Monday, September 01, 2014

Southward Migration Begins

Lake Champlain
44 06.713 N 073 24.832 W
The summer went past so fast. We really really don't want to leave the lake, but it is time.
We could wait until mid October and experience the best part of the year here. But if we did that, we would freeze our butts going south, and leave. No time to stop and visit Dave and Cathy in North Carolina . So we march to the only drummers song that we pay attention to any more -- the seasons.
It has been a great year on Champlain. The weather cooperated well. Libby had a ball seeing Jen and working in Jen's garden. And we greatly enjoyed the company of Jen and Pete.
So, here's the plan:
We take the mast down at Chipman Point Tuesday.
Wednesday-Thursday in Whitehall. There we will have Keith Longtin do some engine maintenance for us. I'll also rewire the mast. After putting up the mast last time, all of our lights, and the wind meter, and the radar stopped working. I presume thst we pinched the wires somehow. I think I am also going to remove the radar and store it at Dave's house. Given AIS, we almost never use the radar any more, and it is trouble to keep it functional.
Friday in Mechanicville, NY. We will rent a car over the weekend and visit with my sister Marylyn, and with other friends.
Perhaps Tuesday next week, we will raise the mast again in Catskill, NY.
By Friday next week we will be ready to put to sea heading for Norfolk, Virginia with the first weather window.
A week afte that, we should be in New Bern.
By November 1, we'll be in Florida.
Sigh. It feels wrong to leave. There is no place better than this place. But alas, that applies only when this place is not frozen solid; which is coming sooner than we like to think.
(When living in Sweden, I used to have fantasy dreams about floating the Scandanavisn Penninsula to tropical waters. I should start dreaming that about Vermont.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vergennes, Vermont

We found a nice nature trail that starts in Vergennes and follows the south bank of Otter Creek.  Very relaxing.  Nice wild flowers.  Warm sunny day.  Life is good.

Clump of birches looks like a banyan tree in Florida.

Corridors of wonderful lawn from nowhere to nowhere.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paranoid Not

Vergennes, VT

I'm a big privacy advocate.  I resent surveillance and intrusions on my privacy whether by government or by private companies.   Today however, I found a case over the paranoia limit.  I"m not at all concerned about the following.

If you go to, it will show you Google's records of your location history for today, or for dates in the past.  The map below shows where Google thought I was on July 1 of this year.

It is partially correct. We did sail from Burlington to Valcour Island on that day. Our average position was roughly in the middle of this map. However, we were nowhere near most of the places shown. Cell phone location by tower position, is highly inaccurate. Location by GPS is highly accurate.  But only two of the locations above place me accurately on Valcour Island.  The rest are contacts between my phone and some tower.  None of the locations above put me on the water.  The algorithm probably rejects all places that are not on land.

You have to opt in to location services on your phone before Google collects this data.  You (and I) probably did that the first time you used your new phone.  Google also has a dashboard showing you everything Google knows about you.  It also allows you to delete those histories, for specific dates or for all time.

The map above is useful to me for another purpose.  It lets me see where the cell towers are in the region I frequent.

 But only two of the locations above place me accurately on Valcour Island.  The rest are contacts between my phone and some tower.  None of the locations above put me on the water.  I wonder if the algorithm rejects any locations not on land.  I tested that hypothesis by looking back in June when we were sailing north.  See below.  Nope, my hypothesis was wrong.  It correctly located us out at sea.  Amazing.

Maybe I should increase my paranoia level.   p.s. I normally leave my phone turned off, or on airplane mode while out at sea.   It is a bit of a mystery how Google got those accurate location histories on that day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

One Boater Helped, Another Beyond Help

Vergennes, VT

 This morning we entered Otter Creek, heading for Vergennes. Regular readers know that the trip up/down Otter Creek is one of our favorites. This time, we encountered a sailboat near the mouth of the creek attempting to sail. Sailing in Otter Creek is usually impossible even in strong winds because or the surrounding high hills and trees. Today, with light and variable winds and with a 1 knot current coming down the creek , it was ridiculous. We pulled along side and asked if they needed a tow. "Yes please," was the answer, "We are headed for Tom's Marine (About 3 miles up the creek). He offered to throw me a 7 foot dock line. I declined and threw him a 100 foot line. Then we towed him to Tom's Marine. At the last moment, he let go the line and glided into his slip perfectly. Good deed accomplished. The other story is sadder. From the Burlington Free Press:
The Coast Guard said Brian Webb, 65, spent the night Saturday into Sunday aboard his 34-foot sailboat, the Hellen Louise, which was found anchored and unoccupied in Malletts Bay Sunday morning. The boat's 8-foot white fiberglass dingy, named Jessie B., was not attached to the vessel Sunday morning, Colchester police said.
Colchester police said they received a call at 9:25 p.m. Saturday, reporting that a man was yelling for help in the area of the International Sailing School on West Lakeshore Drive in Colchester. Colchester police units searched the shoreline and the Colchester Police Marine Unit and a vessel from the U.S. Coast Guard searched the water without finding anyone in distress, police said.
This morning, the Coast Guard announced that the search was called off.  Very sad.

If Mr. Webb is actually dead, at least he died doing what he liked.  I am reminded of a W32 owner on the Indian River in Florida.  He failed to return from sailing one day.  His son found the W32, run up on the river bank.  His father was dead in the cockpit with his hand still on the tiller.  That's the way to go.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Family Day

Lake Champlain

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of having Jen, John, and John's girlfriend Becky on board Tarwathie.  We had a great day.  There was very little wind, but otherwise it was splendid weather.

We went down to Shelburne Farms and toured the grounds and building of the inn there.  The inn was the home of Lila Vanderbuilt (daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.  It was built in 1899, and it remains as an eloquent reminder of an eloquent period in American History.

John, Jen, Libby, Becky

Tarwathie waits patiently for our return..

This is the carriage barn set up for a wedding reception.  THE BARN!!!  This room is about 15% of the floor space of the carriage barn.  There are separate barns for housing the horses, and for breeding the horses.