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It’s been a while since I last wrote. If that doesn”t sound like a journal entry… either way, it’s been a while. It’s easy to write when I have a new boat, sitting on the old owners ball, and can’t find a place to put the new boat. But that’s all over now. Selene has a home and is in the slow process of being made over. I could try to write about the work I’m doing on the boat, but some of it I’d rather not re-live. The work that goes good, I’d rather not write about that either. I’m to afraid of writing myself into a confident stupor before tackling the next project. I will say the boat has a lot of needs, also leaks. Thankfully the leaks are all above the water line.
So yeah, when life is status quo, and I’m chugging along on boat projects, I can’t find the nerve to write blog entries. Now that I’ve got you real curious about what happened to make me want to write one, I’ll tell yeah. I just bought another boat. One of the inflatable varitey. A classic old bright red inflatable zodiac. It’s about 10 feet long, wood slots for a floor, and rated up to 10hp. Even has an inflatable keel. I figured I needed a way to keep my little 4hp outboard in shape, so why not get a zodiac. After purchasing the soon to be named(?) tender I went and purchased a Carne Asada Burrito, Wet. It was my first since getting back into California, it was authentic, and ohh how I’ve missed them.
So no, I didn’t really come online to write about a personal christmas gift to self, not that self indulgent. I came on to write about my Zodiac purchase experience. Kind of like a review for West Marine. Except I didn’t buy the thing at West Marine, I bought it off craigslist from a Raiders Fan in Oakland. He opened the door looking fit to fill the bill for the pirate logo on his sweatshirt. A geniune Oakland resident, and genuine human being. As he steps out his front door… “oh, your in a wheelchair” few minutes later “what happened?”. Before I got hurt I don’t know if I would of ever have had the guts to be as up front with my thoughts as he was. Often times I run into people and can see it in there eyes. The questions are burning inside, but their mothers told them don’t be rude. Forget it, as far as I’m concerned ASK THE QUESTIONS! If it’s already on your mind, spit it out. I’m not out trying to change the world for people in wheelchairs. But when I roll up to your door in a wheelchair, in Oakland, in the middle of a rain storm, at night, hoping to buy a tender for my sailboat, it’s OK to be curious.
The greatest thing about a person speaking what’s on their mind, we can get down to solid human interaction faster, share a real laugh, tell a good story, or even pick up on some advice. See, I’m already getting all inspiratinal, not my intention. I simply wanted to share with you how cool it is when people are up front from the get go. Now I get to drive home, or back to my van, with a big smile on my face and a good old deflated tender behind me. I probably should be spending the money on more fiberglass epoxy for Selene’s decks, but that stuff stresses me out. This zodiac is just what I need for the next time a boat job goes south, something to take out for a little spin.
As I sat and waited for my burrito from the Mexican joint, I dreamt about pulling my tender up to a beach on the Sea of Cortez and gorging myself on all the wonderful foods of Mexico. My latest thought on cruising destinations, as you can tell, are Baja bound.

There’s people that like to think they’re really good at coming up with a plan and then executing said plan. These people are completely disillusioned. The perfectly executed plan is make believe, satisfaction for the control freak. There will always be some unforeseen angle or circumstance that requires a small adjustment in the plan. “But the paper said it would be sunny today?”

If your like me, before beginning a plan, you’ve already accepted that the plan will be broken. The plan is another way of saying I’m going to start in this general direction, at some point i’ll probably be doing a complete one-eighty, but I will end up somewhere different.

So yeah, my boat is still sitting on a ball in Monterey Bay. There have been numerous plans, and even a few quickly muted attempts at moving the boat. I’m beginning to realize the problem thus far has been letting other people in on the plan. I think as a general rule, I scare people. At least when it comes to things like… “do you want to help me move my sailboat?”. People soon realize that my will to get this boat going is a bit on the dangerous, or even nutty, side. Ever since I was a kid I’ve found myself scaring off would be thrill seekers, usually soon after I’ve shared the plan. Even more scary, I’m now sharing these plans from the seat of a wheelchair.

Ah, who knows, maybe I’m just not suppose to have this boat. Maybe my plan is being altered and I’ve become the control freak. It’s frustrating to say the least. It seems every-time I think the boat is going to be moved, it doesn’t happen.

You know what I really think… I need to stop bitching, go hop on the boat, and move it myself. I don’t know why I’m so hung up on having somebody else with me. I think maybe too much talking with the previous owner has put this idea in my head. I bought this boat to sail solo around the world. Why would I not solo it across monterey bay? Well, I’ve never been on this boat or in this bay. Plus I haven’t equipped her yet. But, I have to start somewhere.

Yeah, somehow I got steered wrong. However, I am starting to think more clear as of late. The clear headed conclusion is…. wait for the weather window, crew or no crew, hop on the boat and get her into a slip.

