Monday, January 25, 2010
Update No 2
Good grief, how did two weeks just fly by without me realizing it? I was trying to blog about once a week or every 10 days but I didn't quite make it this time around. I'm not really sure where the time went. Here are some photos from last week. FS2 Stickel is a *great* cook! He's even got a sense of humor. My club sandwich made me laugh out loud. I love the blue corn chips hair. And the cherry smile was less crooked before I got a hold of the plate. I was eating lunch on the bridge while we did some recreational boating boardings near Hilo. I don't think the boarding team really understood why I was laughing so hard when I answered them on the radio right after FS2 brought my plate up to the bridge.
It seemed like a busy week. We did some more boardings near Kona on Tuesday. After visiting about half a dozen of the boating public, we went about three miles offshore and had a swim call. The pipe was "Now, all salty dogs, mermen and Poseiden acolytes lay into the deep blue sea, now swim call." I realized later we should have added the depth of water, since we were swimming in 1178 fathoms of water...over 7000 feet deep! The water was nice and warm and there was about a two-foot ground swell that made for a fun little ride. I don't remember how many folks got in the water, but it was most of the crew.
I tried to get some good action shots, but was having "technical difficulties" (i.e., I don't know how to work all the bells and whistles on my camera), so this was the best I got. There were some fantastically acrobatic dives, this one by SN McKinstry.
We swam for about 45 minutes, and then cruised on. I spent a lot of time this past week doing time, speed, distance calculations; 60d = st (read sixty d street). I was concerned about when we were going to enter the Maui triangle. I didn't want to drive through the triangle during the dark. It's whale season, and they are everywhere! The humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from Alaskan waters, arriving in late October. They hang out through about May. But January, February and March is calving season. The whales like calm waters that are less than 100 fathoms deep, and the water in the Maui triangle is part of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Sanctuary. So, we have to be careful driving through the triangle and other parts of the Sanctuary, and really most of the shallower water around the islands so we don't hit a whale...bad for the whale, and bad for the boat.
I had a couple of good one liners this past week. The first was one night when we were pulling into Honolulu right after sunset. My night vision is going bad; I really should have my glasses on when the sun goes down. But I had left my glasses down in my stateroom at some point earlier in the day, so when I went to take them from the case that lives in the corner of the bridge by my chair, they weren't there. I couldn't leave the bridge, so one of the QMOWs kindly went below and fetched them for me. So...there had already been a discussion of my spectacles. Anyway, XO was driving from the open bridge, since we were entering port, and I made a comment that the sky was tinted pink; it was almost glowing pink with all the vog in the area after the sun went below the horizon. I paused, and then said, "Oh, these must be my rose-colored glasses."
*I* thought it was funny. I think XO rolled his eyes.
Then, a couple of nights later, we were transiting through the Maui triangle. We were just south of Molokai, and all through the afternoon, there were whales everywhere, spouting, flapping fins, diving deep and jumping all the way out of the water. It really is very cool to watch. I went on watch just after dinner, about 5:30pm, just before sunset. It was a beautiful evening, flat calm seas, and the sun sinking into the haze. I didn't see any whales though, which kinda surprised me, after how active they had been during the afternoon. MKC came up right as it was getting really dark, and asked how the whales were. I said, "I haven't seen any since it got dark."
Just for the record, that's not exactly what I meant, but it was pretty damn funny anyway.
Also just for the record, it's not always fun and laughter. Sometimes it's frustration and cussing. But that's enough for today; I need to go finish up cooking dinner. And there will always be the frustration and cussing to whine about later.