We made it!

All of a sudden, things got busy.  We made our open ocean crossing around Cape Caution without mishap.  The seas were relatively calm, though definitely different from our usual sheltered inland waters.  The ocean swell creates an ever-moving picture as you look out the window.  The view undulates up and down in every direction, and it is a sensation that takes some getting used to.  On top of the swell, there may be waves driven by wind and current.  Our trusty Voyager brought us safely through both swell and waves, and it was not as fearful an experience as we had anticipated.

More long travel days followed, and finally it was time to cross into US waters. We were able to accomplish our customs check-in via cell phone. This was an advantage to us, because it meant we could go exploring before going to Ketchikan, the port of entry. We opted to explore an area whose very name is captivating: Misty Fiords.

Living in the foothills of central California, Yosemite is a familiar and beloved national park that we enjoy visiting. Misty Fiords is a lot like Yosemite in that there are huge granite walls, glaciated slabs and chasms, waterfalls galore, and amazing views in every direction. The difference between the two areas is that Misty Fiords is accessible only by boat. The granite cliffs come right down into the water, as do the waterfalls after falling hundreds of feet from melting snows and high lakes. Another difference is that the area is huge – much larger than Yosemite. We picked out a Half Dome, El Capitan, Cloud’s Rest, and Royal Arches that were equivalent formations to what is seen in Yosemite. There was just so much more of it! It is so big and majestic that photographs don’t do it justice, but here are a few:

Glacier sculpted
El Capitan’s brother
Majestic morning

After being on the boat for 2 weeks, we were a little anxious to get onto dry land and walk around. Our first day at Misty Fiords was very misty, so we dressed in our yellow rain slickers, got into the dinghy, and headed for shore. We discovered that the slickers (which came with the boat) are not completely waterproof, but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We beached the dinghy and set off on our first hike in Alaska.

Voyager and the Captain
Alaska fashion statement

And then… Bear scat in the trail. A big pile of it! Gulp. (I do have pictures, but I’ll spare you). Because of the rain, we couldn’t tell how fresh it was. We decided to continue on, but we were very watchful, and a little nervous. The “boardwalk” was a bit misleading, because it consisted of rotting, slippery logs and boards which were in need of upkeep. Each step was a challenge, and each of us ended up falling down in the mud at least once. We were a sight!

Part of the boardwalk

Eventually we reached the waterfall overlook, and decided to head back to the boat. On the way back, we ran across a new pile of bear scat that was definitely fresh. High alert! We reached the trailhead and started for the dinghy. Across the meadow from us was a grizzly bear! We wanted to see bears, but not necessarily close up, so we California kids are rethinking our hiking habits. We are suddenly aware that we are not at the top of the food chain. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Grizzly in the meadow



Milestone:  a point used to measure progress toward a goal

The journey sometimes becomes more meaningful than the original objective. Perhaps the long-standing goal of taking the inside passage in our own boat to Alaska is a worthy goal, but the realization of the dream only emphasizes the path it took to get here.

Voyager at rest after 600 miles at sea

There are easier ways to see Alaska. Before cruise ship travel became the pariah it has become, thousands of people with a dream of the Last Frontier would flock here. This mode of travel was relatively easy and quick. You wouldn’t have to wait until retirement. Many itineraries would fit just about anyone’s schedule and budget. We opted for a more intimate experience, albeit more difficult. There must have been a sense that in the difficulty there would be commensurate reward. As I write, we are at the end of a deep fiord – alone, with only the sound of waterfalls and wildlife. All of this in Misty Fiord National Wilderness, a place that receives on average ½” of rain per DAY. Today is cloudless – a gift to us. It causes me to wax philosophic…

Many are curious about the cost. It is hard, if not impossible to quantify how much it cost. Sure, you could tally receipts and come up with numbers, but real cost is deeper. A dream requires the imagination of what could be, that something could be missing or maybe better than a current state of being. And, to actually move toward its fulfillment, you must believe. Most often dreams are too expensive – the perceived journey prohibitive. There is worthy competition too. Earlier in life, before retirement, family and work commitments are part of the journey.

There is usually something to fix – just a light bulb here. The boat is running great…

As you may have gathered from earlier posts, we are not life long mariners. Big Girl (Voyager) is our first boat. It has been a joy (most of the time) to learn new skills together in the retirement season of life. For example, how do you anchor in a fiord? The depths are crazy deep – over a thousand feet sometimes. It is sometimes possible to hook up right where it gets shallow enough at the head of the bay. We are still learning and relying on each other.

This where the bears hang out too.

Another hidden ‘cost’ of a bucket list dream is distance, and not just the mileage kind. Yes, we are close to two thousand miles from home and at 7 mph, it is a long way. The distance from family and community is a sacrifice indeed. These are the intangibles that will eventually bring us ‘home’. We’ve decided to simply come back with friends. Sharing the journey will be great.

The larger journey – whether it is a lifelong goal or not, is really the thing. Experiencing love in the context of family and community along with some of God’s great beauty, is what I am thankful for…

What is a milestone in your journey?

– mike

On Our Way To Alaska

On our way to Alaska

Those who know me well, know that the Great Chicken resides in my brain, reciting cautions such as, “It’s too far, you’ll never make it!” and “It could be dangerous!” There’s no end to the variety of objections GC can bring up at a moment’s notice. So let it be known that GC has been overridden, at least temporarily, and the squawking has died down to a low, if persistent clucking.

