Archive | February, 2009

Sailing on Elwell

I haven’t spent an evening sailing since I was probably 14. We took Clark’s boat, Elwell, out of the marina last night after Brock tinkered with the transmission cable a bit (reverse is such a nice gear to have occasionally…). It was awesome being on the water in a slightly different mode than my KJ. Brock said I had a perma-grin on my face.

It wasn’t the only one onboard. So nice to chill out with family!

It made me realize that all those years in Hawaii on sailboats and then in Oregon with mom and our 14′ Sunfish really stuck with me in some deep, barely remembered ways. That feeling when the boat heels just right and picks up speed ~ wow. There’s a sailor in me too, I think…

Date Night

We went out for a short drive to the water tonight and played the game of “What’s that and what is it doing?” Short tug, long tow. Long tug, long tow. Three lights, four, is that green (Brock has really sharp vision, but less perfect on color at serious distance)?

It was a lively evening, as there was police activity, slow and oddly-lit large vessels, one tug whose towing lights went out as we were watching (and we surmised from the disappearing/reappearing light on the mast, somebody went and scrambled up top to fix the problem). The Victoria Clipper IV flew by ~ we know her schedule after avoiding the shipping lanes while she was in them a few weeks ago. At roughly 30 knots, she always takes precedence!

I’ve got it so good ~ when was the last time you got to make out in a car with a hot guy?

And I forgot to mention that the other night when we took KJ over to pump out the holding tanks, I docked her and un-docked her myself without any help. No muss, no fuss. Brock threw lines, of course, but I didn’t require assistance. We are such a great team ~ I love his calm, relaxed demeanor. No freak-outs necessary.

I’ve learned a lot by watching him over the past year and getting an idea of how Katherine Jane handles (quite sluggishly) and responds (not exactly “well”). I was rather proud. I’ve still got tons to learn, but this was progress.

Teredo Worm

Not on my boat, luckily.

The Teredo worm (shipworm)has been the bane of wooden ships, boats, pilings and retaining walls since man has ventured to the sea. A type of clam, the Teredo worm has two shells, enclosing only the front end of the body which function as a tool rather than a protective covering – they are a boring clam. Each shell has toothed ridges which shave away bits of wood into smaller pieces and then those are ingested.

Teredo worms have been known to achieve a length of up to 2 ft long, although the shells remain only about a foot long. The British and Spanish navies estimated that a wooden hull in the Carribean in the age of sail would last ten years.

Mariners as early as 500 BC tried to protect their wooden ships by various combinations of arsenic, sulfur, tars and oils. The British Navy experimented with a sacrificial covering of wood covering tar, but it wasn’t successful. It wasn’t until the invention of copper hull plating that the Teredo worm became less of a problem.

I was under the impression that they were more of a problem in warmer waters than we have in the Pacific NW. But apparently they’ve damaged seawalls around here and gnawed on some boats. Yeesh…