Sunday, July 10, 2011

From the Captain on "Lifting Donna"

Before you go much further with thinking about getting mom into the boat, I want to let you know the problem is under control.

First - I rowed mom out to the reef and she had a "magical" snorkel, and got back into the dinghy without mishap by standing on top of a plastic milk crate (that you got in Nanaimo) that was placed on a coral 'rock' in shallow water.  She's pooped and after a good lunch followed by ice cream on shore is snoozing.

 Meanwhile, since the loop of rope with the hose for a foot hold / rope ladder didn't work for her because it swings under the boat I've ruled out those solutions. I dug out the "handy billy" - a 4 part tackle - slung from the radar arch.  A piece of 3" webbing makes a seat and I can easily lift her out of the water.  She's tried it as is, and it works but is uncomfortable, so we'll try it with the red life cushion but if that's not adequate I have a piece of wood that will make a more solid seat - but I can easily lift her up - so for now the problem is dealt with.  Indeed, she may be able to lift herself out with this rig - I can - since the lower double block has a cam cleat so you can haul on the free end and get a 4 part advantage and lift yourself up, the cleat belaying you while you move your hands.  Sort of slick.

In the long term, if it makes sense, I'll get some ss fabricated that can hook into the existing rail and onto the lowest step to provide one or two fixed steps below water level - which is all that is required.  This could support a sort of swim grid if necessary - we'll see.

The islands are nice but very civilized.  The cruising community is interesting as people but the focus is on visiting places mostly to look at people artifacts and cultural stuff - which is fine but not a huge focus for me.  I like the uncivilized and frankly while I'd like to get to the remote islands of the world, I'm not convinced I want to pay the price of the long passages in the stormy high latitudes.  I'm a wuss I guess.  So, I'm debating NZ or just going back to BC to nose around the coast and the wildness there that I like.  Other areas have similar wild places but I could focus on BC without missing much - certainly my confidence at getting places is much increased so this trip has been very worthwhile and I've seen and done a lot that I would not have otherwise.

  Sitting in the lagoon, it's calm, the water is very clear and you can see each little fish under the boat (8' of water over sand).  About 20 great flavors of ice cream (and I can't have any - I tried a sorbet and paid - I think it must have been made with just "a little" cream)  It's warm.  Mom's happy and a pleasure to be with - a treat.

Love Dad
At 22/06/2011 4:08 AM (utc) our position was 17°34.86'S 149°37.09'W