Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Opua: a short, happy poem


                                               The list
                                       does not exist
The list is the eternal boat owner’s to do and buy list. 
        For only the second or third time ever, there is nothing on mine.  Once was here in New Zealand when on my 50th birthday we were preparing RESURGAM for a passage around Cape Horn to Uruguay.  A second time might have been before I left San Diego in GANNET, but I’m not certain about that.  And this morning.  As I touched the screen on my iPhone Wunderlist app next to ‘Jordan drogue’ and it disappeared from view, terns on the nearby marina breakwater dock broke into the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’.
The last item was to inspect the Jordan drogue.
It was a good thing I did because when I pulled the drogue and its bridle onto deck, I found that the shackle used to connect the weight at the end that goes in the water first was frozen.  I managed to free it, but it took a while here on a mooring on a calm morning and would have taken considerably longer in a storm at sea.
I had been planning to use the spare anchor as the weight, which needs to be about 15 pounds/7 kilos for GANNET’s drogue, but have ordered two meters of 12 mm anchor chain instead.  When it arrives next week, I will shackle it in place and then it won’t matter if the shackle freezes.
I had thought I could shackle the two arms of the bridle to the massive connection plates before leaving port and then attach the drogue when needed.  But I can’t.  The bridle connects to the drogue by loops spliced into the ends of the arms and the drogue line and have to be passed through themselves.  The only way would be to have everything assembled in advance and carry the drogue on deck from the beginning of a passage.  GANNET does not have room for that.
Leaning over the stern and screwing pins into the massive shackles in conditions requiring the drogue will be challenging, but I expect that I will have nothing better to do at the time.  I did take the precaution of ordering two more shackles so I have spares if I drop a pin in the ocean.
That’s it.
I am unlisted.


The photo has nothing to do with the above.  It was taken a week ago at the start of the last Wednesday evening race of the season.
        It is an iPhone panorama which accounts for the distortions.  Observe the starboard lifeline and the upper edge of the open foredeck hatch.  But still I like it.