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, April 25, 2010

Michigan DNR implements wildly successful cormorant restocking program in the UP

Unfortunately, that was not exactly what they had in mind:
"Earlier this month, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment planted 28,000 brown trout in the Ford River near Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula – right in front of about 500 hungry cormorants that dined for days on those $1 apiece fish.

The trout weighed two or three ounces each. A cormorant can eat easily a dozen a day. And brown trout are about as dumb as rocks.

Local anglers quickly figured out that a large percentage of those fish, paid for by angler’s license fees, went down the gullets of big black birds that will use the energy from the trout to produce more cormorants this summer."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Morpheus clean-up day

The Richmond Yacht Club provides this convenient land mast for drying spinnakers.Somehow the sails look much bigger on land.

Unloading sails...

...then retiring to the bar to discuss next steps.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Sunday, April 18, 2010

19th hole

Beautiful day at Sharp, but a lot of bad golf.

RZ 104 6 skins
AZ 106
MW 108 4 skins 1 Beer
RE 114 7 skins

-- Sent from my Palm Pre



Bringing it home on 18



-- Sent from my Palm Pre



17th fairway

These ducks apparently associate golfers with food as they came waddling over to us. Oddly enough, I feel the same way about them.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre





From the berm

Looking West.

Looking East.

I dunno. That could be a sail on the horizon

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

UPDATE:
We were back from golf before Morpheus made it off the Pacifica coast. At least according to iBoat:



As I write this (about 6:30 PM) Morpheus is approaching The Gate.

Welcome home Jim and crew.

Traditional 16th Hole Portrait.



-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Roy out of trap...

To save bogey and a push on the beer hole.  Extra beer now decided on 13.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

At the turn

Sort of 

AZ 50
RZ  52 4 skins
MW 57 3 skins
RE 61 2 skins

BTW Adam wanted to report that this tee shot on 11 was in the trees.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

10th tee

Still adding up results from the turn.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Searching for frogs or snakes or ...

Roy's ball or something.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Roy hits a beauty off the 5 tee just short of the green

On his way to 3 putt and a 5 

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Roys 2nd tee shot on 3

Same result off the tee, but the ball kicked inbounds off the tree  this time.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Rick tees off on 2

After winning the first skin on my 3 Putt

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Live blogging Sharp Park

The usual suspects.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Flotsam - Homecomings

Several homecomings of note this weekend...
Last night Morpheus shoved off from San Diego with a new delivery crew, and should arrive home in San Francisco Bay on Sunday. Sunday morning I'll be playing golf at Sharp Park in Pacifica, and there is some chance we'll see her from the 16th hole (if the timing works out and if Jim pings us, and if we climb the berm to take a look).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world...


Occasional blog contributor HDW is in China wrapping up a consulting gig with the Dunhuang Academy grotto digitization team and will also be heading home this weekend. We were concerned after hearing the initial reports about the recent earthquake, and relieved to learn the team was well away from the affected area. I advised him to stay out of un-reinforced masonry buildings, and suggested he just throw a sleeping bag on a sand dune in the Gobi Desert for sleeping arrangements during the balance of the trip.

Godspeed and welcome home everyone.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back On Terra Firma


When Worlds Collide.


Jim parks Morpheus in the "front row" and we walk across the dock into the San Diego Yacht Club. Over our first beer on land I tell Brian that I am feeling a bit "landsick" - the room feels like it is moving. Brian confidently explains it all to me - "Oh no. The clubhouse is built on a floating platform. It really is moving." Brian believes this. Only one problem - the clubhouse is built on a foundation on land.

Captain Jim takes the delivery crew and wives to dinner at at the Third Corner to celebrate our arrival in San Diego. Three worlds collide. Among the crew is golfing buddy Dan and nephew / Escanaba Pail Ale brew crew Brian. We are joined by friend and Timbuktu travel buddies Wes and Susan.

The restaurant employs a great concept. Tables are situated in the midst of a retail wine store. You walk around, grab any wines that suit your fancy and they uncork them at the table. It also helps that the food is excellent. We enjoy a Nickel & Nickel Truchard, Trione Chardonnay, JC Cellars Petite Syrah, Elyse Petite Syrah 06, and a Shea Pinot 07, among others by the glass.

Seinfeld notwithstanding, no worlds are destroyed.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Waiting for Customs


90 minutes and counting. While waiting, # 1242 and the rest of the Etchells Fleet return.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Dan takes the helm...

... as Jim switches fuel tanks for - you know - the usual reason.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

The Etchell Regatta is underway

We cruise by the regatta to spectate and cheer on Jim and Andrew's boat. Jim, of course is not in his Etchell.



Hence the wistful expression. One of the two boats of interest is doing well.



One is not.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Interesting doings as we approach SD

Dan spotted several new empty life jackets floating by. Jim brings Morpheus around and we retrieve one.

video

There is no boat name on the jacket, it is waterlogged and of Mexican manufacture. Jim calls it in and within minutes a Navy helicopter is screaming overhead. It heads up-current and up-wind and starts a search pattern. Later we hear a repeated Coast Guard "Pan Pan Pan" alert on the radio. The chopper retrieved seven life jackets, did not determine the source, and asked all vessels in the area to keep a sharp eye out for a vessel in trouble. We proceed to San Diego Harbor. No telling what the rest of the story may be.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

14 miles from Tijuana and the border

Finally back in sporadic coverage. Catching up on some reading in preparation for shouldering the yoke of the blogging plow next week. Morris Fiorina's definitive work "Divided Government"

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Dawn over Ensenada

... At 6:45 AM.  SWAG ETA in SD - 3:00 PM at Customs... 4:00 PM at the dock.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On cutting a deal with the fish gods.

