Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Young hands

Parts for the WesterBeast’s heat exchanger repair finally started to show up. It took a while to find the required gaskets, which were then shipped via the slowest boat to China ever commissioned. Or maybe the second slowest? The gasket arrived before the new heat exchanger, though the heat exchanger was ordered first. Both ended up being about a week late.

“Why a new heat exchanger” you ask?

The original one was, well, original. We have already had it repaired once. This time the yard's engine guru took a peek and told us that it had been repaired at least once before that. New seemed better. But a new factory bit proved hard to locate and was rumored to carry, should one actually be located somewhere, a price that bordered on astronomical. A new one "manufactured to the original specs” could be had at slightly less than a week’s wages. Yes, I had the same misgivings, but ordered it anyway. And yes, I wouldn't be surprised if we had ordered a "factory new",  they would have gone and bought the same one we did, stuck a factory price tag on it,  and then shipped it to me.

The heat exchanger showed up today, packaged professionally, glistening in a Westerbeke red, and looking good. All the fittings were in the right places and of the correct sizes. The new end cap is clearly superior to the original rubber one. And it had a certain amount of heft to it, a good thing with something that is a serious chunk of metal. Seeing as it was after lunch already, tomorrow seemed like a good time to start. Five year old grandson JJ, however, was of a different opinion. He wanted to help in the worst way, this being “engine work”. Grampy T bowed to the inevitable and changed into work clothes.



One might normally cringe at the idea of“marine diesel heat exchanger install” and, “five year old” being used in the same sentence. True maybe, if that five year old isn’t JJ. It didn’t take long to find a job needing done that he could do. This heat exchanger hangs off the exhaust manifold, requiring 3 new gaskets for the install. Old gasket bits needed to be throughly removed before the new ones are installed. JJ insisted that he could handle the task as long as I could find him a piece of ScotchBright. I did.

And he did.

New gasket installed, we went to place the heat exchanger in place and…remember that “original spec” claim? Apparently that did not include placing the slots for the mounting bolts exactly where they needed to be. Fortunately bronze is pretty easily worked, they were only off a few hundreds of an inch, and we own a Dremel tool. I really couldn’t explain to my five year old co-worker how the people building the heat exchanger managed to screw up the one measurement they really needed to get right to make the thing work. Dremel tool humming, I did get the chance to explain that taking off a little bit at a time, seeing if it was enough, then taking off a little more, is a far better option than taking too much off the first time around. He is a little too young for the sarcastic “I cut it off twice and it was STILL too short” quip. I’ll save that for when he is in his teens.

Mounting slots now properly located, we once again attempted to mate the heat exchanger to the exhaust manifold, and found a second place where the “original spec”, wasn’t. The body of the heat exchanger was fouling against the ends of the mounting studs, though the original one fit fine. I don’t know which original spec was off. Maybe the new one is of a slightly larger diameter than the old. Maybe the new mounting flange is slightly thinner. Either way the studs were too long.

The Dremel tool wouldn’t be much of a match for the hardened steel studs. But we also own an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel.

Even in Grampy T’s work shop five year old’s don’t tangle with angle grinders. Still, JJ stood near enough to see what was being done, and to remind me not to cut off too much. It is always fun to tell kids that the sparks flying off a grinder are hotter than the sun. JJ wanted to know how that was possible and so learned something about friction and heat…and not to touch the part just cut without gloves or a rag. No, I didn’t. I sent him to get a rag.

Mounting slots modified and mounting studs custom cut to size, the heat exchanger and exhaust manifold could be properly introduced and joined together in engine cooling bliss. The only hitch in the ceremony was the lack of space for slipping the two all the way together before installing the mounting washers and nuts. But with a pair of 5 year old hands working along side a pair of 62 year old hands, exchanger and manifold were ultimately torqued firmly together.

Tomorrow they will take up residence in their permanent home, the move likely to be aided by boat mechanic JJ.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hell is 3mm wide

It was almost exactly a week ago. I took a shower and went to bed with a book, but I couldn't get comfortable. I tried pillows and moved from one side to the other but I was increasingly uncomfortable. I got up to go to the bathroom. It didn't help. After a bit, it became apparent that something was seriously wrong and it was getting worse. I told Tim I thought it was time we saw about getting some transportation to the emergency room. He ran up to the guard shack and the guard on duty quickly handed him his keys. We were off.

