Saturday, September 16, 2006

Camello and Diane

At Sea, N 41 11 W 71 38

This is a new experience for us. We're offshore, making passage for Cape May NJ, and we have other people onboard. Carmello and Diane joined us for the passage. Carmello is an old friend from PTI days. In fact, he is still a PTI employee. They live in Scotia, and they've done inland and coastal sailing for many years, sort of like Libby and me.

Yesterday it rained the whole day. Libby and I pulled in to a marina. We did laundry, and showers, and WiFi for most of the day, then we went out to dinner at a seafood restaurant. It made a nice break from our onboard routine.

The weather forecast was for rain ending this afternoon and winds NE 20-25 with gusts at 30. When I woke up this morning, I looked out and saw bright blue sky. Uh oh. It turned into a wonderful sunny day, which is fine, but one with very little wind. Carmello and Diane arrived around noon and we left right away.

We're making very slow progress. Block Island has been in sight for the the last 6 hours, and it may be another 6 before we put it below the horizon. The wind blows a little bit, and we make three knots for a half hour or so, then the wind dies and we make only 0.5 knots for an hour.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how different life at sea feels with 3 watches instead of 2. There is certainly more time for conversation and that's fun.

Carmello's son Chris is learning to be an officer on a submarine. He's doing simulator training right now. That's very interesting. I wish I had more time with him to ask about his experiences with simulator training. Years ago that would have been impossible because Admiral Rickover hated simulators. The story was that a simulator was built in the early 1960s for the NS Savannah, the one and only nuclear powered merchant freighter ship. We saw the NS Savannah at anchor in the James River last summer. Anyhow, the computers in the early 1960s were inadequate for the job and the simulator was terrible. Admiral Rickover took one look at that batched job and declared dislike for computers and especially simulators forevermore. That put the Navy sub training programs behind the eight ball until the Admiral died.

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