During my 10-12 watch last night, Jim took us on the inside route and closed within 2 miles of Cendros Island. A little too close for comfort during a moonless night.

Adjusting to the new watch schedule, I did not wake on my own for the 4-6AM watch as usual, but was still in time to repay Brian the 12 minutes he claimed I owed him. The watch was made remarkable by the remarkable lack of anything happening at all - calm, straight course, no sea traffic, no course adjustments - nothing but a spectacular sunrise. It was exhausting. I felt compelled to take a nap at the end of the watch.

So began our last full day at sea.


After breakfast (cereal and a block of frozen milk) the hand line went back in the water. Same rig, same painted cedar plug. After a couple of hours, I decided to improve the odds and also deploy the rod and reel.


The reel was still rigged with underweight line, just as I left it after the Hawaii passage. Dan and I reloaded it with new 50 lb line, and I started to rig another cedar plug. While I was tying on the leader, before the lure hit the water, Dan called out - "Fish On!"


With practice, our second fish should have been easier to land, and it was. The boat was moving faster in calmer seas, so the hooked fish was already exhausted by the time we set up in the back of the boat to pull it in. It didn't have much fight left in it by the time we landed it. Another bonito, somewhat larger than the first.


With the previous practice, I was a bit more comfortable filleting the fish on the precarious perch of the transom step...

...and much happier with the results.


Half the fish went into a ceviche for the next day, another quarter allocated for sashimi, and that left one fat fillet for a future repast. Jim wanted to know when I was going to deploy the rod and reel after investing the time to set it up. I explained I had made a deal with the fish gods - If we catch a fish, I stop fishing until that fish is eaten. Plus I did not want to have to clean up the transom step again.

The rod and reel were stowed below having never been used, but loaded with nice new line. Final score for this delivery - two fish caught on one plug, zero lures and no line lost.


Cocktail hour was delayed until I finished preparing the fish and cleaning up the mess. To supplement the sashimi and the now traditional cheese plate, Dan takes the remaining flour tortillas from Turtle Bay, the leftover beef brisket and whips up some delicious quesadillas.

We are eating well.

The day ends as it began, with another dramatic sunset.


Once again I see the green flash, when no one else on the boat does. Happens every time.

Progress - Thursday 11:05 AM CDST / 9:05 AM PDST

Elvis has left the Building...

As you can tell by the tracker, Morpheus left Turtle Bay yesterday about 4pm. They had a windy 1st few hours, but wind should be 15 knots now, and should decrease the rest of the way home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brian's Morpheus Blog
Sea-date 04/07/10
Anchors Away Turtle Bay


9 - ish:

Everyone was up and about the boat by 8:00. We were surprised to find that a majority of the boats had departed, considering we were still experiencing 30 knot winds. Captain Jim thought we should wait for the winds to die down and plan on an afternoon departure. Mike and Dan called Enrique for a ride into town, in search of an internet cafe to update the blog and to catch up on e-mail. I stayed on board to help Jim prepare the boat for departure. We knew we had plenty of time before #2 and #3 (Dan & Mike) returned, so we worked at a leisurely pace. Did I mention the that the two geniuses forgot to bring the garbage into town with them?


Jim and I cleaned the head (bathroom for you landlubbers), strapped down the gas tanks & cooler, put loose objects away, and did a few other things. We determined that we had earned a beer. I lay down to rest my eyes and Jim started to make brunch.



11:30 - ish.


Mike & Dan returned. I went on deck to greet them and to make sure the garbage was passed to Enrique. They were just in time for brunch. Jim mad scrambled eggs mixed with onions, tomatoes, sausage, and cheese. This was served with fresh flout tortillas and jalapenos. Second breakfast was thick pancakes and syrup. It was a very good brunch and we were stuffed. After breakfast a group decision was reached to immerse ourselves in the Mexican culture by taking an afternoon siesta. It was a great idea.



video


2 - ish:

Captain Jim was still asleep and the wind had died down. Mike wanted me to wake him up, but I felt he should wake up on his own. So I went on deck and walked from the bow to the stern and back a couple times. Jim then woke up on his own and decided it was time to set sail. I don't think my footsteps had anything to do with waking him up.



Mike and I took the cover off the sail and undid the sail ties. I connected the rope to the main sail.. Mike and Dan pulled up the anchor. A few comical pictures picture of mike bending over in front of Dan were taken, but were later deleted by Mike for some reason. Once the anchor was up, we hoisted the main sail and headed North with me at the helm for the first hour. A dolphin escorted us out of Turtle Bay.


video
We stayed on course, don't doubt me.


Watch times were reassigned. Jim 4-6 PM, Me 6-8 PM, Mike 8-10 PM, Dan 10-12 PM and so on. After my first watch I took a nap to be ready for my 2am -4am watch.


Mike tried fishing again and did not catch anything. The course I steered us was blamed for the failure. That pretty much wraps up April 7.

350 nautical miles to San Diego. - Brian