Say Sailor
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Say Sailor

Say Sailor

Say Sailor,

Usually, I’m pretty good with a fid. I can turn out a fair splice in all kinds of rope. So, when I decided to splice eyes in the bridle legs of one of our heavy weather drogues, I didn’t think it would take the better part of 3 afternoons.

The rope you see is 3/4 in. double-braid. (The pokey thing beside the spliced eye is a fid.) The time l it took is one thing, but Salty’s reaction to my first attempt was something else. For someone who doesn’t talk much, he sure can laugh.

“Say sailor, is that a fid in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” is what I thought I heard stopping to catch my breath between world-class bouts of profanity. I realized soon enough that it was Salty guffawing hard enough to fall off his perch.

I had measured incorrectly and there was no amount of pulling, massaging, hammering, or swearing that would allow the crossover to be run home. As it stood it was an abomination not worthy of dragging laundry behind the boat let alone be used in a blow. And Sir Salty Marlinespike-Sailor knew it.

The only chance at resurrection was to deconstruct the thing and try to salvage the bits and pieces. So, afternoon 1: Create an eye splice for Salty’s entertainment; Afternoon 2:
Deconstruct one very bad splice under Salty’s watchful stare; and Afternoon 3: Try, try again.

Luckily, as I’ll need the bridle in the coming months, it all worked out today. I did it outside in the shade of a ginormous cloud because the pressure of Salty looking over my shoulder was too much. Returning to the cabin to show it off produced no response whatsoever. Salty simply rolled rolled over and pretended to be fast asleep.

Tomorrow, provided there is a cloud big enough, I’ll have to do the second of the two legs. This time, As the saying goes, I’ll measure twice and cut once.

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • Claude
    Posted at 20:39h, 29 March Reply

    In weather like today having a fellow partner would make the difference of the world.

    Heavy weather conditions are great only when you have enough energy to enjoy it. I wish you the time of your life.

  • Tony Yanca
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Bert, I came across your voyage on looking for more positive and up-beat news in the world today. As we continue to try to isolate ourselves looking to conquer this extremely serious virus, you’re essentially isolated fighting the elements of Ocean Blue. I’m a surfer in Southern California and I’m always intrigued by extremely passionate individuals who take on these adventures, especially when it involves the ocean. I’m currently listening to some Reggae and enjoying a Pale Ale from our local brewery 🙂 Our Family is healthy and I’ll be working from home tomorrow, but will continue to follow your voyage rooting you on the whole way through. I wish you safe passage and pray that you will utilize all that you’ve learned to help you endure the many obstacles that come your way. You will make complete this voyage and I look forward to your future posts. Take care of yourself.


  • John T.Rice
    Posted at 04:06h, 06 April Reply

    Be safe..pulling for you!

  • Susan Conway Gray
    Posted at 05:56h, 06 April Reply

    What an incredible journey you have set up for yourself!
    I find your reflection on the coronavirus to be incredibly insightful.
    Self isolation as a time to reflect on what we want to become, what legacy we choose to leave behind.
    To many that level of self introspection will appear daunting and even impossible.
    To truly examine our minds, behaviors, and motivations while holding them into the light through the prism of our souls is an exercise most would not have the courage to do.
    But I hope some will take up that challenge.
    Good luck to you!

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