Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Under the sun

Well, I am not quite there yet... When will the sun be directly overhead? the answer is May 20, for PV.
Its a sine curve, with the equation
Lattitude = 23.5 x Sine (theta)

But theta is an angle, and you have to make it a percentage of the 92 day season between March 21 and June 21.

So here is a picture of the idea. Now, Hilo is 19.75 degrees north, so the date of overheadness is May 17, and if I leave on July 9, I will be crossing the sun's path again at 22 degrees north.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Well, it has already sprung, I guess, but still, there she is. It is now springtime, and I am much relieved to have shaken off winter. Not as much as you folks up in the white north, most likely, but relieved enough. Maybe I am destined to die in wintertime, because I feel it weakening me every year. Maybe it is the connection with my jungle ancestors (oh wait, they don't know wintertime in the jungle) or with my acer macrophyllum relatives. (who knows what that means, without having to look it up, besides my brother?) But that is over now. Soon it will be summer. I am really interested in watching the sun rise higher and higher each day, arcing overhead with the joy of a pollo. Oh, not a chicken! I mean Apollo! Does chicken (pollo) and Apollo have anything to do with each other?
So I am watching the sun and waiting for the light to come from overhead. Since I am at 20 degrees 45 minutes, that shouldn't be long. Here is a quiz. If the sun works in a sinusoidal curve from equator to tropic to equator to other tropic, based on the revolution around the sun (which we would assume is circular, but really it isn't) then what day does the sun reside directly over 20.75 degrees north lattitude?
You should note that the sun is directly over the equator on the equinoxes.
Except that all of that is not really true. It would be nice if it was, and that is what I base the quiz on, but the truth is more complicated, like leapyears and such. The earth doesn't go around in a circle, so the sun spends more time over the northern part of the sine curve than the southern (hence the colder south pole) (well, the fact that land is on the south pole also has something to do with that) So if you want to be exact, you need the almanac. But that's just the way it is. Part of the trick with Celestial navigation. But you can do all right with the navigation with a sine curve.
Ok, back to business. Hawaii is about the same lattitude (just a little south), so if I leave April 30, and get in before June 1, will I see the sun directly over my head during the passage?
I don't think it will be that impressive, but I've never seen a directly overhead sun. The closest I've come was probably in Vietnam last June, when I was about 10 degrees north, and the sun was still to the north of me.
Or in Costa Rica in March a few years ago, I was at 8 degrees, and the sun was at 0. Close, but not perfect.
So I am happy with the returnation of the sun to the northern lands (sorry for you folks down under).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March blues

The sun rises alone today. Much like the other days of the year. Yesterday some people told me that I was so lucky, to be able to wander off whenever I choose and to sit outside the surf break and come surf when I want. They have a point, I am lucky to be able to do it, but at the same time, they have something that I do not, and something I am increasingly missing. An anchor. I have 6 on board, but that's not what I mean. Something that keeps them here. I am only where I am at the moment, and soon enough, that moment will end. What I really mean is that I'm starting to feel lonely. Starting. Its been building since I was four years old, and sometimes I can ignore it, while other times I am drowning. Everyone is moving back to the summer spawning grounds, the northern nests, and the tourists here all have families or at least lovers. I have Altair, but she doesn't breathe or have heartbeat to listen to in the night, just creaking bones and assorted metal pieces clanking around. The life that comes to me comes from other people, and they are far away.

There are some beautiful things I get to see, but they lack the meaning without getting to share them with someone. I can try to share with you, faithful blog reader, but that isn't quite the same, I am sorry to say. Anyways, I am coming home, not because the money is really running out, but because I lack the enthusiasm to go on alone.

The surf shot is from Kemi Vernon

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Off to the Races!

There is a big regatta going on in the bay right now, with a lot of J-24s, some large boats, and some BIG BOATS. They've been zipping around the anchorage and yearning for speed, and contesting each other in the water every afternoon. A few days ago I managed to get myself mixed up in two races at once. One was against Stefan's brand new bottom paint (and his Triton) and the other was the big boat races that happened to be running across our course. But we were nice and gave them the right of way.
There have been a few other boats that haven't been racing (as far as I can see). A big trimaran and a big sloop, both showed up here and then left again, without partaking in the races. I hear there is some long distance race that they might have just finished here, and now are going home. So on the homeward bound leg, I caught up with this super fast trimaran and got some pictures before I left him in my wake...
Anyways the wind is good and the races are fun to sail around and watch. El Presidente de Mexico was here to watch the race, so I got close to him, but didn't see him in person. Too bad. I've seen the prez of Panama and China, why not one more?
Here are some pictures from the racing...
And a helicopter for someone to identify.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Future Unfolds

There hasn't been much of a change in my state of being over the last few months, so I'm running out of things to write about. Soon, I will be going to new places and then I'll have more stuff to write about, but not quite yet. Well, there are some things. A lot of the people that I have met over the last year, and some that I have met last year, and even a couple that I met longer ago than that, up in Bellingham, well, they are working their way back. Back to Home, back to the north, back to the future... But they come and go, and the closer I come to going the more I feel that little sad and happy feeling you get when you realize that someone means something to you. That you'll miss them when you don't see them ever again. Well, maybe not never, but who knows? I'm hungry right now and I just got a plate of food in front of me, and the feeling is similar I think, where you are happy to be a little sad. I am hungry, but holding it off a little longer...
Ok, enough of that. I just took a bite. I'm not going to be ruined by this parting of friends (sorry to those of you reading) but I will remember.
Anyhow, this catamaran is Cat 2 Fold, a cool looking thing that is heading back north right now, with a friendly couple that I met back in Cabo in November. Also, my friend Stefan, the German guy who I've been surfing with and playing chess against, he is heading to the south, to Costa Rica, in a few weeks. And the "fleet" of people crossing the pacific will depart soon.
My departure date is still up in the air, but I am really leaning towards April 30.
Also, for those of you reading and writing comments, I really appreciate the commenting, but I am unable to respond to any comments or questions unless you make sure I know your email address. Feel free to send me an email using christian.d.lloyd@gmail.com, or let me know in the comment who you are, so I can find your email in my files.
Here is another shot of Altair with the new solar panels and the racing Genoa up (in place of the cruising-beat up-rusty jib)
Unfortunately I lost this race as well, since I went to the wrong mark.
But I am undefeated in the downwind spinnaker runs.