There’s a storm brewing in the bay right now, as soon as it passes I’m getting my boat.

Nora’s sore is looking fantastic. Thanks for the prayers. It definitely didn’t heal as planned, but the dog is well on her way to squirrel chasing again.

Nick Jaffe of wrote a blog entry last week introducing his followers to my story. The number of people visiting my website has doubled since this kind mention. Much gratitude for the generous support of this way more experienced, fellow sailor.
Thanks Nick!

Todays campsite is an actual government sanctified piece of ground designated for citizens wanting to sleep in the woods. It’s official name is Jenny Lake Campground and is located inside the Grand Tetons National Park. Majority of the time I refuse to stay anywhere inside a National Park, often I’ll drive out of my way to avoid staying in them. The main reason being all the government employees running around playing zoo keeper.

I decided to leave the confines of my campste and venture out into Uncle Sams wilderness. My planned trip involved a twenty yard roll to the restrooms and back. I made it all the way to the restrooms event free only to find the handicap and other numerous stalls out of order. No big deal, there’s probably another handicap accessible stall in this 55 site campground. Nope. Now if I was up in the forest all by myself like a real camper I’d pull up to the front of the car and hang my dareeair between the wheelchair and the bumper. However I’m surrounded people so I have to keep my dairyarh? contained.

So I make the decision to roll down the road and relieve myself in the proper man made hole at the visitors center. It was a nice long roll past plenty of stunning vistas painted on the back RVS. The hole at the visitors center worked properly and I was relieved.

I strolled back from the visitors center, amidst the crowds, with Nora trotting politely at my side. A little ways down the path I spotted one of my fellow government check receivers. I get the disability kind of check, he gets the park ranger kind of check. He can fine me, I can’t fine him. I had a good of idea of what was coming. But, I figured maybe since Nora was wearing her bright blue harness and in stride right beside the wheelchair I stood a chance. Nope. “Sir”, when the first words out of a Rangers mouth are “Sir” I know he’s not about to ask what kind of dog is that. “Sir, is this your dog”, no, it’s probably one of the random black labs with blue harnesses that like chasing people in wheelchairs. That should of been my response, however I opted for an old fashioned “Yes”. At this point Nora and I are passing by the green clad dude with Name Badge. My thought process here was keep your cool, express your true thoughts and this trip to the Pisser could go all the way to the Can. I also realized the Name Badge was old with a walking stick, we were on a flat paved surface, and the speed advantage was in my favor. As I began to speed up down the path I overheard “You need to have him on a leash”. Without turning around, or even bothering to reach out and grab Nora(still in stride beside the wheelchair), I said “OhhhhK” and sped on down the path. Nobody chased me. I even passed more park rangers with communication devices on their hips. There must not of been any APBs put out on the dude in a wheelchair with service dog at his side.

We made it all the way back to the van, almost. Coming around the corner to our campsite I view a dozen kids plucked straight of an Eddie Bauer Outdoors Advertisement standing in a row facing my van. They were being talked to by yet another Park Ranger. This one happened to be of the sexier variety. Long strawberry blonde hair, and taking her job very seriously. I roll up and realize she’s talking to the kidos about something in my campsite. Awesome, I’m going to get my first real glimpse of a Grizzly Bear and there’s a pretty little park ranger to complete the scene. Nope. This park ranger is walking around giving youngsters the inside scoop on policing campers, like myself, on bear storage regulations. Not how to store bears, but storing to avoid bears. My campsite looks pretty good, everything’s inside the van, except my solar shower bladder out soaking in the sun. She informs me that they’re discussing wether or not my campsite is within regulations with the shower bladder lying in the dirt. This is when my mouth finally gets going… “Oh, in case a bear gets thirsty” I say. I found it to be a nice light hearted resposne, she apparently didn’t. She explained that it was similiar to having a water bottle in camp and that bears can’t distinguish between water bottles and gatorade bottles. Also, that if a bear assumed it was a gatorade bottle he might take it for a rewarding treat. Now this would all make great sense if I was standing outside a cage at the San Diego Zoo, but being in wild bear country I was confused on the whole idea of bear confusing my shower bladder for a rewarding treat? Anyways, she ended up being very kind and left with the statement that she doesn’t normally give out tickets for shower bladders. She was definitely not joking, I myself was also ready for the two of us to put all kidding aside.

There was a dude Park Ranger taking up the rear of the group. He smiled and commented on how my site was good and bear proof. Adding that all the kidos had agreed unanimously that I was is in the clear. Being that he kept his mouth shut til his partner was out of ear shot, I could till he also was smitten with the strawberry blonde taking her job so seriously.

I’ve yet to meet any law enforcing person that can explain how I’m suppose to push a wheelchair and manage a leash at the same time.

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