Saturday March 28th, 2015

Some mornings I stare at the screen wondering what I am going to blog about. This morning I thought about the bridge we saw yesterday. A glorious stone and concrete bridge with turrets and nice light standards, an architectural gem in a sea of simplicity. But I forgot my camera and that will have to wait til tomorrow. I will take some pictures of this bridge when we go on our outing today to pet the turtles. You will have to wait for the outcome of that as well.

When you are on a boat at sea there are only a couple of important things to have and to know. You need to have rum, salt pork and a couple of jugs of those Costco cheese balls. You need to know where you are and what the weather might do. Simple things right.

You have to know where you are in order to go anywhere. Everyone is saying “we have GPS, we always know where we are.” To go anywhere we simply plot the course engage Ferd (autopilot) and when the thing beeps you are there. I always think of microwave popcorn when the arrival beeps. We do have a microwave on board but I don’t recall when we used it on this trip. We do have popcorn as well. We have to eat everything we have in the next three weeks so today might be popcorn day.

In order to be safe you also need to know what the weather might do. You must have a reliable and competent single side band receiver in order to receive weather when all other electronic stuff is out of range or unavailable. I bought a small Radio Shack version. I can hear Chris Parker but it sounds like has a mouth full of brussel sprouts and ball bearings and is speaking Martian. Every now and then I could hear words and phrases like “look out”, “I wouldn’t be there” and “put your head between your knees”, sounds like another nice day here in the Exumas. I do have a competent receiver hanging on my workshop wall at home in Little Current.

Chris Parker runs a weather service for subscribers. You pay a fee and get weather by email, web and SSB. Weather is personalized for your needs and travel. It is a great service in an area without the ramblings of environment Canada in both languages.

Like me you are wondering if I will come to a point…where was I? While we were down in the Jumentos Cays we were near the Ragged Islands and quite close to Cuba. It was in these Islands and Cays that Christopher Columbus first saw land in 1492 in the Nina, the Pinto and the Santa Maria. I wonder if his ship the Pinto had issues with spontaneous combustion like the Ford product of the same name. I started thinking about what did they have and what did they know?

I can see Christopher Columbus asking one of the sailors to climb the mast and see if they can hear Chris Parker. They knew about weather generalities and the seasonal storms but day to day they got what they got and they took it.

As far as where they were, it was in CC’s  case dead reckoning; course, speed and time plotted. For course they used a lodestone compass. For speed they three things over the side and timed how long it took to slide by the side of the ship. They did the timing by singing a song and marking the point in the song that the item made it to the mark. JEEZUZ

My point? We are spoiled by electronics. We are safer from ourselves and other vessels because of electronics. We should respect the sailors, explorers and pirates that bounced around these waters in days of old.



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