Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Eostur

The modern English term Easter developed from Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre or Eoaster, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Eostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar named after the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism. Eostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held her in honor during Ēostur-monath , replaced with the Christian custom of Easter. Theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic folk custom (including hares and eggs), and as descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn through the etymology of her name. So all this bunny and egg stuff comes from the pagan goddess celebration. An "arrival of spring" celebration. Over the hundreds of years, we have mixed pagan rituals with Christian beliefs. Makes you wonder what the celebration will be like in another couple hundred years or so. Will it evolve again? Will it be more of a celebration of spring, more focused on the earth itself, on the planting season, or the resurrection of life, after a long cold winter. Will it continue the American way, and be more of a shopping weekend, or will it become more focused on what's really important, life, family, happiness? Our christian celebration of the resurrection, is uniquely tied to the celebration of spring, where we have mixed our old pagan rituals, with the not as old christian rituals. It looks to me like we're all celebrating the same thing. The season of renewal, of re-birth, a new year, a new season that is better than the last, with peace, and happiness for all. Something for everyone, in one form or another. Happy Easter, Spring, New Year, Eostur!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Last year I created a leak in the boat, after sawing through a hose. The valve that was supposed to be closed, preventing water from coming into the boat, was open. The handle was in the closed position, but the valve was frozen open. So I replaced the bad valve, and checked on the others. Damn, they are all bad, all of them! I need to replace them all this year. Now, for the non-boaters out there, a thru-hull is a hole in your boat, with some plumbing attached to it. Things like the sink drain, the engine cooling water, the cockpit drains, and so on, all go through the hull, and into the water. The thru-hulls that are below the waterline, or under the water, need a seacock. No, that's not a floating rooster, a sailing gigolo, or whatever your warped mind is thinking, that's a valve that can close, and seal off the water from coming into the boat, and the water always wants to come into the boat. This is a seacock. Now, we have to replace all of our seacocks, as they are pretty much non-functional. So after inspection last weekend, I realized that we have metal seacocks threaded onto plastic thru-hulls. Not sure if this is the right thing to do, so I'm switching over to all plastic seacocks. What's the harm? Well, some people say, if you have a fire, they will melt. I have had a fire on a boat, but mostly the curtains, and the hair on my arm melted. If a fire on the boat was hot (180 Deg.) enough to melt the seacocks, and thru-hulls, then I do not want to be on-board. I've been working in plastics all my adult life, and I can tell you they are plenty strong enough. Now metal, on the other hand appears stronger, but it can corrode, just like the valves I have in there now, and if I get hit with lightning, they could melt when the extreme current flow passes through them to the water. I should re-phrase that. If I get hit by lightning, nothing will happen to the thru-hulls. My fillings and the can of beer I was holding would melt, but the thru-hulls will be ok. If the boat gets hit by lightning, they could melt, and the boat would sink. I'm thinking plastic is the way to go. What we have on Alert is not a traditional seacock, it is a ball valve, threaded onto the thru-hull. Like this. A lot of people freak out over this, because there is no flange, and if something hits it, it could break, but I'm not drilling any new holes through the hull. I may consider switching to a flange bolted seacock, and screw it to a thick backing plate instead, but right now I need to replace all the ball valves to get her floating. I can re-use the ball valves later, when I install the flanges. I got the pics from here, where there are great articles on boat projects done right. Un-related to sailing, my daughter bought a dog. Must have been getting lonely in Texas, as we have a new family member. Mo is eerily similar to our previous dog. Murf reincarnate? I'm pretty sure that Kelly will now call and ask me why I did not post a picture of Chewy, her cat. Cats are weird Kell, but I suppose to be fair, I will post a pic of the cat as well, if you can get a cute picture of that thing :)