December 30th, 2013

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December 30 Benissalem, Mallorca

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I could not have asked for a better day to make the short train trip into the country side. A very bright sunny but crisp day. Perfect for pictures. The commuter train turned out to be one of the nicest and cleanest European trains I have been in. Derry and Steve, Charlottte’s friends, live a ways out in the country from Benissalem. Derry came to pick me up in town. Some of Spain’s best wines grapes are grown in this region. Carob, Almond, Citrus and Olive groves. Derry keeps a number of Arabian horses. Beautiful animals. A nice old chocolate lab named Benny, just like the one that greeted me when I invaded the custodians of Tagomago right after my shipwreck.

Steve sailed from England ┬áto the Caribbean in the seventies on his 46 foot gaff rigged ketch. He sailed with charter guests from St. Lucia for several years and then did deliveries back and forth between the West Indies and the Mediterranean. Later he and his wife Derry became the skipper and cook on the classic 102 foot Top Sail Schooner “Puritan”, designed by John Alden and launched in 1929. They have led a rich and colorful life in this very special circle. The American skipper of the schooner “America” also has settled near by. The Balearic Islands are a perfect location to keep a “pied a terre” and raise the children for parents like Steve and Derry, since it is right on the route from the West Indies to the eastern Mediterranean. ┬áSteve also was able to explain me the question I posed yesterday about the need for annual reduction tables and almanacs for celestial navigation. Apparently you can use the same table in all non-leap year years and another one for the leap years. That would then make sense.

I’m having better luck now with manual focus: