Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am OUT of here. February 3rd its rope and sails from here on out.

So I decided to drop my usual life of being tortured by a horrible boss and become a sailor on a tall ship. A ship where you have to climb up the rigging and set the sails. Saltpork and biscuit. Ropes and sails. My life of the last 4 years has consisted of riding my chopper on the sidewalk, filling my house with furniture from the antique swap meet, surfing, and driving my 34 Ford around. Apart from being driven insane by a sociopathic supervisor, I enjoyed working as a City inspector and truly enjoyed public service for the 8 years I spent employed there. Why the sea? After living in congested, cemented Los Angeles/Orange County for the last 36 years of my life, I decided to find the complete opposite of that environment. Sailing history has been a passion of mine for many years and I can't escape the idea of sailing on a ship like the ones used to 'round Cape Horn in the 1800's. This picture is of my house. My mother designed the front garden. I'll miss pulling weeds and training the vines on the trellises over the windows and on the arbors. The other photos are of my car and motorcycle. The motorcycle is a 1964 Harley generator shovel and the car is a 1934 Ford 5-window coupe that has been channeled and had a chevrolet motor and transmission swapped in for reliability. I like old stuff a lot.

So I have never been up in the rigging on a tall ship. I have been in boats many times but marlinspike seamanship I have only read about in books and watched on youtube. I figure that many sailors over time have started out with no experience whatsoever and have survived. I am going to meet the ship February 3rd and spend the month learning as much as I can about rigging, sails, knots, and whatever else I can soak in. I will then return home and go back to the ship mid-March if I am offered the position of crew aboard the ship. I have nobody to ask what I should bring so I am reading Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s Two Years Before the Mast, Fredrick Pease Harlow's The Making of a Sailor, and John Harland's Seamanship in the Age of Sail. The latter being an incredible storehouse of information on ship handling and sailing square-rigged ships. From the photos of sailors inside, I have an idea of what clothing to bring. I think I can read until my head explodes and I still won't learn as much as one trip up into the rigging. I wonder if I will freak out. I wonder if I will get seasick. I am excited to find out. That tiny photo at the top is the ship I am sailing on. 

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