November 20, 2009

Snug Below


I've just completed one of the most harrowing ordeals any mariner ever faces.

Dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean?

Rounding the Horn in a gale?

Trying to figure out if it's a better deal to order from West Marine's web site and pay for the shipping or to go into the store where the web-only discount doesn't apply but there's no shipping charge?

No. No. No.

I got my boat back from the yard in one piece. It didn't get bumped off the stands by a delivery truck. It didn't get dropped out of the travelift slings on its way to getting splashed. The topsides didn't get sprayed green by the next guy over. And the final bill was less than fifty per cent more than the original estimate. That's quite a few bullets to dodge in one week.

Of course, Mr. Neptune had to throw one last curveball at me. The splash was scheduled for just after lunch. But one of those Pacific squalls was coming through, and by mid-morning the wind was starting to scream. I just had to motor across the marina and make it back into the slip, but even that can get interesting in 40 knots. And the last storm that went through here had gusts that were higher.

I asked the yard to do the splash early and got under way with winds only around 20. And I made it back to the slip before the skies opened. Two more bullets dodged.

By the time I got things put away and closed the hatch above me, though, the rain was coming down in torrents. The wind was up around 25, and the O Dock Philharmonic was tuning up. Up and down the fairways, every unsecured halyard was clanging away like mad. Sailcovers and tarps thrummed through major and minor scales. Finger piers grinding against wooden pilings added a bass beat. And the flutes and piccolos of the rigging section were running through arpeggios in the fresh wind.

But I was enjoying one of those rare moments every boat owner savors. I was snug below in the storm. Any deck cleaning chores I had planned were cancelled. There was no place to go. The heater was heating. The coffee was going. Tunes on the stereo. Lunch in the fridge. And, should my spirits sag, there were spirits handy.

Let the Philharmonic play on.

I have my boat to keep me warm.



  1. Congratulations on your haulout - I hope the yard actually fixed something besides your wallet! You're right - I love riding out storms, too. I'm enjoying your blog!

  2. Mr O Docker, this is very much indeed one of the most excellent brilliant posts I've ever read since starting this job. All of my friends at the spam writing centre here in Mumbai think you are a very funnny fellow too.

  3. Sanjay, thanks for stopping by O Dock.

    I'm glad I could do something to brighten your day. I would guess spam writers are probably among the most misunderstood people on earth. And please give my regards to your friends in the word verification centre, too.

    By the way, I'd like to get my wife a Rolex watch for her birthday, but can't afford to pay jewelers' prices. Would you know of somewhere I might find one for, uh, "prices that would amaze me", if you know what I mean?

    Also, I'm running low on $$_V_I_A_G_R_A_$$. Would you have any sources for that?


  5. Now why would you put up all those apartments in Georgia and what about those pesky complaints about ruining the views for tourists or perhaps even desecrating a special place?
    (re the very bright blogger whose initials are between I and Q)

  6. Geeze Pat, don't shoot the messenger.

    I was just suggesting to JP how some Californians might regard the obvious real estate opportunity he just visited.

    Land developers here and their city council cronies have made an art form out of desecrating special places.

  7. l recall those moments tucked away below deck in a storm...priceless

  8. One evening wow gold a man was world of warcraft power leveling at home watching TV and world of warcraft power leveling eating peanuts. He'd toss them in the air,flyff power leveling then catch them in his mouth.maplestory power leveling In the middle 2moons dil of catching one,Wow Power Leveling his wife asked a question, and as he turned to answer her,lineage 2 adena a peanut fell in his ear. He tried and tried to dig it out but only world of warcraft gold succeeded in pushing it in deeper. He asked his wife for assistance, and after hours of trying they flyff money became worried power leveling and decided to go archlord gold to hospital. As they were ready 2moons power leveling to go out the door,last chaos money their daughter came home last chaos money with her power leveling

  9. Anon, everything is going to be fine. You're very high right now. You will probably be that way for about five more hours. Try taking some vitamin B or vitamin C complex. If you have a beer, go ahead and drink it.

