Spammers. Proof that everything created for good can be used for evil.
While our little blog sees a couple hundred visitors on an average day, we receive thousands of comments. Most relate to designer shoes, handbags, fake designer sunglasses, and other junk in several different languages. And of course porn. Most originate from the foreign countries (many IP addresses from China). Oddly, most are targeted at one particular post from last year. Recently, the number of these comments has been ratcheting up to the point that the server can’t handle the load. Performance has frequently been slow. 95% of recent traffic to the server was comment spam bots. We’ve tried many things to stop this traffic. We’ve modified the firewall configuration and blocked IP addresses. We have added a little captcha confirmation to the comment submission process in the hope that only a real person can submit a comment. We’ve even deleted the target post. (I don’t think anyone will miss it.)
Hopefully we have resolved the problem for now and we can get back to post our usual exciting and informative content.
OK. I know this is a bit late. So let’s roll the wayback machine back a couple weeks and pretend this post is timely. We just returned from two weeks in the Gulf Islands. We had such a great time that I didn’t keep the blog updated while we were on our voyage.
I’ve known Bruce for over 45 years now. We met in elementary school. Despite this, he foolishly agreed to come along with us for a week in the Gulf Islands. I had envisioned a week of indentured servitude where we (he) would get a bit of work done around the boat. Kim, on the other hand, thought we should let him participate in the relaxation and fun. Sadly, she won. That was probably good for Bruce, but the projects are still undone.
Johnny and Robin, friends from California are looking for a boat to buy. We thought it would be nice to invite them up for a long weekend and show them how just how fantastic boating around Seattle can be.
Johnny and Robin have chartered in both the San Juan and Gulf Islands. Their last adventure was aboard a Nordic Tug 42. So they are familiar with Northwest boating. We wanted to show them some of the sites, how we use our boat, and just generally have a great time on the water.
We decided to try something new this year for the Fourth of July. We decided to watch the fireworks on Lake Union. We usually avoid crowds and especially crowds of boats. But for some unknown reason, we threw caution to the wind this year. The challenge for us is that we can’t see the north half of the lake from our slip so we had to venture out into the fray and anchor in the melee of boats. This year we were feeling brave.
The fireworks are fantastic, but the “pre show” on the lake is equally entertaining.
We motored over to Poulsbo on Friday and spent most of Saturday there. We anchored outside the marina. While the weather wasn’t wonderful, it was pleasant enough. Very little wind left us with calm flat water. Everything was still and quiet … and gray and overcast, but still pleasant. Saturday was Flag Day*.
We passed the largest vessel we have ever encountered in Liberty Bay on the way to the marina. American Cruise Line’s American Spirit was anchored in the deeper part of the bay and busy ferrying passengers to waiting buses on shore.