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Date: 24 Nov 2010 01:07:00
Title: Oh no, I've got some Crocs

Tuesday night

Yes, it's finally happened. Any shred of credibility is now out the window. I've got some Crocs and, even worse, I like them. I do have some justification. We're going South where it's hot and I'd normally wear Teva sandals but, on the boat, it's too dangerous to have bare toes. My new Crocs have Khaki coloured plastic and a rather fetching nubuck top, like Timberland boots. Anyway, I'm now officially a beach-bum. Paul will never forgive me.

Last night, we watched Avatar all the way through. We both enjoyed the first half very much but got bored and frustrated when it became a shoot-em-up in the end. I must admit I was expecting a bit more in the way of plot and philosophy - which proves that I must be getting daft in my old age. It just seemed to be a rehash of the story of the Native Americans up until their big victory at Little Big Horn. That's all very uplifting but, in the real history, Custer's defeat was closely followed by the destruction of the indigenous way of life and the final massacre at Wounded Knee. Avatar's only "message" seems to be that you can save the world if you have a really big gun.

In a way, that seems quite appropriate to the way Americans interact with their environment. Everywhere you look here there are signs about not dropping litter or using recyclable materials. The wholefood shops are massive and everyone talks about saving the wilderness. That doesn't stop them motoring around in a V8 monster truck and using it to drive to the other side of the street, though. It certainly doesn't stop them voting for climate-change sceptics and rampant oil-drillers. In the UK, I don't think we talk quite so much bullshit about it all and we don't vote for quite such caricatures but it's not far off.

So, on to today. I got up before all the workers arrived but they were soon here, measuring up the toe-rail before chopping it into fragments. Andrea and I went up to the cafe/shop and entered flight-booking internet hell to arrange our trip down to Charleston next week. At least that's sorted out now and we've arranged a hotel in Washington for the weekend. After that, I spent an hour or so trying to make sense of the electrics at the foot of the mast. I've got a tiny light to illuminate the Windex at the top of the mast. It's a wind-vane that we use to set the sails but it's invisible at night, hence the need for a light. I wanted to find a 12v supply that is switchable but, honestly, it's a right rat's nest in there and I have no circuit diagram to help. After an hour, I'd finally worked out how to make the existing lights work so that was a start.

Then it was time for our trip to the Mall for some shopping. It's a taxi-ride away and I hadn't realised just how massive it is. We went into Borders bookshop first, then out to get some good Sushi for lunch. Then off to the Apple store to get Andrea a new backup hard disk and then into the Croc shop. The guy in there was so intense that Andrea had to escape before she'd found some shoes and the one in the Ecco store was even worse. He was telling us his life story as soon as we got inside the door. Don't they realise that it just drives customers away? We went back to Borders and found some books about the cities we're about to visit and then jumped into another taxi for the trip back home to Jabins. The taxi driver is a Redskins fan and told us about his idyllic childhood on his uncle's tobacco farm just outside Annapolis.

Once back on Saxon Blue, I got back to my electrical investigations and finally isolated a circuit that I can use for the mast-top light. Now all we have to do is mouse a cable from top to bottom. Then, it was time for our favourite commute by tender over to Eastport and the Boatyard Grill for dinner and back home again to the boat. Annapolis does feel like home now. It's going to be very strange to leave.

Harvey

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