Image courtesy of Amazon.com
The pain was getting worse at a rapid rate. Tim was stopping at red lights, looking, and running them. We were in the emergency room in just under 12 minutes, and not a single minute too soon. The staff there was professional, courteous, and efficient and happened to have some greatly improved sick bags handy, a good thing as I almost immediately revisited our excellent dinner from earlier in the evening.

Within the hour, a Cat scan revealed the cause of the misery, a 3mm kidney stone which was lodged just above the bladder. The photo at the right is so you can get an idea of the size. It's amazing that something that small can bring a human to her knees. Pain meds were administered, which finally brought some blessed relief. After a while, they allowed me to leave, pain and nausea prescriptions in hand. I slept the rest of the night, all of Monday, and Monday night. I completely lost a day, which I guess isn't really out of the ordinary for a cruiser who usually doesn't even know what month it is.

The next three days I was pain-free. I read the handout the emergency room had given me which stated that should you be pain-free for more than 24 hours, it was likely that the stone had broken up or passed unnoticed and you were in the clear. I was buoyed with hope, but unfortunately it was in vain.

Friday night (yes, Friday the 13th,) as I left the shower, I had a twinge in the exact same place. By the time I tried to lay down in bed it became apparent that I was headed the same road again.This time we didn't wait. We had a rental car that we had picked up for weekend errands and we quickly left. By the time we got to the hospital, I was in as much pain as the previous visit, not able to sit comfortably in any position, not able to stand, not able to lay down, and revisiting dinner again. A small word of advice - if you have any inkling that you might be getting ready to pass a kidney stone, enchiladas in red sauce is probably not the best choice of dinner. A couple hours, some kidney performance tests to be sure the kidneys were functioning correctly, and a blessed dose of pain meds, and I was once again in the land of the living.

The doctor was really sweet when I asked her whether she thought the stone was going to pass soon. She said she wished she was a fortune teller, but just couldn't say. So we're now left with a decision of how long to stay put. Hurricane season is closing in fast and we need to go north, but the idea of getting down to the anchorage in the Everglades and having to tough it through that level of pain without medical assistance is frightening to me. Of all the difficulties that cruising brings, the issue of needing medical attention when out of range is the one that bothers me most, especially as we age.

A lot of cruising spots are named "Hell Gate" or some version of it. We've been through the one in New York on a small sailboat, and we're going to attempt the one in Georgia in a few weeks but, truly, the worst Hell Gate I've navigated is this passage of a kidney stone. My wish for you this evening is that you never have to go through it.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Not where we hoped to be


The Kids rowed out to Kintala last evening for the final hugs and good-by. No tears, since we will be meeting up again in a few weeks. This morning dawned perfect for the first run toward the Keys. It felt good being up on deck setting the rigging, pulling off the sail cover, running the sheets. We were cruisers once again, heading back out to where the rest of the tribe lives. It had been a long time since I felt that good getting about my day.



Kintala hasn’t been completely stationary lately, having been out to the anchorage a couple of times as well as making runs to the pump-out. In fact she has been riding to her anchor for the last ten nights while we Dinged in each day to help with the final prep for Blowin' In The Wind to be on her way as well. There was little thought of touching a dock for weeks, and then just for fuel. Everything has been checking out okay, so I gave little thought to Deb doing the engine checks last while I finished up the deck and got ready to pull the hook. 

When she called up from below to ask me to come look at something my good mood vanished. I could tell from the tone of her voice we likely weren’t going very far. In spite of the checks being completely normal for the last couple of weeks, this morning Ye ‘Ol WesterBeast appeared to be adding engine coolant all by itself. It was hard to say for sure. There is no overflow tank, Kintala being an antique when it comes to marine coolant systems. So checking the level means peering down into the actual coolant tank and judging that the fluid is where it normally is. And it certainly appeared to be higher than we are used to seeing. Deb also thought that the color was wrong and I took her word for it. My color sense was never very good and hasn’t gotten any better with the passing of decades. Still, that is some pretty sparse evidence of there being a problem, and the very idea of having to fix yet another thing on the boat was setting firecracker thoughts off in my brain, none of which should ever see the light of day.

