Imagine you get in your car to go for a ride. But, once you pull out onto the road you notice that the roadway itself is moving beneath you. It may be moving in any direction – back to front, side to side, or from any other angle you can imagine. In order to get to where you want to go you have to take this into account with your steering and speed.
Imagine further that your car has no brakes. The only way to stop your car or to slow it down is to let off the gas and let it roll to a stop on this moving roadway (if possible), or put your car in reverse to bring it to a stop – all the while taking into account the moving roadway beneath you.
Imagine further that, at times, the roadway develops hills and valleys which themselves are moving beneath you. They may come from any possible direction, lifting you up and dropping you down perhaps 20 feet every few seconds, increasing and then decreasing your speed accordingly.
Welcome to life on the water.
It is with this in mind that we have bought our most recent piece of safety equipment – A Seabrake, delivered all the way from Australia. This item belongs in a general class of equipment called drogues. A drogue is a device which is attached to the stern of the boat and used to slow the boat down in a storm and to keep the hull perpendicular to the waves. These are usually deployed in large seas where one is surfing down the waves at high speeds risking a loss of control. Obviously, we hope this is a piece of equipment that we will never have to use.
The Jordan Series Drogue is perhaps the best well-known of these drogues, but at least five times the cost of the Seabrake. It is difficult question to decide how much money to spend for safety equipment which you hope to never use. In the end, after doing as much research as I could, I decided to go with the Seabrake, which you can read more about here. Soon, we’ll have another piece of safety equipment which I’ll tell you about.
We also recently replaced our grill which sits on our stern rail. That grill was wonderful. It warmed quickly and reached a high cooking temperature. But, it had seen its better days. It was dirty, ugly, and had rusted through on the bottom. At one point it almost fell off the rail. We bought a bright, new, shiny one on sale and installed it in the place of the old one. Unfortunately, our one cooking experience with it was not fulfilling. It heated slowly and very little. I’m not sure it will last long on Beatitude unless it improves in performance in the near future. Since we use the grill to cook the majority of our meals, a slow and poor-heating grill would be very frustrating.
Until next time…