Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and America is heading to the stores in force to buy, well, to buy whatever. “Out of my way dammit. I saw that Ninja action figure first and it’s mine!”
For me, well I am going to stay far away from the mall and let everyone else compete for the latest “must have” item as I am more focused on making sure that everything is set for Brenda’s and my time in the eastern Caribbean aboard Pandora. The arrival of our first grandchild in a few weeks will be a big deal for us and balancing time away without missing out on too much of the new little Osborn’s milestones will be tough.
Yes, our daughter-in-law Kandice is due on December 14th which is just around the corner However, this site is about sailing not delivering. Well, not about delivering babies anyway.
And, speaking of “delivering”. “Nice transition Bob.” When Brenda and I cruised around Cuba last winter Brenda met a fellow bobbin lace maker, Adriana while we were in Havana. When we headed to Cuba Brenda had seen a photo of Adriana on a blog post done by someone in Oregon, I think, that had met Adriana a few years back. However, that was all that Brenda had to go on, a single photo on an old blog post.
As Internet access is very difficult in Cuba, especially for Cubans, there was almost nothing on The Web at all for Brenda to go on in finding out about the fiber arts in Cuba much less finding that one particular woman in the photo. The only thing Brenda new was that Adriana could sometimes be found at a certain park in Old Havana. Amazingly, Brenda found Adriana and did so on our very first day in Old Havana. What an amazing coincidence, to find the one woman out of millions of Cubans that Brenda was trying dead set on meeting.
This post by Brenda tells her amazing story of finding Adriana. We visited her again several more times while we were in Havana and the two women formed an instant bond.
Brenda and Adriana, the lady in green, really hit it off in spite of the fact that Brenda doesn’t speak Spanish and Adriana knows no English. It seems that the “language of fiber” was all that they needed and a little interpreter help from Dazmira (the one on the right in red) who speaks some English. So here we are, nearly a year later, and Brenda has been accumulating a mountain (well perhaps a hill, or modest mound) of donated lace materials from members of her guilds, here in CT, to take to Adriana this spring.
The big question is if Brenda and I will make the trip to make the delivery ourselves or if we will hand the materials off to someone else who will take everything to Adriana in Old Havana.
Over the last few years, I have become more involved in a group, the Salty Dawg Sailing Association (I’ve mentioned this before) and the group is organizing a rally to Havana from the BVI in the spring. So, the plan is for the supplies to be delivered to Adriana by Pandora or by a Salty Dawg rally participant.
It’s amazing to me that this is really happening and surely speaks to the bond that artists have with one another, regardless of nationality. Stay tuned to see how things develop in the coming months. I know that Brenda and Adriana have been in touch by email lately so the plot thickens. Good thing that Brenda has access to Google Translate so she can understand the messages from Adriana.
So, on to the, sort of, topic of this post… In a recent post I talked about the corrosive properties of RO (reverse osmosis) product water. You know, a topic that’s on just about everyone’s mind these days, and the havoc that it causes on aluminum and my water heater in particular. Dear reader, you will recall that I had to replace the water heater as it was eaten away by the acidic water from the RO unit. Yes, oh so sad…
The solution to the problem, I discovered, is to run the acidic “product water” from the RO unit through a cartridge filled with calcite media made of crushed marble before it ends up in the boat’s water tanks. This process increases the Ph of the water just enough to make sure that it is no longer corrosive.
This is a description of the process…
Calcite is a crushed and screened white marble media which neutralizes acidic or low pH waters to a neutral, less corrosive condition. Calcite is a naturally occurring calcium carbonate media. One of the advantages of Calcite is its self-limiting property as it corrects pH only enough to reach a non-corrosive equilibrium. It does not over-correct under normal conditions.
Upon contact with Calcite, acidic waters slowly dissolve the calcium carbonate to raise the pH which reduces the potential leaching of metals found in typical plumbing systems. Depending on the pH of the “product water” flowing through it, the Calcite bed will have to be periodically replenished as the Calcite is depleted.
The good news is that these calcite filters are available in a standard 10″ cartridge that fit typical water filter housings. My plan is to put this new filter in-line between the RO unit and our water tanks. Sourcing the fittings to marry the output lines from the RO unit is proving to be a bit of a challenge but I have found most of what I need.
As an added benefit this means that the water we drink aboard won’t be completely tasteless or, as we have found, sort of soapy. Not great as water tastes best when it has some minerals in it. Don’t believe me? Try drinking distilled water.
Awkward segue or not, about the other title of this post. One of the best things about cruising the Windward and Leeward Islands is the international flavors of the many cultures in close proximity to one another.
As these islands are heavily influenced by the countries that colonized them hundreds of years ago, to sail between islands, many of which are just a day-sail apart, is to easily visit countries with very different cultures. The only option that’s more convenient for us to go from country to country is perhaps Epcot in FL although some might suggest (yes, that means you Brenda) that it just isn’t the same.
However, while sailing aboard Pandora, it’s A LOT more practical for us to enjoy the taste of England to France by heading to Antiqua and then on to Guadalupe. Yes, that’s much simpler than if we had to “cross the pond”. In my last post about places we hope to visit this winter, I wrote about Antiqua with it’s deep British heritage.
Another country we are excited about visiting is Guadalupe as we just love French wines, bread and cheeses. I was poking around YouTube and found this charming video. It really got our appetites going.Yes, lots to do between now and early January when I head south aboard Pandora but I am really getting excited. I can almost taste the fresh-from-the-oven baguettes from the French islands. Yum…
Well, I guess that’s all for now as I have a few errands to run. Besides, it’s Black Friday and it just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a store. I think I’ll make that store Home Depot. Yes, I need a water filter housing and, as everyone knows, no shopping expedition on Black Friday is complete without buying a water filter housing.
Attention Black Friday shoppers…