After some debate and a call to the shop to see what the engine gurus might suggest, (as if I didn’t already know), we pulled the hook and headed to one of the face docks inside the yard. A pressure test on the coolant system would tell the tale, and the tale it told was the we were definitely not going anywhere. The gauge confirmed that the coolant system is breached somewhere, that somewhere being a place that lets raw water in where raw water shouldn’t be. About the only place that can happen is in the core of the heat exchanger.

The WesterBeast’s heat exchanger was overhauled about 5 years ago because the engine was overheating. Of those five years we have spent nearly 2 tied to the dock here at Snead Island. That seems a pretty limited service life for a unit that isn’t particularly modest in the price department. My joy at being on our way was long forgotten. In its place was my opinion of the mechanical side of the marine world in general, and the WesterBeast in particular, falling to its normally abysmal low. But, what else to do? It has to be fixed. This is a far better place to get that done than somewhere 50 miles from the nearest shop. And Deb caught it on some very thin information; one quarter inch or so of too much fluid, and a slight color change. I don’t think I would have noticed.

We moved the boat to a more permanent pier, one less exposed to the wakes coming in off the river. It is a good bet that we will be here a week or more. It was at least a week the last time the heat exchanger came off the boat. Though it was late in the afternoon, my mood grim (to put it mildly) and my head filled with thoughts of meeting my daily limit of alcohol intake as quickly as possible, it would be best to pull the heat exchanger with the hope of having it in a shop before the weekend. Cruising clothes were shed, work clothes were dug out of the locker, tools located, and boat parts removed.




I remember the last time taking off the heat exchanger as being nearly 8 hours of continuous hurt and frustration. Whomever it was that decided pulling the exhaust manifold was a perfectly acceptable first step to reaching the heat exchanger should be flogged repeatedly with hot coolant lines. He should also be forced to pay for the $100 exhaust gasket required as part of the job. Practice makes a difference though, and this time the heat exchanger/exhaust manifold landed on the work bench barely two hours after the engine covers were pulled. Ten minutes later the heat exchanger was free and ready for the shop.

Ten minutes after that I was well on my way to meeting that daily limit of alcohol intake.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Trying to get going

So there we were, within 36 hours or so of pulling the hook out of the Manatee River and heading off. There was a last day to be spent getting the mast lights on Blowing In The Wind squared away, and getting some play time in with the grand kids. I had long dreaded that last day of play, knowing the heart break that would come with those final hugs before we took the Ding out to Kintala. Best guess was that it would be three days of tears and at least another week of shaking off a grey cloud of wondering just why we needed to be away. After that there would still be intermittent bouts of the grey, bouts that would fade as the months wore on, though never going completely away. But, as it turned out, they were not thrilled at the idea of seeing us sail off over the horizon while they stayed tied to a dock, and so decided to leap in the cruising life themselves and come along.

How cool is that?

Because Kintala can’t fit through the Okeechobee, and Blowing In The Wind’s Captain and Admiral wanted to have a little easer “first go” than running through the Gulf of Mexico to the Keys, the two boats will be taking different paths for the first few weeks. After meeting again in Stuart our little family flotilla will head north.

Kintala was due to leave first with the plan of spending a few days hanging out in places we like to hang out, and meeting some people we would like to meet. So there we were, within 36 hours of pulling the hook out of the Manatee River and heading off.

Right up until we did the morning’s routine battery check. The check doesn’t amount to much, just running through the monitor menu to verify each battery’s voltage. The fancy Xantrex monitor does a whole bunch of other stuff as well, all of which I review, and none of which is very useful. Individual battery voltage displayed on a digital read-out to the hundredth off a volt will tell you everything you need to know about battery health. In the five years these batteries have been in Kintala the morning voltage checks have always been within a couple of hundredths of a volt of each other. This morning…

Battery 1 =12.16v.

Battery 2 =13.23 v.

Rats.



The first step in troubleshooting is to verify what one thinks is wrong actually is wrong. In this case that would mean opening up the battery box and putting a volt meter on each battery. Alas, since we had been working on BIGW’s mast lights yesterday and left the tools on that boat for today’s efforts, my volt meter was back on the dock and not with Kintala out here in the anchorage. A quick run in to say “good morning” and grab the meter ensued. Sure enough, checking with an independent meeter confirmed, battery 1 was down an entire volt from battery 2.

