Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Coiling Double-Braided line without twists

Sorry about the lack of posts around here lately - been busy with life and such...

Here's some really good information to hold you over until theres a new blog entry:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Day Two - St. Michaels to Beards Creek

We woke at a reasonable hour, getting the Dogs fed and walked. Returning to the boat,  we made some breakfast and readied the boat for departure. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the breeze started to fill in. It was looking to be a great day! After we motored up the Miles River and into Eastern Bay, the wind direction became favorable and we were able to sail our way out into the Chesapeake Bay, past Bloody Point. As we were sailing along, there was a Catalina 380 going the same direction. Anybody who's a sailor knows that whenever two sailboats are headed in the same direction it's a race. A 38 foot sailboat should be able to easily sail away from me, just based on waterline length and sail area. But time and again, as we were tacking our way out of Eastern Bay, he was unable to shake me. I take pride in good sail trim and it was clear that he was not paying enough attention to his...

Who's a spoiled dog?
After we cleared Bloody Point, we turned Northwest towards the mouth of South River. Unfortunately, the wind decided to go on it's afternoon siesta and we were barely drifting along. Combined with an adverse tide, it was starting to get frustrating so we fired up the engine. Two hours later, we made our approach to Mikes Crab House south. Of course this was the time that the wind decided to pick up, just as we were attempting to pull into a slip. Eventually we got things sorted out and had September Song securely tied up. Time for showers and then we could go get some dinner!

Plenty of slips available at Mikes - Even on a Saturday!
After dinner, we went back to the boat, and during the process of getting ready to head to our anchorage for the night we started noticing a foul odor coming from the head (bathroom). It seems our sewage holding tank had filled up and at this moment it was leaking bad stuff out of the vent. Boat sewage tanks have a vent line (outside the boat) that lets air escape from the tank when you pump more stuff into the tank. The problem is that when the tank fills up, the fluids can also escape from the vent line and go overboard. Since the Chesapeake Bay is considered a "no discharge zone", we needed a pump-out ASAP. At 7 PM on a Saturday, our options were few, and getting fewer as time went by. I grabbed my cell phone and pulled up the Maryland DNR list of pump-out stations. After making a few calls, we found a place that was less than a mile from our location. Kudos to the fuel dock guys at Oak Grove Marina who, after receiving my urgent call, stayed open later than their usual time to provide me emergency pump-out service.

Finally, after all those matters were tended to, we headed to Beards Creek, where we were spending the night. We found a nice, peaceful spot to anchor right off the runway of Lee Airport. Doesn't sound too peaceful, but there wasn't any air traffic after dark, and the few planes we did see were small private ones. There really aren't too many good places to walk the dogs in Beards Creek. Let's just say that I cannot confirm or deny that we may have landed somewhere with a "No Trespassing" sign.

Total distance covered: 39 miles

Friday, August 14, 2015

Day One - Rock Creek to St. Michaels

Love Point on the Horizon
I spent the morning getting the boat loaded and provisioned and when Janet finished working we headed down to the boat. After getting settled in and everything ready, we got underway around 13:15. On the way out of the marina, we stopped at the pump-out to make sure our sewage tank was empty. We could not get anything to come out, so I assumed that the tank was empty. More on that in a future post.

Looking at the forecast, the weather guessers were telling me there would be very light SE winds, which meant we would be a motorboat today.

As we approached Kent Narrows, we fell in line with a steady stream of boats all heading in the same direction - through the narrows. We found a few shallow spots on the North side - favoring the green side seemed to help with the depth but I had to leave room for boats coming in the opposite direction. Arrived in the Narrows at 17:05, just missing the bridge opening which is every half hour. Since we had the dogs aboard, a decision was made to stop for fuel and dog walks at Piney Narrows Marina. The dock hand there was great and got me fueled up quickly. Since the fuel dock wasn't crowded, we were allowed to wait there until about 17:25 when it was time to get over to the draw bridge.

