Hi Girls & Guys: While noodling around as my friend Mike Aitken calls playing on the computer, I found 8 more blurbs from the summer of 2012! The Ding Dang Doodle blurb came after this one but this is how I found them! Hope you enjoy?
I wrote this story in 2012 and here it is 2016 with another new year coming fast. I stumbled across it while going through my old archives! It has not been published on the Tern's Nest but has been sent out as an email years ago! Some of you old subscribers will remember it! So as the birds and fish get their bellies full for the trip south I thought I would send it out to you girls & guys for your reading pleasure!
Hi Girls & Guys: This blurb will be a bit unusual as it will focus on Paviti (Latin;” to tremble or quake“) Tern! This will not be a story about passages she has made , or harbors in the USA, or foreign countries, or places she has taken me, or the storms, or the beautiful sunrises and sunsets from her decks! Nor will it include the people that she has introduced me to. This blurb will be about her, PAVITI TERN!
Hi Girls & Guys: Spanish Wells is a fishing community and there is no port in the Bahama's where I feel more at home! The people here bustle about in golf carts & cars in a surprisingly quick way always on the wrong side of the road. The houses, streets are very clean and neat! There is a tremendous amount of money here yet I have not seen a policeman. These fishermen go out for three to six weeks and bring back a stock of lobster worth a half a million dollars per trip! Every male on this island has fished or is fishing for a living! If they would let me I would move here in a heartbeat! This tiny island provides 75% of the lobster in the entire world. This is not the northern lobster (homarus americanus) but the southern one that eats algae not meat like the northern one! Quite a feat for such a tiny place! When I say tiny I mean tiny, you can walk the entire island in an hour or so! The work ethic here reminds me of my 40 years fishing but with a big difference these fishermen here have been building artificial reefs for many many years and now their fishery is recognized as self sustaining! Not like here in the States where all fishing rights are owned by large corporations! There only concern to sustainability is poachers coming into their waters and harvesting the lobster in the off season when the lobsters are breeding! To remedy the situation they build new reefs and move the old ones to a new spots during the breeding season! Each boat has built thousands of these lobster condominiums! By doing this they have boats constantly in the area which helps keep the poachers at bay! My friend and web developer found a civilian satellite company that may be able to provide security using satellite surveillance! These poachers come in the waters with 200 foot ships and launch small boats to do the poaching!
Hi Girls & Guys: This blurb is about the cranes of Norfolk VA. In all my travels to east coast ports I have yet to see more cranes or bigger cranes than in Norfolk. Even large ports like New York City can not compare to Norfolk! I have been busy sailing New England this summer but will catch up on the blurbs as the summer winds down!
Hi Girls & Guys: The Ships of Norfolk are a lot like the cranes they are everywhere. In all my port callings on the East Coast of the USA this is by far the busiest port with the largest variety of ships, military & merchant. Though the US Navy ships are the most numerous and their repair facilities are everywhere. In every backwater creek you see ships being scrapped, ships in dry-dock, ships loading and unloading salt, sulphur, coal, and containers of just about everything.
Hi Girls & Guys: Passages on the Gulf Stream are always special. The stream is a very unique place that very few people on the planet get to visit. I feel gifted to have traveled this world of deep blue water many times, beginning in June of 1976 as Master of the M/V Muscavado bringing in a couple of tons of Colombian weed! While it has always been the same stream it has always been a different passage. With the Muscavado it was a close encounter with the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, on a passage north a few years back with my fisherman friend Frog Tillet, the wind was blowing the snot out of our nose, creating big beautiful waves for the Tern to surf on! All was fine on that passage until the auto pilot broke 60 miles offshore, it was a long night and I was ever thankful that Frog was aboard! This beautiful place with spectacular sunrises and sunsets can become a place of horror with a simple change of wind. It is hard to imagine being in heaven and hell at the same time but that is what happened on this "Passage From Heaven Into Hell.
