Just how I want it

The remodel is coming along. Rosie finally came on Sunday and removed the rest of her crappola! ( after this photo was taken). You can see the painting progress:

The kitchen is finished and it's exactly what I wanted (only I wish it was a bit bigger!)How. frickin. gorgeous. is my La Crusette skillet! You can sort of see the effect of the skylight in this photo.


Pictures of People

Here we are, the 3rd year class after mapping a fast 2-days in the Nuy Valley Several of them have expressed interest in doing an Hons thesis with me. So exciting! I'm off to the CGS (the Council for Geoscience, USGS equivalent body) on Monday to find hanging projects in the mapping division. Should be some kick-ass Western Cape Structure coming out of my (future) research group in the next 12 months. Very exciting.


Eric makes the boat go

We picked up Eric, Sandwiches, Chips, and Beer in Marshall. Three adults and three lunches (one a landlubber) makes a very full dinghy. The sun was high, wind was fresh but warm.

"So, how does this whole "sailing" thing work, anyway?"
"Dude I already turned off the engine"
"Dude you're luffing."
"Dude, you're driving."

Eric experiences weather helm

The Rowes enjoying the day

We anchored at White Gulch and I went for a row. Pretty evening. Pretty rocks. Elk. Kelp. Quiet.

Upon return to Amable, I discovered the inevitable consequence of leaving the boys alone aboard for 2 hours: out of beer. This "emergency" necessitated a full steam run to Inverness, the last potentially open store on the bay, all the way at the far other end.
Eric seemed to enjoy the bow wave but could not be coaxed onto the rotted, bouncey bowsprit pulpit. Lubber!

The shallow water made Sila slow down at sunset. I didn't capture the thousands of pulsing jellyfish here. Their bells softly touched the surface of the water without making any ripples. I hate to drive through them or put my oars into the water in fear of sweeping them up too roughly.

As the designated beer buyer (that's biatch to those of you watching at home), I rowed in past the Inverness Yacht club, found some hippies, walked to town through thickets of poison oak barefoot in the gathering dark, found the store closed, and begged (BEGGED!) a 12-pack of Heineken from the Czech guy who runs the restaurant, at wildly inflated prices. I can't even say how much I paid him, it's too embarrassing, but since he clearly wasn't going to do another sale that night and it wasn't exactly legal, I let it go. Hiked back through the woods and rowed out in the now VERY DARK to the deeper water where I thought Amable was eagerly awaiting me!

Duress increasing, I rowed circles around every anchored boat I could see - seemed to take hours - (no I don't have a watch) and couldn't find them. I started wondering if they had left me! Seemed incredible but no sign of the boat. Finally, exhausted, I rowed in toward the Golden Hinde where there appeared to be some kind of social activity going on. As I got closer, I could make out one boat tied up to the visitors dock, the mast slowly emerging from the sea of masts in the yacht basin behind. A very familiar boat, with no lights on....

Long story short, we spent the night anchored at Heart's Desire Beach, a place I vaguely remember going for a family group camp thing when I was 8ish? Dad's last ditch effort to be a camping family perhaps? Even 20 years on, I can remember that I liked it and Mom didn't! In the morning I had to go ashore and look for familiar places - Once on the beach, it seemed too cold to swim back so I hired a water taxi...


Sila and the Earth

Little known fact: My husband and THE EARTH have the same birthday (separated by a mere 5981 years). So in honor of the occasion, I have double knit a Jollyfish Hat. The Jollyfish is the mascot (of sorts) of the Pastafarian followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have spoofed allied with advocates of the teaching of intelligent design (ID) in American public schools. As long, that is, as all ID theories are included, including the Creation Story of the Noodley Appendage. (if you haven't yet, you really must click the link and read the Open Letter to the Kansas Board of Education).

As a corollory, the FSM points out that since the early 1800s, the global population of pirates has decreased just as global warming was increasing! The correlation is clear. Therefore, the only way to combat global warming is to increase the number of pirates.

One more for you, FSM


Sailing the San Andreas Fault

Realized I didn't ever finish the posts about our sailing trip in July. It was incredible! I started here with some pictures from Angel Island and then continued here with coming out the Golden Gate and then I quit. Why? In favor of knitting posts.

Anyway, the first day out the gate we made it all the way into Bodega Bay, which we didn't photograph because we just walked around and looked at the hole formerly known as the future nuclear power plant.
An aside: if it's just too darn easy to make a huge hole in a granodiorite mountain, or turn a quartz diorite mountain into road base, you might be on the San Andreas Fault!

We saw some whales from Bodega Head, and also met a guy who goes on whale-hugging tours to the Baja calving grounds. This was, naturally, someone I found strange enough to be interesting and Mr. Thielke found crazy weirdo to be avoided until he said the two magic words, "wooden" and "boat". Funny how the tide turns then! Ha ha tide.

We worked our way in through a very scary unmarked channel. Sila noticed one of the markers was off its spot. Sila can read charts and maps better than I can, as long as they don't involve any roads. I argued with Sila and Sila was right. If I had won the argument, we would have been in the mud on a dropping tide. In the San Andreas Fault. Observe the harbor seals hauled out in the middle of the bay.

Once we got through the treacherous mouth, Tomales Bay was a perfect dream. Couldn't be more beautiful and peaceful and idyllic and all the superlatives I can think of. We anchored at White Gulch, across the water from the little town of Marshall, for a few hours. There were elk in the hills and there are some relatively young coarse arenites there with some seriously cool deformation bands, but I'll spare you that for the moment.

We sailed down toward Inverness at sunset and then went back to White Gulch to spend the night.


One other thing that's cooler in Cape Town

I walked a new way home from work the other night, along the M3 highway - won't do it again because it requires running across the offramp to the N2 - dumb idea, although there is a path and it picks up on the other side, and people are clearly expected to run across the flippin freeway. The commuters don't even look anymore but there are a variety of African buck on the slopes of Devil's Peak - I think they were part of Cecil's estate at one point and now they just live there, between the UCT campus and the city bowl. There are Zebra too but I didn't get a picture of them.

Foreground: psycho speeding minibus taxi. Background: two wildebeast.

Things which are better in the states

OK I have been here for eight months now and it's time to talk about things that were better back home. Let's be honest. There are some things which are American which I just miss. There are also some things about life in Cape Town that are... well... unfortunate.

Things which are unfortunate about Cape Town:
  • No bike lanes or bike paths to get around town
  • public transport scary at night (southern suburbs) or all the time (most of the city)
  • people drive like maniacs
  • hard to get nice vegetables
  • fish is always overcooked, fries are undercooked (cold and floppy and greasy!)
  • internet is charged by the MB, not unlimited!
  • sometimes it is just too damn windy to think.

Things which I just miss about living in America:
  • Knowing how to do things and go places without having to ask
  • Breakfast burritos
  • coffee for sale in the morning (before 8:30! like at 5:30 sometimes!)
  • chatting with my brother every day

Things which are better in Cape Town than in America:
  • Eating out is cheap, I have been eating out every day since my fridge broke! lazy.
  • My job is slowly advancing to a point which might be less stressful than being a grad student... maybe
  • I can afford my cool little house


Doubly-plunging overturned folds!

We were getting ready to send the students out into the field and I showed them again what the symbols are for putting folds on a map. When I came to the doubly-plunging overturned syncline, I literally said, "I've never seen one and I sincerely doubt you'll need this symbol, but here it is anyway..."

That same afternoon I was out walking around with Cat (the demonstrator) and we came upon this:

I'm calling it the Lilly Pad Pond for now - giving areas and features good names like in Poleta. Just part of my daily quest to be a little bit more like Hilde Schwartz. I'm calling it this because I swear these swirly folds look like ripples in a pond, or like a bunch of lilly pads. It is HECTIC in there! Love it love it.

The clincher of course is that many, if not most of these folds are doubly plunging and overturned!! So I finally saw my first doubly plunging overturned syncline!!! so kickass. Here's Cat in a doubly plunging overturned anticline I'm calling "Cat's Canoe". The Lilly Pad Pond is in the "chestnut" shales of the lower Prince Albert Fm.

The ridge in the background is the Dwyka 4c ridge and the 4f between Lilly Pad Pond and the ridge is quite deformed as well, if not as easy to see due to its weak bedding. I will go back and work on this place for sure.