Far from South

by Guest Blogger

December 20, 2005

First of all, thanks to those of you who’ve written back with nice things to say about these postings – it’s good to know folks are actually reading them, ‘cuz I know they’re sometimes quite long. For me, it’s nice to write because I don’t keep a journal and I’m sure after this trip, it’ll all get blurry fast. So if you feel like dropping a line and telling me what’s up in the world (George Bush resigned, the Seahawks are leading their division, Bill Richardson lead a 5.11 at Seneca, etc,) that’d be just lovely. Even though I’m slow to reply, you just wouldn’t believe how nice it is to get an email when you’ve been at sea already for over a month and don’t have television, the morning paper or much of a grapevine!

I hate to be such a boat obsessed geek, but the biggest news from here – as far as I’M concerned at least – is that, after a solid month of work, I think the Billy G. is finally fully ready to go get ’em. A lot of work has been done, but I can’t tell you much about it ’til we engage the whalers. The boat came to Cape Town in fine shape, but fitting it for the specifics of THIS work, both in terms of making her match up with the ship operations as well as tricked out for the whalers, made for a long list of things to do. For those of you who know the boat, I think you’d raise an eyebrow over what she looks like now. As we say around here, she’s been "Monster Garaged". I still want to paint flames on her somewhere, but I’m thinking my colleague Dan might not be too keen on that…and don’t worry Dan: we did all of it with very few little alteration to the boat itself.

More of the crew has had time at the wheel and many have gushed afterward about just how fine a boat she is, in her handling and stability (we took her out on a pretty rowdy day again for about four hours last week and had a wild, wet, good time working against the ship. This time, neither the boat nor any of the crew took much of a beating). I’ve probably said it before, but I just love this boat. I enjoy working with all of our equipment, but it’s cool when you get to work with something in a way where you’ve covered almost every inch of it at some point and come to know it almost personally.



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