A trip to Biloxi (or Biloxi Bobby)

One of the items on the upgrade list was new anchor chain. Not any old chain, but US made, high test, hot dipped galvanized chain. Only Acco/Peerless would do. I started shopping for chain and found it to be expensive. I could get a good price on the chain but then shipping was a killer. Since we were going to be in Alabama I figured that I might be able to buy the chain there and haul it home in the car. Through the good folks on Cruisersforum.com I got pointed in the direction of a store in Biloxi. I called there and had an extremely hard time understanding the woman on the phone. Eventually we connected and I was quoted a very fair price on the chain. We made plans to stop in Biloxi on the way home from Alabama. A week or so before it was time to go to Biloxi, I called to firm things up. I talked to a man there and once again I could barely understand what was being said. I chalked this up to my poor northern hearing and this guys southern English. I told him that I didn’t want to pay the Mississippi sales tax since I’m from Montana and we have no sales tax. We went around for a while and I understood him to say that if we would pay in cash there would be no sales tax. Sounded a little shady but what the heck. Finally, I told him that I’d email him to get the details straight and asked for his name. I didn’t understand what he said so I asked him to spell it. “B-O-B-B-Y, Bobby” was his answer.

We showed up in Biloxi with a pocket full of hundred dollar bills and met Bobby, who happened to be Chinese. That explained a lot. My Montana ears were definitely no match for his Chinese southern English. Unfortunately the chain had been ordered late and wasn’t going to arrive in time for us to take it with us. In the end though, Bobby was able to get the chain drop shipped to us from the factory for a very reasonable shipping charge. So the chain is now in the yard, waiting to have some nylon rode added to it and be pulled into the rode locker.

Made in the USA

Made in the USA

Waiting to Come Aboard

Waiting to Come Aboard

What’s in a Name

Our Cabo Rico came to us with an unusual name, “Jiibay Na Noodin”. The previous owner shared a story about the owner before who was Ojibwe Indian and hailed from Lake Orion, Michigan. The story went that it was Ojibwe custom to go before the tribal council to name things of importance. Evidently the Ojibwe were sailors and recognized a Cabo Rico as something of importance. We researched Ojibwe language on line and learned that Jiibay means “ghost” or “spirit” and “Noodin” means wind or it is windy. Thinking that this meant “Wind Spirit” or something similar, we were still unsure of the meaning of the name. I contacted a couple of folks familiar with Ojibwe and one of them suggested that the meaning could be “Ghost Wind”. Thinking “what the heck is a ghost wind”, I went back to Google and learned that Ghostwinds were indian war horses with some very admirable traits. Traits that would also be admirable in an ocean going sailboat. A couple of quotes from the web.

“Ghost Wind horses carried big medicine. Along with their stealth, they were exceptionally intelligent. They were trained to be fierce combatants, but, like warrior-poets, they were also renowned for their complacent and docile nature.” Their value to the tribe was known to be greater than that of any human”

“Considered to be forever wild, a Ghost Wind was never “owned,” but simply watched over by a caretaker or custodian. Still, its training was intense. It could be counted on to continue an attack against a foe, even after its rider had fallen. Yet, such was the training and nature of this forceful warrior that, returning directly from the violence of warfare, a small child could handle it. A noble spirit, indeed.

We’re not 100% sure of the meaning, but I’m happy to believe that we are caretakers of Jiibay Na Noodin, “Ghostwind”.

We have changed her USCG registered name to “Noodin”, her nickname. “Noodin” by itself means something similar to “it is windy” or “the wind blows”, so this could be a fitting name by itself. But her name will never change and her full name will always be on the boat. The documented name change came about because I wasn’t eager to spell out her full name for a bridge tender or the coastguard. “Juliet, India, India, Bravo, Alpha, Yankee, November, Alpha, November, Oscar, Oscar, Delta, India, November” is just to much to say on the radio. “November, Oscar, Oscar, Delta, India, November” will be plenty.

"Ghost Wind"

“Ghost Wind”

Renewed in Alabama

We took the long drive from Montana to Orange Beach, Alabama to escape the dreariness of winter and to take a break from the stresses of getting Noodin ready to travel. We brought a couple of projects with us but we were able to forget most of the work that awaits us when we get home. The weather was sunny and warm which was a welcome change from the cold and darkness of the Hellgate Canyon where we currently live. All in all, our time in Alabama accomplished what we hoped.

On Valentine’s Day, Phebe and I renewed our marriage vows on the beach on Perdido Key. There were many couples with us that day but to us we there there alone. It was very fitting to renew our commitment to each other as this new stage in our lives unfolds.

Alabama is now behind us and we look forward to all that lies ahead.