Since we began our summer cruises down the California coast back in 2009, we have earned several nicknames. Last night (Sunday) Devon earned a new nickname – squall tracker. It was about 1:30 am and my watch. I had been keeping an eye on an approaching dark cloud that obscured the stars. Sure enough, the wind speed increased and Kim came topsides to help reef the jib. As the rain came pelting down, who should pop up the companionway entrance but Devon, with full particulars about the range and bearing of the three squalls in our vicinity (distance from us, angle to us, and changes over time). He had of his own accord fired up the radar and had been tracking this information, which he complemented with advice about how we might best get out of the current squall and steer to avoid the other two. He gave us continuous feed, updated information and helped us to avoid these localized weather occurences as much as possible. He even snapped a photo of the radar screen on his I Pad to share with us in the cockpit. Thus, Devon’s new nickname is ST, short for squall tracker. This is in addition to his other two nicknames, which relate to his culinary expertise on board and general enjoyment of things nautical. While they shall remain private, one is taken from the main character of Wind in the Willows, who loves nothing more than to spend a day “messing about with boats on the water”.
While on the topic of nicknames, I’d like to note that Anson’s is Q, because of his awesome ability as a top notch rigger and technical expert around computer and related issues. Almost daily he examines a rigging challenge on Anthea and comes up with a simple, effective way to address the issue. And his technical expertise around computers/electronics was ably demonstrated through his ability to get our second hand iridium sat phone (but new to us) up and running using Starbuck’s internet at Cabo San Lucas and configuring our laptop to get weather data through it while at sea.
Kim gets the award for most nicknames: Island Gal (as she’s happiest while cruising), Cave Woman (as she so enjoys kayaking into sea caves), Galley Queen (due to the delicious concoctions that emerge from the galley when she’s on duty), and Weather Woman (due to her extensive weather analysis capabilities which we daily give thanks for).
I seem to not have nicknames, though axle nut might do as I seem to be in charge of the mechanical systems on board.
Meanwhile, we’re racing south to the equator. Had an awesome spinnaker run today, first with our symmetrical and then shifting to the asymmetrical – steady 8 knots and surfing into the 9s. Took turns hand steering till a rain line and squall brought the run to a close early afternoon. Anson, I believe, hopes to write about it. Had a great dinner at sunset in the cockpit of mac and cheese a la Louise Berry with canned corn as vegetable/desert.
Mark (at 4 degrees 33 minutes north and 133 degrees 20 minutes west)