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:: Sunday, November 14, 2004 ::

The revenue cutter Californian. If you notice, her four gun ports are open. She later shot at us. :) Nov 13th, 2004 near 35'33'' N 117'16" West. That's near Mexican waters.

I suppose soon after 1230 or 1pm it stopped clearing and shortly after the sun came out. Problem was that the rain had some wind with it. And when it went, so did our movement. By three PM we were drifting in bright sunshine several miles off the shore and apparently in Mexican waters. I have heard the term before ‘floating’ to describe what we did for a while, but the crew called it DTW – dead in the water. An apt description. This would have caused some issue 120 years ago, but we had a tug at our disposal.

Somewhere around this time – before we were attacked by the Californian, I was talking with a couple of the docents and museum members – everyone is named Bob apparently – and telling my stories. One asked if I had any pics of me onboard. I said yes but it would be nice to have one at the wheel – but thought that would be a dangerous idea. ? One of them immediately went up and asked the crewmember whom I had taken several pics of so far as he tended to his duties – and I got my turn to steer the ship for a few moments – well sort of.

I know I wasn’t being asked to take the ship on any particular course and ‘steer for the first star to the right and straight on till morning” but it was certainly something I won’t soon forget. I later told the Captain that hearing him give commands to the crew as they climbed the rigging, and unfurled the sails and adjusted the booms gave me a real flavour of what it might have been like under another Captain. Watching the crew as they manipulated a confusing array of ropes (they are not called ropes in nautical terms apparently), and easing and applying tension on both sides of the ship to modify the sail positions to catch the wind, to say nothing of climbing up in the rigging in the rain, was impressive. Spectacular. One of the crew told me later in the day when it was dry, that had they been dockside they would not have been allowed to go up and do what they did as it would have been too dangerous. But ,as we both said at the same time, “…at sea you have to do what you have to to get the job done.”

Carpe Diem

:: Mike Wood 23:18 [+] :: 0 comments


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