Hi Girls & Guys: Thousands of nautical miles have passed under the Tern's keel since my last blurb, spring is almost over, with a winter that never was for some of you as well as a wonderful winter sailing the Florida Keys and the Bahamian Cays for me & the Tern! This blurb is a picture blurb in that I am going to let the pics, speak a thousand words for me because at this time I am in New England rehabbing my shoulder and back, while the Tern waits patiently, for my return while tied to a dock in Oriental, NC. I will have a blurb out soon on the Passage From Hell, as soon as I can sit and write it! For now the pics will have to tell the story! All the pics were taken by Chris Snow onboard the S/V Escape out of Marblehead, MA., while we were buddy boating in the Abaco's. He is a friend and a co-developer of the Tern's Nest. Hope you enjoy the pics Ciao! For now, Mike
Hi Girls & Guys: The city of Nassau like it's lighthouse is in need of repair! You would think with the billions of dolls in yachts in Nassau the city would have money for repair of their crumbling infrastructure, but like here in the US the money just disappears into the big money pit with little to none trickling down to repair this crumbling city!
Hi Girls & Guys: When one visits Savannah they think of a great tourist city, which for sure it is one of the best tourist places in the United States but they also manage to incorporate large ships! My friend Jay Ulrich from Savannah educated me on one of the little known facts about Savanna! Fact is Savannah Georgia is home to the 4th largest shipping container port in America. One would think it would be impossible to drive thousands of large trucks through the live oak tree canopy above Savanna's ancient streets but these ingenious southern people have succeeded in finding a way around doing that! These huge behemoths go up the river past the tourists mecca and unload these giants right next to interstate 95. The Riverfront of Savannah is much the same as it was in the days of sail but fortunately it is located right next to Interstate 95. This makes it possible for large ships to go up the Savannah River past the tourist area of River Street and unload their cargo of thousands of trailer truck bodies unseen by the tourists except for these large ships passing by. One would not even know there presence if not for seeing these behemoths pass the riverfront on there way to be unloaded or loaded upriver. From there they are placed on wheels and hauled all over the US with ease.
Hi Girls & Guys: The Tern & I had a guest aboard to start our passage south! Alex Maranghides, a native of Greece! He works for our government as an energy expert on fires! He works out solutions on how to prevent fires from consuming our ships, homes, buildings & forests! It is an extremely intense job and he needed a stress reliever, so he flew north on a jet airplane and helped fly the Tern southto Atlantic City! Now some of you may think how can that be a stress reliever sailing a boat down Long Island sound into New York City one of the most stressful places on earth? Heck when we got to the East River Passage it was closed due to the United Nations Meeting. Going around Roosevelt Island going under a cable driven draw bridge was the most stress-full part of the passage. With four knots of current pushing us into an unknown height as the bridge was marked Closed on the chart plotter. Both of us stood in the cockpit looking up at the open span, with Alex at the helm saying "it's your call Mike". I replied "it's too late to call we are going under"! We both looked up our collective hearts beating loud enough to be heard over the engine. The Tern's mast is 45' off the water, the bridge 48' but you have to be up the mast to see the difference, from the cockpit it looked like a sure collision!
Hi Girls & Guys: At this point in time the Tern is resting in Royal Island Harbor in the Bahamas, waiting for R&B Boatyard in Spanish Wells to haul her out! There are no beaches here and we are not allowed to go ashore as it is a private island. Roger Staurbuck is reportedly building a 1st class golf course & resort on the island. While we are waiting here it provides me an opportunity to finish & publish some draft blurbs on the Tern Travels! The protection here brings to mind "Red Brook Harbor" in Cataumet, MA which is one of my true favorite harbors on Cape Cod. After a long hot summers sail there is no better harbor to drop anchor free from boat wakes & bay swell with clean water to take an evenings swim! Red Brook is only a few miles by water to Sperry Sails in Marion MA. The Tern's dodger was eight years old and had begun to leak so after looking around I contracted Sperry Sails to build a new one! Red Brook Harbor is about an hour from their sail loft so it would be easy to motor over to Marion Harbor early morning to have the Sperry gang pattern out her new dodger! I made arrangements with Ham Ferris owner of Hamilton Ferris Power Products located in Bourne, MA to come out to the Tern in his skiff to fit her new solar panels! In addition I am installing navigation instruments in the new much larger instrument panel. The new ultra thin 100 watt solar panels from Hamilton Ferris will be installed on top of the new dodger. Ham Ferris brought out the panels and some quahogs he had caught in the bay, oh I would eat good tonight! The bulk of the work has been done and soon she will be ready for the passages south! Lollygagging here in Red Brook Harbor brings back fond memories of much younger days gaining sea legs and sailing experience here in the beautiful harbor!