Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 12: Into the fog

Ishmael and I spent the first part of Day Twelve running errands: seeking butane tanks for my little gas stove -- they're not as easily found as you might think -- and trying to find a hand drill. I have a battery-operated drill but of course I left the battery on the charger at home when I set sail and anyway, who wants to depend on a battery?

I remember old hand drills from back in the day. I don't mean a downright mediaeval brace-and-bit, like this --

This sort of thing is for people doing high-end cabinetry, or building harpsichords. No, I had in mind a sturdy old pre-electric eggbeater drill, like every home handyman used to have in his garage:

Ishamel and I must have gone to six or seven hardware stores and drew a blank on every one. Finally, at the Tru-Valu in Orleans, Massachusetts -- a store I recommend without reservation to one and all -- we hit the jackpot: more butane cylinders than I could burn in a lifetime of cruising, and a wonderfully earnest clunky heavy Chinese knockoff of the old eggbeater drill.

Some years ago I went looking for a hand plane -- you know what I mean:

... and the best I could do in my local upper west side hardware store was the same kind of slightly approximate imitation of a generations-old First World product. The plane came from India.

I plan to keep the Chinese drill on the boat and the Indian plane at home, lest they fall to quarreling over Tibet.

Ishmael took his van into the garage in Wellfleet, where it lives during the winter, and I sailed the Scapegrace from Sesuit into Wellfeleet harbor, and we set off for Down East in the afternoon.

Day Twelve is not quite over, but I'll leave the rest of it for another entry.


  1. The picture of the REAL brace and bit didn't come through, so I'm going to go take one of ours (which I use in the spring, with a 7/16 bit, for sugaring). I'll send it along.
    You would have just as much trouble finding an egg beater, I bet.
    I know you've seen the Hopper paintings of the Cape. My memories are of sandy pastures, wild roses and mullein, shingle houses, learning to swim in Scargo Pond, and going to see the phosphorescence in the bay -- that was magical. I wonder if that still happens.

  2. The ponds are still nice -- they're whatchacallit, kettles? Places where a big leftover chunk of glacier finally melted? Ishmael knows all about it. And the phosphorescence still phosphoresces. It's probably a lot less rural and a lot more suburbanized than in your day but it's not ruined, like other places I've already mentioned too much on this blog.