Up and Down, Up and Down ...

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 17 Nov 2009 22:35
Alongside Salvador
Weather: Sunny and warm

Last night I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying the cool of the evening when for no good reason I decided to test the navigation lights. I smiled to myself at the time wondering why I was doing this but was then mortified to look up and see that no light emanated from the masthead, and a moment later pleased with myself that I had thought to check, rather then find them not working the first night when we are next at sea. So today, after a little bit of painting, I have spent much of it lifting floorboards and climbing the mast trying to track down the faulty wiring. I have made a number of repairs and have come to the conclusion that the wire running up the mast needs to be replaced as it now has a number of joins in it which are all vulnerable to corrosion. In troubleshooting the problem I also revisited the seating of the LED bulb, it was coming loose again and I decided to epoxy it in place. I climbed to the masthead for about the tenth time to refit the bayonet mount and burst out laughing, not quite hysterically, I had glued the bulb in at right angles to the ahead direction, it would look to any passing ship that Sylph was travelling sideways! This silly mistake, and I have pondered how I could have made it but with no satisfactory resolution, involved several more visits to the masthead. I decided the simplest solution was to remount the whole fitting seeing as I would have destroyed the bulb before I would have broken the epoxy bond, or so I hope, undoubtedly in several months time I shall be cursing the ineffective glue when it comes unstuck. There is nothing so demanding on human technology as the sea; if there is a weakness, the combination of her relentless restless energy, her corrosive alkaline chemistry, and perpetually penetrating wetness, ably assisted by the untiring ultraviolet radiation from her celestial sister, it will be found out.

I have lost count of how any times I have been up the mast today, just one more time I would tell myself hoping that this would be the last and the light would be fixed. But it had defeated me for today, I shall resume climbing tomorrow. I find it interesting to meditate on the idea that a photon of light knows not time or space. Even though to the human observer it may have taken close to the age of the universe to travel from its point of origin to the retina of our eye, from the perspective of the photon it jumped instantaneously from its origin to its destination. I find that rather interesting.

The credit card still is not here. I wonder what a credit card's perspective is in Einstein's theory of relativity is, general or otherwise. Tomorrow also I am promised. So much for Brazilian express mail.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

I see the skipper is waxing lyrical again. Forgive him, he spends too much time by himself. You humans, most of you anyway, do not have the mental strength of the feline species. Poor flawed humanity For myself, as my regular followers would no doubt know, I like to speak plainly and directly, a follower of Ezra Pound's philosophy though I suspect something went astray with his literary ideas when he lent old Elliot a hand with "The Waste Land". What an obscure poem, worst than Ulysses. Enough to send anyone . . just thinking about . . . Zzzzzzzz.