Sun tui

A photograph of a photograph. This is my father, Malcolm Kenyon Ottaway, sailing Sun Tui, our 1960s boat. A 23 foot sloop built in Hong Kong by American Marine. The tiller is a dragon with the world in it’s mouth and inside there is a carving of Kwan Yin.

My father died in 2013. I still have the boat. Needs some work, but hoping I can sail again soon.

I can’t credit the original photographer because I don’t know who it is. It might have been me.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: sail.

A dragon with the world in her mouth.
Carving of Kwan Yin (or Guan Yin).
Sun Tui.

conservation of energy

“Zippy?” says Elwha. “The sun is out. We should just lie in the sun. We are conserving energy, absorbing it.”

Do cats make vitamin D? We had sun yesterday and we have been having rain for MONTHS.

Meanwhile, the zippy group are the sailors doing the R2AK! After the initial terrible weather for the first leg, with three boats capsizing and one dismasted, only a few make it to Victoria the first day! Other boats sheltering at Dungeness Spit until the weather got less hairball and then crossed. Boats left Victoria at noon yesterday. Blessings for the rescuers and the rescued! Follow the race here: https://r2ak2022.maprogress.com/#

Remember, this race is human powered. Sails and some other mode, paddlewheel or rowing or bicycle power. No support boats and they have to carry all their supplies! The first prize is $10,000 and the second prize is the coveted set of steak knives.

Field reports are posted daily. Hooray for the zippy, brave, and hopefully reasonably cautious sailors and rowers! Go teams!

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: zippy.

pleasures

I put up the picture of my friends canoeing under simple pleasures.

Yet it isn’t that simple, right?

We have to get to the lake. My friends live in Virginia, I live in Washington State. I fly to Sault St Marie, US and they fly to Sault St Marie, Canada. I take a taxi across the border and meet them with their rental car. We drive to the Lake, after stopping for supplies. The motor boat is ready for us. There is no road to the cabin, we go by boat.

The canoe is a Penn Yan that belongs to my family. I don’t know how old it is. It is treasured and cared for carefully.

The family needs life jackets, paddles and instructions on getting in and out of the canoe. One friend is a very experienced kayaker, so he doesn’t need help. The other two are less experienced. Sun hats are found and put on.

We are not going that far. I will be in a second canoe, a very tippy small one. We have lunch with us and water.

Not so simple after all, but definitely pleasurable.

https://woodencanoemuseum.org/builder-history/penn-yan-boat-company

Strangels

Angels can take peculiar form.

This is for my Ragtag Daily Prompt: angel.

These Strangels are spotted at the Kinetic Sculpture Race in 2015.

This is during the water trial, to make sure that they float. The sculptures have to be human powered and have to move on land, through mud and through water. The water temperature is between 50-55 degrees, which is cold.

The Strangels are support for this Kinetic Racer.

We have angelic Kinetic Kops too. Sometimes the structures look so peculiar that people forget that they can weigh tons. You do not want to be run over by one.

A Kinetic Kop with wings.
Another racer. It’s a lot to paddle.

Hooray for Strangels and all the other racers. I hope Kinetic can happen in 2022.

Game ball

Warning: this post contains some time out words.

How do I process the game you played?

I am the subject of the game.

Or the victim.

Or no, I refuse. It is your game. I was not playing. I am the honey badger, metabolism so fast that I have to run from one meal to the next or else I will starve. I eat whatever I can find: cobras, bees, anything. I eat or I die.

You have tethered a honey badger to oxygen by playing a game.

I am the football and you have been kicking me, throwing me, catching me, slamming me to the ground as hard as you can in the end zone.

And now that I am worn and damaged and torn, you’ll toss me away, not even notice me, and find a new ball.

You will need a new football. To play with.

I don’t envy that person.

The truth is, it will be one of you. The group will rest on their laurels, oh, we nearly killed her, wasn’t it great? We showed her. She is so stupid, took her what, 21 years to fucking figure it out? And she thinks she’s so smart.

I was looking for food because I am always hungry. The food insecurity goes back to infancy. Maybe to the womb: my mother says she was not to gain weight and spent the entire pregnancy longing for a gigantic ice cream Sunday. Think of being in a womb, attacked by antibodies to tuberculosis, and starving all the time. Might be a little bit worried when birth happens. Fuck, I am going through a tunnel, what horrors await me here? But maybe there will be more food.

Maybe someone will love me. Maybe there will be someone for me to love. And feed. We can give each other food.

My advice to you is don’t be the ball. I was the ball for 21 years. I was so hungry the whole time, for food and for love, that I kind of noticed but dismissed it as unimportant. Food and love were more important. Work and my patients were more important. You don’t matter and your games are trivial.

It will be the weakest one who will be the ball. You worry that you are the one. You should worry. You had better look strong right away. Post some horror. Write something really tough. Don’t show anyone any niggling doubts. Um, the ball is wearing oxygen. I am feeling a little bad about this. Are you feeling bad about this? The ball isn’t just crazy, it’s hurt. Actually crazy is an illness too: I know that you discriminate and think that cancer is a legitimate illness and that mania isn’t, but you are assholes. No, you’re too small and pathetic to be an asshole. You are a one celled animal that is clinging to a hair on an asshole and you get shat on daily. And you know, deep deep in your tiny shrunken heart, that you deserve it.

I am so glad I am not you.

I am tethered to oxygen. But I am healing. I don’t think you can. You are locked in your small sick pathetic triangulation competition and pretending that it’s a game that it’s ok that you are just playing.

Ick.

Meanwhile, the oxygen is portable.

I have food and I have love and I have work to do that lifts me on wings. I will go too near the sun and light on fire and fall burning, but that’s ok. I’ve done it before. The ocean heals me, always. It is so much fun to fly!

This is in memory of my mother, my father and my sister. I miss all three and I love them and they love me. Today is the day my mother died. The longer we live, the more days are days when someone that we love died. But they are still here. They are in the rocks and the sky and the trees and the coffee cup. They are not in sugary donuts or foods that cause heart attacks. But they are all around us, cradle us, still love us. Joy to you and the memories of your loved ones who have gone on. Blessings.

pair

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: partners.

My plumbing, from the 1930s, backed up yesterday. I pay for emergency service, but they came four hours after I called. I did damage control and then really wanted a shower. My boat is docked at the port, so I went and used the port showers. Whew. That felt better. Plumbing is fixed, hooray.

This pair were swimming in the port when I got there. Snapped with my cell phone. I think they are Barrow’s goldeneye or Common goldeneye ducks. Small diving ducks. They headed away quickly when they realized I was watching.

family fishing

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: putrescent.

But it’s a family! Fishing! Our local five otter family, that I’ve seen before, pictures here and here. I can’t tell who is an adult and who is a child now, they are all pretty much the same size. They were swimming along and catching fish, heads tilted up to eat when they surfaced.

These are river otters, even though they are fishing in the Salish Sea. 

And why putrescent? Oh, they are delightful to watch, but they can leave some very putrescent gifts on the dock or in the boats….