Thursday, September 23, 2021

Coming on Strong!

 She's blowing a gale today, and Hawsepiper's Floating HQ/seagull crap collector is in an anchorage getting vibrated like a housewife sitting on the washing machine.

 I am smack in the middle of New York Harbor, VERY protected water, with about 2 miles of fetch to the north and south, and a mile or less of fetch to east and west. For you non-mariners, fetch is a stretch of open water that wind can work on to build waves. 

 With strong winds and short fetch, we have a small chop that is making the HQ's hull vibrate significantly and constantly, with a tangible 'bang' feeling from waves slapping on the hull, and the resonance from this as it travels back and forth along the stringers in the outer hull makes the whole place vibrate, with the occasional really loud vibration when new waves slap in resonance with the existing vibration, setting up a harmonic. Along with this, we're falling in little holes, as the chop is only maybe 3 feet tall, but the current is setting in another direction, and so we're slightly off-axis from pointing up into the wind and taking the slap of the waves about 2-3 points off the bow and so we're occasionally corkscrewing just 3 degrees or so, but it's enough to feel and add to the hum of the resonance. The whole effect isn't unpleasant, we're riding well in protected water, it's just... active. There's things to see and feel, and when the rhythm changes, it breaks concentration, as it should to any sailor. It's good sometimes to be able to feel the lift of the sea, especially for a spoiled harbor guy like me who no longer sails on blue water much at all. And best of all, we're at anchor, as there are flooding rains coming tonight and if the schedule holds we don't have a cargo fixed until tomorrow afternoon. Maybe, just maybe, I can keep my powder dry tonight. 

 I'm standing the night watch, as that is what I do on my last week aboard, to let B get his circadian rhythm set to days. When he first arrived last week, he worked nights, as I had already been aboard for weeks, and having been there, was more up to date on events, maintenance, schedules, etc. It's good for the day guy to have a masterful sense of situational awareness, as the home office only calls for routine matters during the day. It's also good to let oncoming guys get into the routine without fielding phone calls and handling minutia, IMO... and on the last week, to switch to nights and the more quiet peace that that can instill with no need to interact with the shorebound under routine conditions. Plus, sometimes after a month or so, it's possible to come down with the 'Fuckits' where there's a temptation to be short-tempered and less vigilant, so the shake-up of changing watches can mediate that by cutting down on routine. 

 Anyhow, it's a nice, slightly nautical day aboard. I'm feeling happy about that. 

1 comment:

bigsoxfan said...

Hey dude, been away fir a bit. Dont blow away in the wind. New neighbor has a Brizlian missus, so having your favorite steak soon.