Only Two Occurrences of Note

September 28, 2019

Days at Sea: 294
Days Since Departure: 363

Noon Position: 52 06N  152 38W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): SxE 6
Wind(t/tws): S 20+
Sea(t/ft): S5
Sky/10ths Cover: Overcast, drizzle 10
Bar(mb): 1023+
On-deck Temp(f): 59
Cabin Temp(f): 63
Water Temp(f): 54
Relative Humidity(%): 73 (wet inside)
Magnetic Variation: 13.7

Sail: Main and working jib, two reefs, close reaching

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 125
Miles since departure: 37,377

Conditions stable overnight. Winds S 20; two reefs and Mo close reaching comfortably in a subsiding sea. I slept long and hard, nearly ten hours in the bunk, though up every 90 minutes. To be dry and in the warmth of a sleeping bag–all needs met.

Conditions same all day. Sails full, Monte pulling at the tiller.

The only occurrences of note: one, a passing ship just over a mile S of us felt awfully close. The AIS alarms did go off, a nice confirmation that they function. And two, at noon we hove to briefly to correct a pre-departure error.

The crewman in charge of the pre-departure check list failed to pull the anchor off the bow and stow it in the anchor locker while we were in Dutch; neither did he stuff the windlass hause hole with an oiled rag, which he could not do, having failed to remove the chain.

This is standard pre-passage protocol aboard Mo, is clearly stated in all the handbooks and has been a part of the training procedures since I came aboard.

The effect of this error is that during our last two days of being close hauled in very stiff southerlies, each time a sea came over the bow (about once a minute), the anchor knocked around in its chock creating a noise below akin to the bow being ripped off by a passing train. The anchor is captive, but there is no way to lock it down tightly. So, there is no danger, as such, but the charm of this racket wore thin quickly!

The second effect is that although the windlass is designed to keep spray from entering the hause hole, it cannot resist–even when wrapped, as it is–taking on water when it is entirely submerged. This has also occurred frequently over the last days, the result being that twenty strokes were needed to clear water from the forward bilge.

This failure is a serious breach and had the skipper spittin-dry mad at times, but it has been corrected. The anchor and chain are now both below; the hole has been plugged. The seaman whose laziness caused this unusual need to heave to the ship has been reprimanded, and his beer has been stopped for a week.

8 Comments on “Only Two Occurrences of Note

    • Oh, yes! From our lounge chairs, it’s easy to pontificate about checklists, isn’t it? Potato chips? Check. Slippers? Check. Snifter of brandy? Check. TV Remote? Check. Of course El Capitan has a checklist, it was mentioned in the post, paragraph four. Even commercial airplane pilots occasionally miss an item on the checklist, and they’re not flying alone. Look, the crewman lost his grog rations for a week. No need to pile on.

  1. Look…it’s the open sea, shit happens. One day of beer rationing should be enough. I hear he’s a good man otherwise….Cap’t Bligh

  2. I think a tot of rum will be deserved after you have suffered the blow through that looks likely next weekend.

  3. I keep learning stupid mistakes to make.
    Looks like your crew is no different.
    Good thing you can correct your crew’s mistakes…..

  4. No beer for a week? Such an egregious failure deserves keep hauling! (If it happens again) Perhaps Monte should adjudicate…

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