Thunder is rumbling overhead now, but I took a chance and was rewarded with a nice morning on the water. The forecast gusts up 20 mph never arrived and we sailed up and down the river with pleasant six to eight mph winds.
My main interest in getting out today was to try out the new Honda 2.3 four-stroke outboard, which worked very well. It will take me a while to get used to the centrifugal clutch, which engages at higher rpm's and disengages at idle. The old Nissan outboard had a neutral/forward gear lever. The Honda is simpler - there is no lever - but I will have to learn at what point on the throttle the clutch engages. Backing off the trailer was not pretty as I was being too conservative the throttle and the clutch was not engaging. Once out on the river I experimented to get a feel for it. Coming back into the trailer under power went much better.
I was surprised that the size of the power head did not bother me. It is larger - mostly wider - than the Nissan, but did not seem that way once on the water. The wider head does limit slightly movement of the tiller to port. Pathfinders, with cb and rudder down, typically turn on a dime. Spartina now turns on a quarter, at least to starboard. It was not a problem today and I don't think it will be an issue. I could, this winter, modify the outboard well but I suspect it won't be necessary.
My other invitation came from a public relations guy for West Marine. They are opening a new "superstore" in Virginia Beach and closing their smaller stores. I have been told that this new store will be about the same size as the one in San Diego, but find that very hard to believe. ( If it is as big as the San Diego store, it will certainly not get the foot traffic that San Diego gets day in and day out from all the marinas in nearby San Diego and Mission Bays.)
The PR guy suggested that for the three day "grand opening" I could make several large prints to display at the store and be there, or arrange for other people to be there, to talk about the photographs. He must have been using a very old key board, one that didn't have a dollar $ign. Or maybe he thought I might make all the prints and donate my time for free. I told him I was too busy to do it, even though I have dropped off images at West Marine for years - mostly portraits of dead presidents.
I came home to find a batch of ripe figs on one of my three trees. It was the birds flying in and out of the tree which gave them away. For the next few weeks there will be plenty of figs, both for the birds and for me.
Lightning is arcing under the heavy grey clouds.