Five year old batteries on a full time cruising boat. One really can’t complain. We started making plans to replace the batteries, figuring we could get back on the dock for a couple of days. Better to do it now than face the music somewhere along the East Coast. But…

Deb kept asking, “Why?” Why this sudden drop. Why today? And I kept answering, “Everything works right up until it breaks.” We are trying to get going. This is a boat. Of course it is broken. Boats are always broken. It is just a matter of how broken.

The second rule of troubleshooting, after verifying the problem actually exists, is to figure out the most likely cause of the problem. And, when it comes to the most likely cause, one might as well start with the last thing someone touched that might have something to do with the system wonk now messing up the day.

Since I wasn’t aware of anything being done that would jostle the electrical system into a wonk, and since the batteries are five years old, and since we trying to be on our way; I just fell into the conclusion that the batteries had decided this was the perfect day to file for retirement. But clearly Deb wasn’t convinced. Even while using the internet to check the prices and availability of various batteries she kept asking, “Why now? Why today?” After a bit she disappeared in the aft cabin and started poking around.

“Found it.”

Found it? Found what?

Working on BITW’s electrical system had her rummaging through all of the various bins and cubby holes on Kintala yesterday. Places where we stash all kinds of do-dads, like wire and connections and tools not often used. Stuff needed to fix BITW’s lights. It is a bit of a pain. Actually, it is a major pain, not being able to just reach into a tool box or easily accessed storage cabinet to get something. I often claim that, should I ever loose my mind and move back on shore, it will be to avoid having to spend 20 minutes digging though cubby holes for the stuff needed to do a five minute job.

Kintala’s battery master switch is located in one of those cubby holes. We rarely touch it. In fact, it probably hasn’t been moved in a couple of years. In the process of searching for stuff Deb had bumped the battery master select switch with a box full of cable, moving in from “BOTH” to “ONE”.  It was late. It had been a long day. She was tired. And the cubby hole was dark and stuffed. As a result last night’s entire electrical load had been sucked out of just one battery.

Of course it was low. We had selected it to be low. We just didn’t know that we had selected it to be low come morning.

So, here we are, within 36 hours of being on our way.



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Aye Captain

As was alluded to a few posts ago, Kintala is now crewed by Coast Guard approved Merchant Mariners; OUPV - Operators. It is the bottom of the totem pole so far as CG licenses are concerned, but it is enough for our purposes. Exactly what those purposes might be is still a bit of a question. But for now it is enough to have it done.

Apart from accumulating the required 360 days of underway experience, it took 2 months of effort to jump through the hoops. Six, ten-hour days of class spread over two weekends made up the primary effort. Then there was test day. Yes, we both passed with solid scores. Yes, Deb took less time than I did. And yes, she had the slightly higher score. She was (as usual) much more motivated than I. After years of government tests, all I really care about is scoring a “pass." It isn’t like they put the test scores on your license for everyone to see. Also, my long experience with tests issued by government agencies has led to the suspicion that much of what we were being required to know would have little to do with actually operating a boat in a safe manor. A suspicion that proved accurate. 

There was also the mandatory drug test, a physical, and another day given over to the first aid class. All I will say about the first aid class was that it was about 20 minutes of information crammed into a ten hours of instruction.

Oh, and don’t forget the effort to get a TWIC card. I had one of those as a professional pilot. For some reason that one doesn’t count for professional mariners.

We took a class rather than doing the course online for a couple of reasons. The primary one was of motivation. I have trouble with online stuff, quickly loosing interest. Having a room full of experience to share, as well as a set timeline to meet, was a better option. What came as a surprise was just how little experience there was in the room full of people seeking a Captain’s license. 

The class was large, 20 or so. Most were people who worked as deck hands on fishing charter boats who were looking to take up residence at the helm. One was a young lady who works as a deck hand on a big schooner doing day charters somewhere. She was working toward a 100 ton license. Only a few of us were gypsy sailors.

The first hint of just how thin the collective experience was, came early on day one. The class started out with the lights and shapes that commercial boats show when doing their commercial kind of stuff. There were also the rules on the lights all boats are supposed to show, and when they are supposed to show them. Our instructor asked how many of us had ever seen such lights out on open water. Three hands went up, two of them being Deb’s and mine. Class-wide there was virtually no experience with being under way or anchoring at night. 

