Thanksgiving

Barbara Hart – on this Thanksgiving  (which here was yesterday) let me share some of my faith with you. Not the Judio-Christian kind, but faith in my fellow Americans. Whatever you think of the slogan #MAGA are there any of us who don t want to make American great for our children and the next generation? Don t we all aspire to do deeds that will give them a better life?We live in a time as Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter noted of “creative destruction” a.k.a. the “gale.” Although his work in the 1950 s addressed economics the underlying concept is that one needs to tear down existing institutions in order to build new and better ones. A concept shared by Prof. Francis #Fukuyama. We live in a time where a UW / Dallas Cowboy football player raises $38 million in disaster relief on a go-fund-me page and the old media rather lauds another NFL player who disrespects our flag in a juvenle cry out for attention. When every day there are new revelations of malfeasance and sexu
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Culture Shock

Yesterday morning was my last day after 3 months in Indonesia. This morning I officially checked into Malaysia, a process that took 15 minutes vs all day in Debut, Indonesia. It is about 5 miles from the Indonesian border to Purteri Harbor. It feels like a trip from the Moon to Earth. A first step in any new country is to get a sim card for internet access. I traveled to AEON Shopping Center, Jalan, Indah. I felt like I was back in the USA. Clothing, computers, household goods, restaurants with global menus (but no pork.) Malaysia is a primarily Muslim country and there are head scarfs in evidence. But most peoples clothing would fit in any U.S. or European (or Australian or New Zealand) shopping mall. There is certainly an Asian bias in products with Japan being a major source. But the product lines are international. I was reminded of Dr. Francis Fukuyama s comment on the study of adjoining countries with different economic outcomes. It appears that Indonesia and Malaysia would be a
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Safety

Yesterday I was with the guys who drive the launch. They mentioned that one of their rental boats had gone aground in an area that is (of course) forbidden for renters. They were going over to recover it. I had been swimming so I volunteered to come as someone would need to swim to shore. When we got to the site the waves were running 2 to 3 meters and the boat had broached and was sideways on the beach. We took one look and abandoned the effort. Today the marina work barge came out to pick me up. I asked about the launch. They told me that this morning they had gone back to recover the rental boat. Apparently the waves were much lower. The location is a straight shot from the harbor entrance so there is almost always swell. They got a line tied to the beached boat. As they tried to pull it off they were picked up by a wave and the rescue boat was thrown on shore. So now there are two broken boats. Apparently they were able to get the rescue boat launched and back to Balmoral but the
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Giraffe

Yesterday we got our biweekly visit from Australian Biosecurity to check on XO. It was quite rushed. Matt told me that they were dealing with a giraffe. It seems one was being imported and the paperwork was not right. So they were trying to sort it out. I wonder how the giraffe feels.Crazy stuff.Fair winds and following seas 🙂
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Biosecurity Inspection

Yesterday I had my first post arrival biosecurity inspection. Under the current rules I had to weight anchor and take Reboot to the quarantine dock here in Bundaberg. There Aimee Hall, the local biosecurity officer, met me for the check. She made sure that XO was still on board and took off my garbage. She was very professional and friendly. Unfortunately biosecurity charges for these visits at $200 per hour. Since they charge in 15 minute increments it only cost me $50. In the old days apparently the biosecurity officer could dinghy out to the boat but that practice has changed. At least the holding here in Bundaberg is good so I did not have problems when I returned to anchor. I am not sure how often these checks will happen but they are not a big deal as long as the weather is benign. I have, in the past had to deal with government officials that don t understand sailboats. The requirement that I immediately proceed to the customs dock in 35 knot winds in Bermuda comes to mind.Thei
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After the wind

I pointed out yesterday the the weather forecast greatly underestimated the wind speed. It peaked at about 35 knots. The big concern is of course that the anchor will drag. To a lessor extent there is always the possibility that the ground tackle (anchor, etc.) will break. We dragged a couple of times in Pago Pago with 200 feet of chain and 150 feet of rode. Here I only have about 100 feet of chain out. But the water is only 10 – 20 feet deep depending on the tide. Well, we didn’t drag. Since we are in a river we are subject to the flow of the river in addition to the impact of the wind and tide. The current is from the west. The wind varies between the NE, E, and SE. This creates a constant wind against current impact of the waves in the river. They are, in a few words, short, steep, choppy, and ugly. When the wind is light the trip to the marina is unpleasant, When the wind is up the trip is very wet. Since there is no fetch the waves don’t get high, maybe a foot and one half at the
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