May 7th, 2010


Living the Dream

It's about time I introduced our crew. From left to right: random guy biting Captain Jeremiah's armpit; Jeremiah, captain of the Lady Washington; myself, rocking suspenders without a shirt yep; Amber, cook on the Lady; barely visible between Amber and Pony I'm assuming is Josh, because he was always near Amber, she referred to him as the puppy; foreground wearing "I love sailors brains" shirt is Sara, Jeremiah's wife and bosun of the Lady; behind her is Pony, our bosun; with the mic is Staples, AKA "Incident Report," a deckhand on the Lady; Elmo, first mate on the Lady; head behind Elmo is Jimmy, first mate on the Chieftain; second from right is Fingers, rumour has it he was once a male stripper; and rightmost is Knuckles, our cook.

   This was karaoke night in Friday Harbour, San Juan Island. Just about every guy from both boats joined in the shirtless singing of "Bohemian Rhapsody." More pictures: 1, 2, 3.

   Last time I came into Friday Harbour I came via ferry and thought it was beautiful and awesome ... never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed at that point that next time I came to the island I would do so at the helm of a tallship under sail. (:

   When I worked in law offices I used to randomly ask people, upon meeting them in the hall "so, living the dream?" in an optimistic voice as if expecting the answer is obviously yes. It always brought about a hearty chuckle followed by a sad shaking of the head and "definitely not."
   I've done the same thing here a few times, asking shipmates at random times if they're living the dream. Their reaction has always been pretty much the same. A chuckle and a vague sarcastic "oh yeah" and perhaps a look of suffering.. followed a moment later by a more serious look and "yes, actually."



   "So when do you want me to make the turn?"
   "Oh whenever"
   I'm incredibly confused about the captain's apparent ambivalence toward navigation and then I see him casually toss a lifejacket off the back of the boat. This can only mean one thing.

   "MAN OVERBOARD!!!!!!" myself and one or two other people yell simulteniously. It's a drill of course, but the assumption I suppose is that everyone hearing us will gather that from the tone we yell it in, kind of a loud "here we go again" tone.

   I pull the throttle levers down to zero and push the gear levers into neutral and wait for the captain to take the con. Elsewhere people are swarming on to deck and tossing liferings into the water. People are already setting up the jacob's ladder over the starboard side, and hands not involved in that are pointing at the lifejacket with one hand, with their other hand raised in the air (so the "pointers" can be readily identified themselves).

   The captain takes the con and instructs us to pretend to douse the mainsail (which isn't up), so I run to the lifts (lines that raise the boom). The imaginary sail is shortly under control and I become a pointer myself. Additionally it is my duty to make sure everyone is accounted for. I count 13 people, ... everyone is accounted for despite there being a man overboard. The captain has the boat turned around and coming up beside the lifejacket shortly.

   Pony, wearing a lifejacket and attached to a lanyard is on the bottom of the jacob's latter leaning out to grab the "victim." He makes the catch and they attach a line hanging from above to the victim and haul him aboard.

   "Man-overboard's aboard!"
   "Swimmer's aboard!"

   Someone's man-overboard duty is to bring the first aid kit and someone's is to bring blankets so these were ready when the lifejacket, which we were informed was suffering from hypothermia, was brought on deck.

   Drill complete. Or is it?

   "THEY JUST BIT NOAH!!!!" someone yells. Everyone runs.
   Noah proceeds to stumble around groaning. Liz is trapped and gets pretend mauled by Noah. They both start stumbling up to the quarterdeck where Jimmy and Fingers are.

   "Where's the machete where's the machete????" Jimmy frantically pulls things out of a deckbox as the zombies approach. Out of time he pulls out a blowtorch and starts pretending to torch the zombies' faces.
   This as you can imagine is only negligibly effective against zombies and they continued to back Jimmy and Fingers into the corner. Then Pony arrived with the boathook (a hook on a very long poll, it also has a dull spike on the end) and pretends to go to town on the zombies with it. The zombies fall down unlifeless.

Unrelated Picture of the Day

The Rogue and Lady Washington in Port Ludlow
The Rogue was a boat unaffiliated with us that joined our battle sails there. It had four tiny homemade cannons.