National Geographic : 1968 Oct
My cat Avanga, too, went on a binge. He raced about the deck, snapped at me, ripped my clothes, jumped at nothing. But worst of all, he chewed and tore up my only tracing paper copy (made from another yachtsman's chart) of the harbor at Darwin, Australia. For that I should have lashed him to the mast. Eight Miles Bobbing Up and Down Now and then a fresh breeze would tease me into thinking the days of aimless wander ing were over. Then the breathless heat would return. Dove drifted in circles, sails flapping dejectedly. On my tape recorder I noted: I've made 18 miles by log, but only 10 miles by chart. Since my log is mostly hanging straight down astern, I've probably gone eight miles up and down. I couldn't help thinking of the familiar lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. There was one blessing: Dove began to creak, and on the silent sea a creaky ship is companionable. Of course, it was not the fiberglass hull that was working, only the wooden bulkheads and shelves. Perhaps she was showing her age a bit. She might, I thought, be telling me it was time for an over haul and refitting. And it was hot, as my tapes attest: This is one of the hottest days I think so far. I'm sittinghere dripping,just constantly dripping. Sweat soaks my charts, my logbook. The salt 479 KODACHROMES BY CHARLESALLMON N.G.S.