    I'm against drug use myself, but I'm not going to lay that on you right now. Try to mellow out the best you can.

    Just remember, you're a living organism on this planet, and you're very safe. Relax, stay inside, and listen to some music. Do you have any Allman Brothers?

  10. At first, I was worried about taking this post's comments off topic, but I see I don't need to worry.

    After 42,923 words, my NaNo mystery's first dead body showed up.

    It was the photographer. He was found jammed up under the agate clerk's desk.

  11. Carol Anne, even before I started writing a blog, I considered the blog post itself a mere starting point. It's so restricting having to limit one's comment to the narrow scope of the post's subject. Blogging is about encouraging dialogue and free expression - the open exchange of fresh ideas.

    I think the wide range of subjects presented so far in this comments page is far more interesting than my boring post.

    While I'm somewhat concerned that you've chosen to eliminate a photographer, I must say I've known photographers to turn up in far more compromising positions than under an agate writer's desk. There are a thousand stories in the naked newspaper.

  12. At first, I was worried about taking this post's comments off topic, but I see I don't need to worry.

    After 1,534 posts on my blog, my first photo of an imaginary friend showed up.

    It is a dude on a beach staring forlornly out at the ocean. What is he thinking? Is he a sports photographer looking for Laser sailors to photograph? Is he searching for agate on the beach? Does he have a peanut in his ear? What does all this have to do with power leveling?

  13. Isn't power leveling one of those things you have to do when sailing a Laser without any other sailors around? Surely it will show up when T-man does his series about anti-social normally capsized dinghy sailing in Force 5's or some such.

  14. No Pat, power leveling is the term used to describe the process of leveling a character as rapidly as possible with the least amount of play time. It can be used from any level up to the maximum level in the game which is currently 80. Contrary to what many believe efficient power leveling does not require endless hours of grinding. The best methods of power leveling involve doing many quests in an orderly fashion.

    Common methods of power leveling include doing only those quests which are most efficient in terms of experience over time, and analyzing the quests in a given zone so as to do them in the most efficient order possible. Remember, the idea of power leveling is speed and efficiency--you may wish to obtain an addon that will show you how much experience per hour you are gaining to test your techniques. Additionally, ensure your character's talent build is crafted for maximum endurance. You want as little downtime (walking, drinking, eating, crafting, typing, etc.) as possible.

    With regard to professions, an example would be for a tailor to farm or purchase large quantities of cloth, then identify and repeat the cheapest tailoring recipes so as to maximize skill point gain compared to cost.

    Twinking is distinct from power leveling. A twink is usually intended to remain at its current level for an extended period of time, thus providing some justification for the large investment into its gear. A character being power leveled is often equipped with inexpensive gear, since the player will be planning on outleveling it quickly.

    Or so it says at the WowWiki. So now you know. Just remember, don't confuse it with twinking.

  15. Geesh, I take a few days off of blogging to get some work done on the boat, and my comments page turns into something out of Monty Python, or is it Monty Hall?

    At the risk of offending several million potential readers, I think there's something fundamentally wrong with obsessive gamers and I think I need no better argument to support my position than This Name Has Been Removed's comment.

    The only people who are weirder are frostbite sailors. I wonder if Power Leveling works in SailX?

  16. Hey, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was one of the three DVDs the burglars didn't steal when they broke into our house this weekend. Maybe "removed" was in cahoots.

  17. I was sorry to read about the break-in, Carol Anne, and hope you're coping OK. That happened to us a few years ago and the most surprising thing about it, for me, was how it affected us, emotionally, for quite some time.

    I guess they left the Holy Grail DVD behind because they're not into religious films.

  18. I'm coping much better this time than the last. That time, we lost a lot of stuff of huge sentimental value (like my, my dad's, and my grandfather's Phi Beta Kappa keys and the pearl necklace that Pat's dad had given his mom on their wedding day and that she in turn gave to me for my and Pat's wedding as she was dying of cancer).

    This time around, there wasn't any sentimental stuff to take, other than my Clint Eastwood movie collection.