As it turned out, there was very little experience with a lot of things. Virtually no one had any understanding of navigation that went deeper than punching a waypoint into a chart plotter. True as opposed to magnetic was a revelation to most, as was deviation as opposed to variation. Deb and I spent several hours tutoring those around us during the navigation practice sessions. I am fine with chart plotters. Kintala has nary a paper chart on her anywhere. But a deeper understanding of just what those chart plotters are doing in their little brain of chips is a good thing. Should that little brain go on the fritz it is likely some indication can be seen on the screen, so long as one knows the difference between what the thing is supposed to be doing as opposed to what it is doing, a situation familiar to anyone who has faced down the antics of a savvy instructor in a full motion simulator. Lest one believe that to be a "training only" kind of situation, it is also one I have seen many a time in an actual cockpit on a dark and stormy night. Yet there was not a single mention of using chart plotters or the various ways those things might lead one astray. It is a safe bet chart plotters are the only navigation anyone in the class is likely to use.

There was no mention of emergency navigation options, not even so basic as where Polaris might be found in the night sky, and what it actually means when one says, “The sun sets in the West.” About the most informative warning we got on navigation was to not trust that the position of channel markers as shown on the chart would be where they were actually located out on the water.

Yep. Got it.

I was getting a bit concerned about what would happen during the sessions on weather. Surely it was going to take days to cover the weather basics for people who likely had little clue. As it turned out I needn’t have been. The weather portion of the class consisted of how cold, warm, stationary and occluded fronts were displayed on a weather map. There was no discussion of what weather might be expected if one happened to be under one of those fronts as they passed through. Then there was a two minute review of the types of clouds, which wasn’t entirely accurate. That was it. There was not a single mention of isobars, lows, or highs. To be fair, the Coriolis effect was mentioned, but not a word was spoken as to how that led to air flowing in parallel to the isobars, with the result that air does not flow directly out of a high and into a low. Indeed, there was no mention at all of what a “high” or “low” was actually measuring. In a Captain’s class on weather there was not a single mention of the structure of the atmosphere, or how that structure evolved into the conditions we were expected to handle with aplomb.  

Though in Florida, there wasn’t any discussion about hurricane season or what powered those storms.  There was no mention of the NOAA hurricane center, nor of prog charts, marine weather via VHF, buoy reports, GRIB files, or any other source of weather information. Apparently OUPV - Operators are fulfilling their responsibility to their passengers by watching the weather forecast on the 6 O’Clock news.

Time was  spent on general boat issues. What seemed most important was how dangerous a line under stress can be. There was a video of body parts flying, it was mentioned many times in the review tests, and the actual test asked the same question about three different ways. Apparently a Captain getting a leg torn away by a parting dock or tow line is a true embarrassment. Maybe that’s why Captains are expected to stay in the wheel house and away from the deck. Another point of emphasis was that boats tend to back to port, and how to get a twin screw powerboat off of a dock. Apparently that is a “thing”.  (I wonder how one can garner 360 days of sea experience and not know that boats tend to back to port?)

Emphasized the most was navigational rules of the road. That seemed okay, but most of that discussion focused on whistle communications to set up passing scenarios for various situations. Interesting, to a degree, but two things occurred to me. The first was that a large percentage of the boats around us for the last five years were clearly being driven by people who had no clue that there were “rules of the road”. The second was that virtually everyone has a radio. All such whistle communications are optional so long as the crews involved talk on said radios. What are the chances that someone so unprofessional as to take to the waterways without a radio, is going to be professional enough to know what whistle signals are appropriate? In the half decade we have been full time on the boat, I have talked to dozens upon dozens of ships on the radio. Never once have I heard a whistle. 

All in all one might be curious as to just what filled those 60 hours of class time. Truth to tell, I haven’t a clue. We got through it. We passed the tests. That was the purpose of the exercise. So, was it worth it?

If nothing else, for several weeks we concentrated on little more that what it means to operate a boat in a safe and professional manor. Operating any vehicle safely boils down to two things. Know what is going on around you. Make the machine do what you want it to do. The details are less important than the attitude, the attention paid to the environment, and the commitment to get it right. A lot of the information was interesting, if not imperative. Some of it was archaic and mostly irrelevant. But all of it helped focus the attention on being the Captain, and not getting anyone hurt while doing so.

So yes, it was worth it.

