Monthly Archives: January 2022


I got my new Enya Tenor Uke just a little while ago. It took a superhuman effort to drive all the way back from town before ripping the packaging apart.The traditional ukulele tuning runs like this, from top to bottom when holding the instrument…gCEA. The lower case g represents a “High G.” It gives a crisp sound. It SOUNDS like a uke. “Low G” tuning replaces the top string with one that’s thicker, and sounds an octave lower. It is essential for playing “alternating bass” which is commonly found in the kind of music I love which runs towards blues, folk, and country. You can’t get that with the High G tuning, technically called “reentrant tuning.”

I bought my first Enya uke in concert size. At the time it was the only size they offered. I got it since living on a small boat is tough on stuff and the Enya is made with a carbon fiber body that is impervious to water and moisture and can take tougher knocking around than a wooden uke. I love the thing and it had absorbed me for hours while bobbing around on the end of a rope off of Anna Maria Island and here deep in The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida.The down-side of the instrument is that the frets are moulded into the fretboard so, naturally, they are made from the same carbon fiber material as the body. In the product description of the uke they specifically say, “NOT compatible with wound strings or strings containing metallic compounds.” Low G strings are generally wound with metal and while the uke material can take being banged around, the use of the wire-wound strings eats away at the frets, eventually ruining the instrument. (Before anyone comments, I KNOW they make unwound Low G strings, but many of THOSE contain metal particles in them and Enya says DON’T USE THEM.)When Enya blew up the size of the uke from Concert to Tenor they embedded metal frets so, as the product information in the ads says, “The frets are upgraded to metal material this time, with rounded edges. They never wear, and they never scratch your hand. Please feel free to put on the low G string.” The ukulele is shipped with reentrant tuning, so when I ordered it I also ordered a Low G string, too.

I had to take the picture of the box with my new Enya Tenor Ukulele and the new Low G string. The box is so long I had to take the photo on the gangplank since there was no room on the boat.
The box inside the box and the Low G string.
Like a set of Russian nesting dolls this was the THIRD box in the package.
This was everything inside the third box. The Enya Nova Tenor Ukulele, a semi-rigid carrying case, a strap, a capo, a spare set of reentrant strings and a booklet.
My original Enya on the left and the new Tenor. You can see the metal frets on the uke. I also like the feel of the wider neck.


Filed under Uncategorized

It’s Been A Whole Year

When I opened Facebook this morning the “Memories” said it’s my anniversary here in The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida….Prognosticators have prognosticated that the temp’s going to get up to the low 70sF with a 40% chance of rain in the afternoon Beats three foot of snow.

It’s a different Florida here than what I’ve been used to since coming down to attend the University of Miami. (“Attend” is the key word because I sure didn’t study a whole lot that year.) I spent 45+ years off-and-on around Fort Lauderdale and another 5 bouncing around on the end of a rope in a 22-foot sailboat off of Anna Maria island on the Gulf side. When my COPD got to the point where I realized i just couldn’t cope with that anymore my FB friend Capt’n Natural Lee offered my this spot in The Swamp. Traded dolphins and diving pelicans for gators, gobblers, and deet (lol. I meant to say “deer” but living here in mosquito land Deet has become my friend) . I like it here.


Filed under Uncategorized

How To Be A Mechanical Genius

I run a couple of boat-related groups on Facebook. Recently I posted this…

 Someone commented: “I have one….works on BSW too! (British Standard Whitworth)” That led me to write:

My Whitworth story:

I sincerely doubt that many members of the group have any inkling of what a “Whitworth” is. Briefly: British Standard Whitworth (BSW) is an imperial-unit-based screw thread standard devised and specified by Joseph Whitworth in 1841 and later adopted as a British Standard.  It was the world’s first national screw thread standard. Until then, the only standardization was what little had been done by individual people and companies, with some companies’ in-housestandards spreading a bit within their industries.

My first encounter with the Whitworth came when a friend and I were running a marine repair business in Fort Lauderdale years ago. We handled all the maintenance work for a large marine repo company. A Hong Kong-built trawler was seized and brought to the holding dock. It had a badly leaking stuffing box on one of the propeller shafts because of a missing bolt. 

I tried to find a replacement but discovered that an American-standard bolt was too large, and a metric bolt was just a hair off in the other direction. As a last resort I went to Parker-Merrick Company, specialists in industrial fasteners and explained my problem. 

“Oh,” the man behind the counter said, “You have a Whitworth.”

“What the hell’s that?” I asked. 

“An obscure British standard. You can’t find them here. We don’t have any either. We can order one. It would take a few weeks to get it though and it would cost an arm and a leg.”

Well, I left and explained the results of my inquiries to my friend, a real gear-head, who said he knew what a Whitworth was. “Jaguar uses them. You can disassemble a Jag using American wrenches except for two bolts. For some reason those are Whitworths. I had to modify a couple of wrenches when I was working on Jags in New York.”

Interesting information for a trivia freak like me but no help for our problem. We eventually made some modifications to the stuffing box and stopped the leaking.

About a year later I was picking up some parts at Engine Rebuilder’s Warehouse for a Mercruiser we were repairing when an elderly black gentleman came in with a bolt in his hand. 

“I’ve got a problem,” he said, holding up the bolt. “I’m working on a car and this bolt is weird. An American bolt is too big and a metric bolt is too small…”

“You’re working on a Jaguar,” I said.

“Yep,” he answered with a wrinkled forehead, surprised I’d say that.

“Well, what you have there is a ‘Whitworth'” I said.

“What the hell is that?” both he and the guy behind the counter said almost simultaneously.

I explained what it was to their edification and walked out of the place as if I was a mechanical genius. That’s hardly so as I have to constantly remind myself, “Righty, tighty…”

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Un-rueful C’est La Vie (That’s Life)

Polly The World’s Most Mellow Pit Bull, from next door, stops by daily to say hello and get some pats. Sometimes she just comes down to loll around on the gangplank in the sun for a while. That’s life here in The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida…

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized