Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
Before you take a new boat to sea, you do a “sea trial” to make sure everything is working. Today was the day for the sea trials. It was early afternoon when we went out, so the clear morning had been replaced by stupendous thunderstorm clouds. By about 1PM they were already hard at work cooling the surface …
It was a fun day. I had to go to the top of the mizzen mast (the small mast in the back of the boat) to bring down a halyard (the rope that hoists the sail) and to attach lazy jacks, which are ropes that bundle in the sail when you drop it. It was great fun. (I hope the sailors in the crowd will excuse my defining terms as I go along … most folks aren’t sailors.) Here’s the view from halfway up the mast.
There are five men in the crew, and all of us have at least a thousand sea miles under our keel, some much more. I figure I’ve gone ten thousand miles at sea, and one of the guys has more sea time than that. It’s a pleasure to work with people who know what they are doing. We went out and dropped the anchor, then hauled it back in to make sure it was in good order. After that we cruised around a bit. One of the crew brought his girlfriend from the Solomon Islands …
The ship in the picture above is an oil tanker. There’s no fuel dock, so they moor offshore and unload by submarine hose. We came back into Vuda Point Marina in good order. All systems seem to be working.
In the late afternoon, I put together my po’ boy ocean thermometer … it’s a regular thermometer given to me by a friend from this blog (many thanks, amigo) that I mounted in a piece of plastic pipe to keep it from breaking. Actually, my friend mailed it to me in the pipe, so today I just modified it to take a line, and I cut a hole to make it readable inside the pipe.
Eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit in the shade … but the evening was lovely, a beautiful sunset from the bar, the thatched-roof building that you see on the right of the picture above the thermometer … I have no idea who the woman is, but she completed the picture nicely. Fiji, gotta love it.
Best wishes to all, here’s hoping that the creeks don’t rise,