.

At 1AM this morning we agreed to a rendezvous point aprox. half way between us, and should be meeting each other at about noon today. Lucky for us, they are right on the way home. Unlucky for them, they had to turn and motor upwind in 15+ knots of wind directly away from home.Details of the exchange to follow. Who has ideas regarding the best way to pass drugs between two boats offshore in waves and 15+ knots of wind?? Send your suggestions by 11am!!

thanks,

- Jim

PS. Amazing to hear Steve Chamberlain of Surprise on the SSB last night during our Pacific Cup Roll Call. Steve is anchored in Tonga!!!

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I think Jim gave the halfway party short shrift with this post. Some pics from the on-board festivities.

Drinking
I am not saying that Deb is a two fisted drinker, but pictures don't lie.

We were under sail again, so the party move to the aft.

Dinner
Fresh baked corn bread, chili and buttered spaghetti squash. We eat well on the Morpheus.

Other
We became concerned about the rate we were losing lures, so Jim and I had a little contest to build new lures from found materials.

I went with a minimalist approach. My lure had everything a fish needs. D-rings for weight, a beer can flasher, and hook.

Jim went with this mysto-perverted abomination against man and nature. I was embarrassed just to be on a boat towing this thing.

The results were identical. No fish and two more lost "lures".