Our ‘perfect’ track record came to an end when a cable was sucked into the port-side jet during what we believe was the day shift watch. This is something difficult to avoid. It would be the nautical equivalent of a bird flying into an airplane engine after take-off.
I arrived on the bus from ‘Texaco Camp’ (our living area) to F-Pad (our staging area on the waterfront of Simpson Lagoon) at 6pm to relieve the day shift and was told to have a good check of the boat as they’d felt vibration with the engines.
So before heading over to fuel the boat I informed the dock manager I was going to make a quick test flight. There was absolutely something wrong as the whole boat shuddered at high engine revs and I couldn’t go past 8-knots speed when we’d normally be doing 18-knots at the same RPM’s.
The shudder appeared only when giving the port-side engine throttle. An inspection of the massive aluminium impellor of the the port-side jet revealed a massive cable wrap. There’s no way I could have made the return to F-Pad on my previous shift at 19-knots + during breaks in the fog with that hair-ball!
‘Guilt’ not withstanding – shit happens and it isn’t who slips first but as we say in yacht racing – “Everyone makes mistakes but the guy who makes a few less wins the race…!”
Meanwhile the Polaris fleet is currently awaiting the larger seismic gun-boats the ‘Resolution’ and ‘Margarita’ to wrap up operations in Simpson lagoon before we jump back into the fray like a family of spiders weaving our seismic webs across the sea-floor. I only have four days to go before my mandatory break or ‘reset’ after my 35-days on the job. I’ll likely go to visit my S&S 34 ‘Gitano’ again in Seattle for my week off.
I can give her some TLC so she’s ready for the the delivery from Seattle to San Francisco when I finish the job on the North Slope around the 15th of September. I already have a full crew of CGG VERITAS co-workers from the North Slope for the 600-nautical mile jaunt down the coast.
I need to run a lotto to see who the lucky three ‘canon-fodder’ will be ; ) I want three helmsmen separate of myself as I haven’t mounted a wind-vane self-steering gear yet. I’ll do it at ‘Svedsons Boat Works’ in Alameda where we refit Linda’s Pearson 10m “Yemaya” last year.
Infact, within the next few weeks – Linda will have the sale of “Yemaya” wrapped up and she’ll be delivering her own S&S 34 from Los Angeles to San Francisco as well! It will be two S&S 34’s parked up next to one another at ‘Svedsons’ for a winter refit before we drag race to Australia next year and onto the playing field of the ‘Mod Globe’ around the world race…
Perhaps I can loan her a few of my unlucky ‘potential crew’ recruits from the North Slope ; ) However, she already has an Aries wind-vane self-steering gear mounted aboard her S&S so she could do it solo if she wants. I’m guessing we’ll rotate and go on each others boat for both the north to south and south to north deliveries as we often prefer to sail with cool people when we can – versus solo unless its for a purpose such as a record or a race.
So it won’t be long before you’ll see a picture of two S&S 34’s two boat testing on San Francisco Bay with the Golden Gate bridge in the back-ground and perhaps a few America’s Cup AC 72’s zipping by at 40-knots speed – now thats true wind-powered ‘liquidflight___________________________________/)
Below: The most beautiful sunset/sunrise (the sun only ‘set’ for 20-minutes that day).