Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crew Change

We got back home to RI on Friday night, and have spent Saturday and Sunday lazing around to recover from such an athletic 2 weeks. I have 700 or so photos to sort. But more importantly I have to finish telling you all about last Wednesday.

We woke up in Catskill, NY with a foggy sky and masts lying on braces on our deck. The braces were tied with straps and ropes that I would have to step over and duck under every time I walk anywhere on deck for the next few days.

We untied the dock lines and headed for Albany. It was quiet in the cockpit. Charlie was at the wheel, Todd was logged in to do a bit of work, Craig was reading and I was probably puttering around and taking pictures. We were still tired from the strenuous day of taking down the masts, and once we got to Albany Craig and Charlie would leave the boat.

I took the wheel, Todd got online and booked Charlie’s one way flight from Albany to Providence, and joked about his getting frisked at every turn for booking a one way last minute flight, and then I turned around and saw it.

A gigantic freight ship loomed behind us. It came around a bend in the river and barreled north, as if it were chasing us. We hadn’t tied the masts to the braces and we feared that the wake from the freighter would jostle them off the braces and onto the deck, or worse into the water.

Charlie took the wheel and examined the map. Todd and I scrambled on deck with a spool of rope, stepping under and over the supporting ropes the whole way. Charlie steered Sabine just outside of the channel and shifted the diesel into neutral. Todd and I finished tying the masts to the tops of the braces while the humongous freighter passed us. Its wake wasn’t nearly as big as we’d anticipated, but we were still relieved that we managed to get the masts tied down in time.

We followed the freighter all the way into the Port of Albany. It towered above the river banks, like it didn’t belong in the Hudson River, and would run aground at any moment. Narrow strips of water were on either side of the ship, barely enclosing the freighter in enough water to carry her to her destination.

While en route Todd hailed the captain of the freighteron the radio to find out how much fuel it burns per day. The captain was very cool about talking to us, despite the fact that he probably had more important things to worry about. (You know, like not running out of river to travel on.)  The captain replied that the freighter burns 1 ton of fuel per hour, or 302 gallons.  That breaks down to approximately 1 gallon every 12 seconds. (Todd observed that he can't even pour out a gallon of diesel in 12 seconds.)  Imagine that this ship runs 24/7 when it is traveling, and burns 7,248 gallons per 24 hour period.

For the sake of comparison, Sabine burns ¾ of a gallon per hour.

We tied up to Albany Yacht Club and said goodbye to Charlie just before his taxi took him to the airport. Todd’s mom and nephew, Alex, arrived with the best brownies I have ever eaten. Armed with her car, we ran errands, had a pizza dinner selected by 5 year old Alex, and then returned to the boat to prepare for our new crew to arrive the next day.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home