Catchin' Rays on Eastern Bay
After clearing the bridge, the sailboat ahead of me was moving kind of slow and started drifting off to the right. Thinking they were heading to a marina, I throttled up and began to pass them. I had to move left to stay in the channel. The usual rule is "red right returning", meaning that when "returning", or heading into a body of water, you keep the red buoys or markers on your right, and the green on your left. The unique thing about Kent Narrows is that it is open on both ends. Chester River to the north, and Prospect Bay to the south. Once you pass through the draw bridge, the red and green switch sides. Since you are now leaving the narrows for a larger body of water, you need to keep green on the right. By this time it was clear to me that the sailboat I had passed was not heading to a dock, but was in fact about to pass the green on the wrong side. The water in this area goes from about 20 feet deep to 3 feet. As I passed them, they looked over and waved as is customary when boaters cross paths. I waved back, but it was more of a frantic "You need to be over here" wave. Fortunately they realized the mistake before it was too late and they fell in line behind me. So today I made a deposit in my Karma account.

Sundowners at Dinner
The light winds continued as we passed through Prospect Bay and down into Eastern Bay. We kept on motoring, and finally made our approach to St. Michaels harbor at around 17:00. We squeezed into the inside anchorage and dropped the hook. Quickly got the dinghy rigged and shuttled the dogs ashore for another walk.

When we returned to the boat, we could see that the wind had shifted and we were dangerously close to being aground. With the tide falling, we decided to move to the outside anchorage where there is deeper water and a better breeze for night time ventilation.

Then it was off to a late dinner at the Town Dock Restaurant. I had a crab cake and Janet had the Grilled Mahi. Excellent meal with live musical entertainment and a view of the water.

By the time we got back to the boat, grabbed the dogs for one more walk, and hit the sack, it was nearly 23:00 - well past "cruiser's midnight".

Total distance covered: 36 miles

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

To inflate or not to inflate... that is the question

I recently saw a link to a video on a blog that I read called ZerotoCruising. Mario Vittone discusses why he prefers traditional life vests over the newer inflatable models. Mario knows a little about this topic as a retired Coast Guard Warrant Officer and rescue swimmer.

I'll admit that when sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, we don't often wear PFD's when out pleasure sailing for the day. But if the weather turns crappy, or if someone needs to go forward on deck at night, it is required. I've been looking at the inflatables, thinking it might encourage me to wear one more often, but now I'm having second thoughts. Well worth your time to watch.

The settings of the video prevent me from embedding it here but you can view it by clicking the picture below:

Friday, June 26, 2015

From the Pensieve - Memories of Dad - Installment 3

In early February of 2015, my father passed away. In preparing for our remarks at his funeral, my brother Carl and I began putting together short stories of our times boating with Dad. In the interest of preserving these stories, we thought it would be a fun exercise to share them here as a series of blog entries. Over the next several months, new installments will appear on occasion.

Snallygaster Creek

When I was very small, Dad used to tease us about a mythical creature called a Snallygaster. He said there was a creek named after it. Even promised me that we would visit there one day on the boat.

At the time I first heard of this mythical creature, I was maybe four or five years old. As near as I can tell, Snallygaster Creek is some unnamed cove off the Choptank River. I was a little young to read charts at the time but I always remember being near Oxford, so that must be the place.

Every year we went on our annual week-long boat trip on the Chesapeake Bay. We often buddy-
Legato III and WindSong rafted together.
boated with Mom & Dad's friends Ellen and Bill Riddle, who also had a sailboat. Every evening we would arrive at the same destination and raft the boats together, sharing food, drinks, and stories. Part way through one particular trip, we were all sitting around in the evening. Dad and Mr. Bill were discussing the next day's destination. Dad mentioned going to Snallygaster Creek. Mr. Bill made some lame excuse about needing to go to Oxford to meet his relatives and maybe he would catch up with us later in the week. I think he was scared.

Wimp. I wasn't scared. Much...

So the next morning we were off to the mythical Snallygaster Creek. It was a relatively short trip, and we were anchored safely by early afternoon. Dad got the dinghy ready so he could take the dog ashore to do what dogs do ashore. "Do you want to go with us?", he asked. "No. I'm hungry. I want to stay here and eat a snack", I said. Later in the afternoon, Dad tried numerous tactics to get me in the dinghy, or go for a swim. I was having none of it. I didn't want to risk having an encounter with a Snallygaster. It was the longest afternoon and evening on the boat, ever. No water activities. As luck would have it, we never did see a Snallygaster, that day, or ever.

