Trip Reports

Coals To Newcastle (20-Sep-2002-11-00):
11:30 AM local time, Friday, September 20 (0930 September 20 UTC) 39 25 N 003 15 a E. Temp. 79, Humidity 79%, Cloud Cover 57.53%. On a mooring in Colom, Mallorca, Spain.

Greetings from the crew of Maverick.

Maybe you is and maybe you isn't wondering just why you haven't heard from us in a while. The fact is, we've had more computer problems. Our hard drive, last in the shop about six weeks ago, bit the dust with all of its data. All of the Italy pictures not sent home and a couple of missives were lost, with the attendant loss to world literature. If you were to guess that this event produced a flood of seamanlike billingsgate from the old blatherskite, you wouldn't go far wrong. We got it sort of replaced for a lot of money but it doesn't talk to the external drive so our backups are worthless. We're going to live with it until Gibraltar so we can get the same thing done again and try to get some data back. It's not a novelty anymore.

When we last wrote we were in Carloforte I believe, near the island of Sardinia. We and some other boats watched for the perfect window to sail to the Balearics. This was interesting because we had access to weather from four countries. They almost never agreed at all closely, which in itself is a notable fact, but one day they did and called for force four and dying, but on the nose. This was as good as we could expect so we all left, and in about four hours were in force 6 gusting to seven. What a job, being a weatherman.

On that passage, a couple of hundred miles, we got the biggest seas we'd seen since the Red Sea and the Captain was thinking about puking and wondering whether he still had it in him. He decided he didn't, but Mr. Shrode, who by now must be tired of taking care of things the Captain doesn't find within his jurisdiction, had him covered when he took over for his watch. Nevertheless, we had some reasonably good sailing and only motored about a third of the way.

We're rather fond of the Balearics, and we haven't even gotten to Ibiza yet. Mahon on Menorca was about as pleasant a harbor as we've seen anyplace in the world, and we were treated to some kind of horsey event there, a big festival lasting several days. The main deal seemed to be to get your horse to prance on his hind legs while the crowd pressed in upon him to touch him and help him stand up. There just seemed to be no end to this. A little girl near me was crying because she thought she might get trampled, either by the horses or by the young men trying to get to the horses. Her father tenderly reassured her, but I don't see why, as her assessment of the situation was bang on. An ambulance stood by for casualties, of which there were a few.

Now we're in Colom, a harbor on Mallorca. Most of our time has been spent on repairs, but while in Palma, a bus ride of a little less than two hours from here, I spied the telltale flying buttresses of a gothic cathedral. There was a fee to get in, but what I found was the real deal. A masterpiece of lighting effects and fairytale sculpture with the classic soaring, vaulted roof. A rival of Chartres and Notre Dame, right here in little Mallorca.

We're heading for Ibiza tomorrow. I know Okiva is already there, but we may miss them. Okiva in Ibiza. Now there is a case of coals to Newcastle. We hear it's wild but I don't know if we can stay up late enough to get you the stories you want. Otherwise, it's a slow nooz month out here in dreamland.


The last missive, entitled, "Get It While You Can," was actually a rough draft. For those of you who enjoy ferreting out the differences between version A and B of the Critique of Pure Reason, check out the final version on

There have been some entries in the last grammar quiz, but there's been a snag. Ms. Elizabeth Spinner, a professional in the field of English Composition, could not find the mistake and asked for the answer. But upon hearing it, she declared that it was no mistake at all. Here we have a situation where the Captain has been judged to be more brilliant than he himself has supposed, which is, I think we can all agree, a bit of a metaphysical improbability. But so are the teachings of Kant. Undaunted, we soldier on.

In Mahon there was a Britney magazine in Spanish, although I've seen little of her lately. It has occurred to me that our voyage may outlast her career.

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