Mobing the boat
Trip Start Dec 02, 2008
10Trip End Jan 20, 2009
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I will be doing the second half of a fiber optic cable route survey from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The job was originally started months ago on a boat called the Aquila, but after several setbacks including client disagreements with the boat capitan, a winch accident that ended in a lost finger, and the University of Hawaii walking off the job, taking their sonar with them. The project was scrapped until another vessel, sonar, and crew could be found and pick up where the Aquila left off and continue to Japan.
I've learned a bit about mariner folklore already on this voyage. I've heard all the basics before like don't ever whistle or say "pig", and never bring pork or bananas on a boat. But those are old salty dog superstitions that are up there with it being bad luck to sail with women on board. In this case the first mate was a woman so I don't think we could get around that one. I learned a new one that you're never supposed to name a boat in a word ending in A, I'm not sure why but it's supposedly bad luck. Maybe that's why the previous job went so bad on the AquilA?!? Another new one that I learned is that you're never supposed to set sail for a voyage on a Friday. I heard a phrase that went something like "On a Friday she was launched, on a Friday she set sail, and on a Friday she met a storm and was lost in a gale" This is something that is still observed today and I'll be dammed if we didn't sit at the fuel dock until 12:01 Saturday morning before throwing lines and setting off on our Pacific Crossing.
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