I never saw a Snallygaster until just today when I Googled it. Wouldn't you know I found a picture of one. Of course we all know since I saw it on the Internet it must be real, right? Then I looked a little further down the search results.

According to Wikipedia: 

The Snallygaster was a mythical legend that had roots in the German immigrant population of Maryland, going back as far as the 1700s. Early accounts describe the community being terrorized by a monster called a Schneller Geist, meaning "quick spirit" in German. The earliest incarnations mixed the half-bird features of a siren with the nightmarish features of demons and ghouls. The Snallygaster was described as half-reptile, half-bird with a metallic beak lined with razor-sharp teeth, occasionally with octopus-like tentacles. It swoops silently from the sky to pick up and carry off its victims. The earliest stories claim that this monster sucked the blood of its victims. Seven-pointed stars, which reputedly kept the Snallygaster at bay, can still be seen painted on local barns. 

Scary creature, this Snallygaster. Clearly I was right to fear him. Apparently I was not safe on the boat either because this beast had wings! Good thing my 6 year-old self didn't know about that little tidbit. A blood sucking monster with wings? And how is it possible that we went there without one of those 7 pointed stars painted on our boat? Irresponsible parenting, I tell you!

Over the years, the Snallygaster became a running joke with Dad, and I'm fairly certain that at some point or another, some mention of Snallygasters was made to the grandchildren. Strange, I never noticed that gleam in his eye years ago when he spoke of it... I guess I was too terrified to notice.

Then I found out that Washington DC has a Beer festival every year called Snallygaster.  Looks like a road trip in September of this year may be in order. Who's afraid of a Beer festival? Not me...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Being good Sailing Guests (and Hosts)

Just found a great article in Spinsheet magazine about being a good guest (and host) when out sailing. A must-read for anyone who likes to sail on OPB (other people's boats).

Read the article here: How to be a good guest and host

We have had the pleasure of having many friends out sailing since we acquired September Song and I will say that all of this is true. I even learned a few tips from the article on how to be a better host. Worth reading if you're going sailing with me - or anyone else who owns a sailboat.

We've had mostly great experiences with guests aboard. No problem visitors yet...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Picture This: September Song

Last Saturday, we went out sailing and took our friends Rick and Sue. Had a great day introducing them to sailing. They had a blast.

While we were out there, we crossed paths with Étoile. Marcel and Barbie snapped some photos of September Song. Anyone who owns a boat will tell you it's difficult to get pictures of your own boat because you are usually on board.

Next time I'll have to remember my good camera so I can return the favor!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Man's best crew

I've been extremely busy with "life" lately and haven't had time to write much. In my absence, I want to share something that made me smile, which hasn't happened much lately. We have two dogs and enjoy taking them on the boat with us, but they're definitely not this helpful while on board! Enjoy - and have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Last summer I started crewing on a friend's boat in the Wednesday night races on the Patapsco River. They have a beautiful Jeanneau 33iP named Étoile (pronounced ey-twal) that is only a couple of years old. Like most racing associations in North America, we race PHRF so all the different boats in the area can have fun competing against each other. For those of you who don't know, PHRF is a handicapping system that attempts to level the playing field between boats of different sizes, designs, and manufacturers. The PHRF system is somewhat controversial among racing sailors due to the arbitrary way that the numbers are determined.

Last year we were getting beaten like a drum every week, partly due to the fact that there are very few boats of this make and model to help the regional PHRF officials compare for a proper rating. Our handicap number was too low, and we were losing ground every week. Going back through last years results, we were near the bottom of the standings every week. Over the winter, the owners of Étoile, Marcel and Barbie, appealed to the local PHRF regional association with all of their race data and supporting documentation. They were trying to illustrate to the board that our rating of 120 was too low. After much back-and-forth, and comparable rating info to other Jeanneau boats of similar size in other regions, the board relented and assigned Étoile a new rating of 144. That works out to an additional 24 seconds per mile of time taken off after the finish.