But it could have been so much more useful, so much more informative. And it should have been a lot more interesting.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wake me not

Friday evening after work Blowin' in the Wind, home for Daughter Eldest and Family, dropped its dock lines and joined Kintala in the anchorage for the weekend. There may be, somewhere in the world, something better than having a family boat raft up that includes a gaggle of grand kids, but it is hard to imagine what that might be. Little ones scampered back and forth between the boats (with close adult supervision), there was that special, little one laughter over pelican antics, and the adult conversations centered about how much joy could be found just a few hundred feet off shore. The weather was quiet, the sky clear, and the water placid. It was a perfect evening and the start of what promised to be a wonderful weekend.

Saturday morning arrived cool and quiet, right up until the powerboat brigade started. The designated anchorage was off Pt McKay on the Manatee River, not very far from the boat yard. Anchoring there, as it turned out, was like pitching a tent in a perfect little meadow on Friday night, only to discover on Saturday morning that little meadow was smack in the middle of a Rally Car track. Within minutes the two boats were periodically banging into each other as an endless parade of wakes surged past, ricocheted off the shore, and struck from the other direction.



Now some might think that a newly minted Coast Guard Captain would have anticipated such a situation. After all, the Manatee River is pretty much a boat highway from multiple marinas to the Tampa Bay playground. I have been in such conditions many times before and should have known better. But, as the saying goes, “If I was perfect they would have to pay me more.”

We stuck it out by tying the boats tightly together with a solid layer of fenders in between. It worked, though a couple of hits were dramatic enough to be a bit scary. Not for the kids. They were hooting and calling out “Wake Hoe!” when spotting the bigger swells rolling through. The adults kept cautioning the little ones to hold on and sit down.

I try to be a live-and-let-live sort of person. Well, maybe it is more that I get as far away from most people as I can. That way they can live however they want without being much of a bother to me, and I can do the same without being much of a bother to them. The power boaters were just out having fun. Some were going fishing. Some were heading to a beach somewhere. And some were thrashing around just to thrash around. Nothing really wrong with that. We used to thrash around on massively overpowered motorcycles just for the shear exuberance of it all. I suppose the same can be said of powerboats. On the other hand…


After repeated bashings it was clear that there wasn't near enough space between Kintala and the power boat parade.  My imagination started seeing the blunt, weird looking shapes zooming by in a less than flattering light; loud, smelly, and banging across the water with the apparent haphazardness of those not caring much about anything except being loud, smelly, and banging across the water. There were no dolphins in sight. I hope there were no manatees about, they would have had little chance to survive. Pelicans and  cormorants fled the scene. At one point I took the little ones into shore so they could ride bicycles rather than get tossed around the cockpit.

Things settled down come evening. Pelicans and cormorants returned to do a little fishing. There might even have been a puff or two as dolphins nosed around to see what kind of damage had been done. It was a bit surreal that this was the same place it had been just a couple of hours before. It  seemed the wise decision to pull out first thing in the morning, before the Sunday madness erupted.

I was on Blowin' In The Wind when the lines were tossed, riding along for a run to the pump out station a couple of miles up the river. It was only their second time getting on an unfamiliar dock so having an extra pair of adult hands on board, just in case, seemed like a good idea. It turns out I was completely superfluous, unnecessary baggage. The grandsons (nine and five) are excellent line handlers and soon after leaving the pump out, Blowin' In The Wind was secure in her own slip. Deb picked me up in the Ding, we loosed Kintala’s hook from the river bed, stopped by the pump out as well, and returned to our old slip. (That the new head configuration pumps out so much quicker and easier than the old was was a pleasant surprise. It shouldn't have been. The new hose run is about half as long as the old one, with about 270 less degree of bending.)

Today it was back to addressing the few minor items, like the 2.5 inch hole in the foredeck left after removing the deck fitting that is going to find a new permanent home in a different spot. Right after laying down some glass Old Boss Not So New called to see if I could make a road trip to check the rigging on a boat. (The yard is pretty busy.) The long and short is that the "road trip" ended up being done in a 300 HP center console fishing boat.



So there I was skimming along the Bay with Old Boss Not So New's Boss at the helm, doing close to 30 knots, and leaving a pretty good wake behind my sailboating self. Since the whole purpose of this trip was to get somewhere to fix something before the weather moves in tonight, not to mention that two of us were on the clock at a combined rate north of $100 / hour, such speed seemed totally reasonable.

Live and let live.