A Puacity of Wind

We brought the wrong boat, we need something with a wakeboard rack for the smooth glassy waters of central California. That would be fun. Burning dinosaurs for 24 hrs has not been so fun although it has its benefits, we take hot showers, make water (from seawater, then we “make water”), bake bread, and sleep like babies even though it sounds like we’ve been left by our mothers in the trunk of a VW Beetle. I’m planning to get out my marbles later for a championship match with S to try and win back that vintage cat’s eye. Its a rare opportunity here at sea.

If you consider it unwise to make jokes at the expense of the Central California waters please know that we are laughing through our tears at the early demise of “Fritz” the autopilot. Fritz steers when we motor using a brilliant (and cost conscious) mechanical arrangement that normally steers the boat to a desired angle off the wind. When there is no wind Fritz becomes the wind to our steering gear “Twitchy” and we merrily loaf around in the cockpit while he directs Twitchy where to steer the boat. It worked well for both us, we were not tied to the wheel for a 5 hour watch and Fritz didn’t have to strain against the boat, he just has to push Twitchy around like the gentlest breeze.

In a hierarchical sense Fritz was elevated above other autopilots. He was not steering the boat, he was managing Twitchy who was steering the boat. He was promoted far beyond his peers who steer much smaller boats. But the responsibility was too much and he fried his drive motor. It was probably congenital. The timing could not have been worse, at the very start of this extended motor haul.

Twitchy is awesome.

38°36.00’N 124°42.00’W 27-Aug-09 20:47 UTC

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