Also, over the winter Barbie and Marcel outfitted Étoile with a new set of Fusion M® carbon fiber sails from Quantum Sails Annapolis. These sails are night and day different from the stock sails provided new with the boat from Jeanneau. It's like the difference between buying a suit off the rack at the department store and going to a tailor to have a suit custom made to your exact measurements using only the finest materials. These sails fit perfectly and the boat performs so much better with them. The purchase was definitely money well spent.

Étoile crossing the finish line with a very happy crew!
This past week, in our first race of the year, we got off to a great start, picked the right side of the course, and stayed out of the worst of the foul tide that was fighting us. We noticed that the leading boat, Cecile Rose, rounded mark 1 on the port side. The route sheet specified a starboard rounding. More on that in a minute...

We managed to stay within a reasonable distance of the leaders and did not allow anyone to overtake us. We crossed the line 3rd overall. Cecile Rose was ultimately penalized with a RAF (Retired After Finishing) for rounding a mark the wrong way. Basically, RAF is used when a skipper breaks a rule during the race and does not take the necessary penalty turns before finishing. RAF is sort of like forfeiting the race. The second boat across the line, Caribbean Magic, had a lower handicap number than us which meant that on this night they owed us over 5 minutes in corrected time. When the dust settled, the RAFs and handicaps were applied and we had slipped into the lead by 20 seconds. Somehow we had pulled off a win! First place on corrected time! What a great way to start 2015. Now we just need to keep it going...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Karma's a "you know what"...

I'm sitting in traffic waiting at a red light waiting to turn to port. There are 2 lanes dedicated for port turns and one lane for going either straight or to starboard. I'm the fourth vehicle in the left lane amongst a LOT of cars.

The light changes to green and the first 2 cars in my lane move along. The guy in front of me is just sitting there. After a few seconds I give one of those polite little beeps on the horn. You know, kinda like “Pardon me, my fellow traveler. The traffic in front of you has departed and I'm not sure why this wasn't obvious to you, but perhaps now you might endeavor to get along as well so we all don't have to sit through this damn light again”.

I can see his eyes rise up to the rear view mirror and then drop back down towards his lap. Either he and his navel are deep in a very important conversation or he's texting. He either didn't notice that the light has changed and the cars in front of him are long gone or he is just an inconsiderate jerk. Either way, the light is green dude, lets get moving. So I lay into the horn in one of those prolonged blasts as the people behind me join in with their own chorus of horn blasts.

It's about this time that I realize that one of the cars in the adjacent lane has stopped next to me.  I look over and its a uniformed officer in a marked car. Right at this moment the genius in the car in front of me sticks his hand up through the sunroof and flips me off while still clutching his cellphone as he pulls away. I turn my head and pull my sunglasses down on my nose and stare over them at the cop. He gives me a smirk and pulls ahead of me as we make our turns.

He then proceeded to pull Mr. Cellphone over. While being fortunate to witness Karma dishing out a dose of cosmic justice I still had to gloat a bit. As I slowly rolled by Mr. Cellphone I gave him another toot on the horn and when he looked up I held my hand to my head and gave him the international sign for “call me”.

I'm pretty sure the rest of my day will be better than his.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Picture This: USCG Barq Eagle

Yesterday while out for a sail on the bay, I caught a glimpse of the Eagle as she was departing Curtis Bay, headed for New London, CT.
You can see more about the Eagle here: USCG Eagle

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

In Memoriam

In memory of Jeff Schiding

December 22, 1963 - April 10, 2015
December 22, 1963
December 22, 1963
December 22, 1963

Jeff at the helm of Serenity with Sophie on the lookout
In life we cross paths with many people who have an impact on us. Jeff Schiding was one such individual for me. I first met Jeff in 1999 when we worked in the same department at work. He always seemed like such a happy-go-lucky person, with an outsized personality, but with a touch of chicken little. Anyone who knew him will know exactly what I mean by that.

Jeff and I became fast friends and after spending hours in a server room working on computers, we soon discovered via our conversations that we both had a love of sailing. He always referred to himself as a wannabe sailor, because he had spent the majority of his sailing time in dinghys and small sailboats. More recently he had acquired a derelict Catalina 22 and lovingly restored her to usable condition. The boat's name is Serenity.

Over the years we would work together for a while, then one of us would change departments. We went on like this until 3 years ago, when I came to work with him again. It was at about the same time that I began the process of acquiring my current sailboat, September Song. Jeff was clearly very excited for me that I was making this big step, and was so interested in every little detail. After my purchase was finalized, Jeff was the very first guest I had aboard for the shake-down cruise. It just so happened that we had a very "interesting" time trying to dock the boat in a slip at Ego Alley in Annapolis. Since that day, Jeff would take delight in telling the story to all who would listen when the subject of my boat would come up. Whenever he would launch into the story to some new person, I would always cringe a little inside, knowing that it revealed some not-so-great seamanship skills on my part. Now I wish I could hear him tell the story just one more time...

We spent hours talking about my boat, maintenance, problems I had encountered and fixed...  He joked with me that someday he would be buying my boat, as he knew the maintenance history and was fairly certain that he could negotiate a fair price.

He was proud of his family and spoke all the time of his wife Jenn and son Zack. Recently they found out that Zack was accepted to Penn State University. That was definitely a great day for Jeff and his family.

Very recently, he had begun his own odyssey of yacht purchasing. He was in the midst of a search and had enlisted the help of a yacht broker to show him some boats. On April 9th, I accompanied him to look at a 32 footer that he was interested in. By the time we left the yard that day, it seemed like he was ready to sign a contract. He was on cloud nine. It was the last time I would see him.

On Friday April 10th, just one day later, Jeff took the day off from work and was home by himself. Sometime that morning, he suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. He was 51 years old. They found him on the sofa with his laptop open on his lap. No doubt looking at sailboat listings...

What is dying? - By Charles Henry Brent

"What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “She is gone!” 
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,
“There she comes” – and that is dying.”

In the fall of 2014, Jeff's father had passed away after a long battle with cancer. I like to think that the person standing on the shore watching him arrive was his Dad. Reunited with family. That is all we can hope for when someone passes. That they find peace and comfort on the other side.

Rest in peace, my friend, rest in peace...

Friday, March 27, 2015

From the Pensieve - Memories of Dad - Installment 2

In early February of 2015, my father passed away. In preparing for our remarks at his funeral, my brother Carl and I began putting together short stories of our times boating with Dad. In the interest of preserving these stories, we thought it would be a fun exercise to share them here as a series of blog entries. Over the next several weeks, new installments will appear on occasion.

Today's entry is a guest post written by my brother Carl. 

The Dinghy 

Doug keeping watch on the crab lines
When I was a kid, my dad had a series of sailboats and eventually settled on a Coronado 25, naming it “Legato III”.  With Dad’s love of music and singing, the name Legato was a perfect fit – a musical term meaning smooth and flowing. Both my brother Doug and I can honestly say that we have been sailing since we were in diapers, with a total of over 100 years of sailing between us, technically speaking… And boy did we have a charmed life growing up boating. Overnight trips all around the bay with Dad and Mom, Mom prepping our sandwiches and iced tea before getting underway in the morning, Dad navigating us to all corners of the bay, us boys rowing the dinghy far out of sight of the mother ship at anchor (and we survived…), dipping crabs from the surface of slate flat water while motoring to our next destination, and sometimes overcoming adversity along the way.

Carl rowing the old dinghy with Fritz navigating
Oddly enough, the family dinghy in the early years was a 10’ wooden rowboat. Our 25’ sailboat, towing a heavy wooden dinghy, certainly lost a knot of speed in the process. The dinghy dated back decades, as the tender for my Grandfather’s 50’ yacht. So every year Dad would painstakingly scrape and repaint, repair, and replace. That dinghy gave Doug and I the freedom to explore many an anchorage and beyond.

On one trip at the mouth of the Chester River we were slammed with the typical fast moving Chesapeake squall line with 50 knot winds that whipped up 4’ seas. Mom, Doug, and I were down below hanging on, mostly oblivious to the struggle topsides, while Dad was motoring as fast as he could to duck into a creek for shelter. As we crested a wave, the dinghy painter snapped and he helplessly watched as it drifted away from the boat. He yelled “Carl, get up here, now!” I scrambled on deck, in the driving rain and wind, and he showed me what had happened and said “Put this life jacket on. I’m going to turn this boat around and get right up close to the dinghy. You keep this line in your hand, and when we get close enough you jump into the dinghy. Then weave the line through the stem hole and tie your best knot around the bench seat.”

So I’m 12 years old, and not knowing any better I went along with his plan. And damn if he didn’t get us there, I jumped, and tied, and somehow managed to get BACK in the sailboat - all still in 4’ seas and driving rain. But that’s what sailors do. Dad’s calm and determined demeanor was what made it seem like such a piece of cake. And I like to think that was a coming of age of sorts for me…

Alex and his friend enjoying the restored El Toro
Even though we saved the dinghy that day, soon thereafter Dad purchased an 8’ El Toro sailing dinghy. Being fiberglass and much lighter, it towed wonderfully. The sailing rig was put to use by all of us at anchor and around our home creek. The great thing about the El Toro is that after being in mothballs for decades, I just recently cleaned it up, re-rigged a few things, and it’s now used by my own boys. Not bad for a 40 year old dinghy!

Editor's note: Carl told a shorter version of this story as part of Dad's eulogy recently. Later in the day, at the wake, I asked Mom how long it was before she heard the story about Dad putting his 12 year old son into an unsecured dinghy during a thunderstorm. Her answer: "Well, let's see, Carl is 55 now, and he was 12 then, so that makes it 43 years - today was the first time I heard that story! We were closed up in the cabin, so I had no idea what was happening out there that day."
I thought that answer was really amazing.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

From the Pensieve - Memories of Dad - Installment 1

In early February of 2015, my father passed away. In preparing for our remarks at his funeral, my brother Carl and I began putting together short stories of our times boating with Dad. In the interest of preserving these stories, we thought it would be a fun exercise to share them here as a series of blog entries. Over the next several weeks, new installments will appear on occasion.

Some of the earliest memories I have in my life revolve around boating. I know for a fact that I was still in diapers the first time I set foot on a sailboat. From the picture here, it's clear that Dad started out on boats while he was still in diapers as well. It's in the blood. I'm pretty sure that my brother Carl and I both attribute our love of boating and being on the water to Dad's love of the bay and sailing. We spent many happy hours at our grandparents house on Stoney Creek, swimming, sailing, rowing, and just being at the beach.

So, naturally, over the years, I've had a few sailboats of my own. In 2012, Janet and I bought our current sailboat. Soon after the purchase was finalized, Dad, Carl, and I gathered in Annapolis one beautiful Saturday morning to deliver the boat from Annapolis back to our home marina in Pasadena. I had spent the night alone on the boat, in a slip on Ego Alley. Dad and Carl arrived early in the morning and we shoved off for home.

As we sailed the boat up the bay, the three of us took turns at the wheel. It was a perfect day. The kind of day on the bay that just makes you glad to be alive. The breeze was just the right speed, the seas were relatively calm, and the bay was full of sailboats, streaming out of Annapolis - all headed somewhere different, or in some cases, headed nowhere special. Ask any sailor and he will tell you - anytime two sailboats are heading in the same direction, there is a race. We can't help ourselves. There were numerous sailboats headed the same way we were and we had a fun time trying to pass as many of them as we could. The three of us, working together, all experienced sailors, needed few words to communicate the actions being taken. Sail trim and helmsmanship working in concert to glide us along smoothly.

It seemed like every time Dad was at the wheel, the boat went a little faster. At first I thought it was my imagination. So the next time I handed off to him, I checked the speed on the GPS. Sure enough, the speed picked up by almost a knot within a few moments of him taking over. Those of you unfamiliar with sailing may not be very impressed with a 1 knot speed increase, but keep in mind that at a speed of 4 knots, a 1 knot increase is a 25% improvement. 

Over and over, through the rest of the 20 mile trip, I witnessed this same thing whenever he took over. Later, when we were safely docked, I asked Dad about the speed increases that I noticed. He looked at me, winked, and said "I taught you most of what you know about sailing, but I didn't teach you everything *I* know." Maybe someday I will figure out what he was doing.