2021 is an unusual year for journeying to Alaska, because of the lingering threat of pandemic. Canada’s borders are closed, because their population is not as far along in the vaccination process as the neighboring United States. The Canadian government is concerned that outsiders might introduce a spread in both populated and isolated areas. We had read that officials are allowing boaters to pass through Canadian waters with the understanding that we are to quarantine on our boat. We may anchor. We may not go to shore unless there’s an emergency. We are to carry all the food, fuel and water we will need for the duration of the transit. All trash is to be held for disposal on US territory. We must keep to a submitted float plan, and complete our transit in a timely fashion.

The moment of truth

We were a little concerned that we might be turned back at the border, but the check-in procedure with Customs at the Port of Sidney went without a hitch. The customs officers were friendly and courteous, and after we had answered the many questions to their satisfaction, we were granted permission to transit. We are grateful, and we plan on being compliant guests while passing through.

Our first travel day was better than we’d hoped, as we journeyed up the Strait of Georgia. This is a big body of water, and depending upon weather conditions, the waters can be quite rough. Fortune smiled on us, as the weather was mild and the winds were light. We delighted in watching the topography change: Big craggy peaks poked up through layers of clouds. Sunbeams shone through the clouds and reflected rainbow colors at times. It was beautiful! We passed through Dodd Narrows on a flood current of 3 knots, which gave us a boost along our way. We anchored and spent the night at False Bay, Lasqueti Island. We had traveled 80 nautical miles.

Can you see the rainbow sunbeams?

The next day saw us navigating some choppy waters in the morning, but they calmed down within a couple of hours. The choppy waters provided an opportunity to reevaluate how to store a few items better for the next choppy session! Everything must be well secured, or else falling, flying items will make for unsafe conditions and a big clean up. Another hazard to watch for while boating in the Pacific Northwest, is the presence of logs in the water. The shores are heavily wooded, and trees can be washed away during storms. In addition, the logging companies transport huge rafts of logs to the lumbermills by using the waterways. Inevitably, some logs escape the rafts and end up as floating obstacles. Running into a telephone pole sized log with your boat could cause some serious hull damage, so it pays to stay alert. This is one of the reasons we don’t travel at night. It would be difficult to see logs in time to avoid hitting them, and radar doesn’t pick up objects that are low in the water. In the evening we anchored at Granite Bay after traveling 70 nautical miles.

Some floating tree roots
Here’s a whole tree! About 35’ long.

Day 3 was an awesome wildlife sighting day, beginning with a family of 4 whales that swam by our boat. The parents and two calves provided some tail slaps and lots of magnificent fins for our viewing pleasure. Later in the day, a pod of dolphins joined us on our port side, and they looked like they were having such fun! We joined in with appreciative exclamations as they performed acrobatics. Later, when we reached our anchorage, we spotted our first bear. He was scouring the low tide shoreline for food (we imagine crabs and clams might be appealing). These sightings of wildlife are a gift we never tire of. The many eagles we’ve seen continue to amaze us with their strength and grace. We anchored in Blunden Harbor after traveling 90 nautical miles – a big day!

Fuzzy shot, but we were far away!

Day 4 and possibly day 5 will be windy and rainy. We will be sitting out the storm safe at anchor in Blunden Harbor. From here we will stage our first major open ocean crossing: Cape Caution. We plan to pick our weather and timing for the best conditions possible. The Great Chicken threatens to rear its ugly head, but I’m sure he’s wrong, as usual.


Shake Down Cruise

If you have ever owned a boat, you know that there are always projects waiting to be done.  They generally fall into 3 categories:  Urgent (completion needed before launching), Important (completion would enhance the journey, but may be done along the way), and Cosmetic (completion would make the first mate happy).  Mike works on or prepares for all three categories during our 8-month off season at home.  But then there are things that can only be done while physically at the boat, so he’s begun the practice of arriving at the boat a couple of weeks early to work and get things ready to go.  Lest you think that work is a four-letter word of the unwelcome variety, Mike enjoys this work for the most part.  He is mechanically minded and enjoys a challenge.  He’s not under great pressure to hurry because I’m not there waiting around.  It is a workable system.

In the meantime, our Granddaughter and I were enjoying a whirlwind tour of Washington DC with a group of graduating 8th graders and their parents.  Then we flew from the east coast to Seattle, where Mike picked us up at the end of his project time.  It was time to go on a shakedown cruise.

It is important to try out all the systems on the boat before leaving on a big adventure.  It is particularly important to make sure all the newly completed projects are functioning as needed.  A shakedown cruise is the trial run that allows for working out any bugs.  It was also a slow-paced time for enjoying one another and “getting away from it all.”  Here are some highlights from boating with a teenager:

Playing games together
FFT’s – Family facial treatments
Island hiking/daisy crown
Learning to row
Resting. Lots of resting!

When the week ended and our sweet granddaughter returned home, we had worked out some small operational bugs and felt confident that we were ready to embark on a more substantial trip. This year we are taking the leap, and making the trek north to our 49th state – Alaska!


Who knew crabs could be so cute?

A Tagline that Ages Well

A Tagline that Ages Well

What is a tagline?  A descriptive phrase which follows a title.  It further clarifies, or gives clues about, the content of the written passage.  In our case:  View Point –   Random musings of two rookie retirees on a boat.  View Point, of course, is a play on words.  We express our viewpoints in our writing, but we also have the honor of sharing glimpses of the views and vistas we encounter, through our descriptions and photographs.

The tagline is a little trickier.  When we created the phrase, we were newly retired, and truly rookies at this new phase of life.  We wanted to be intentional in retirement.  No couch potatoes are we!  When anticipating the freedom of retirement, we recognized the opportunity to do things we’ve never had time for, due to work life constraints.  (Most people can relate).  But opportunities don’t always just happen, they are created.  Consider the axiom:  Carpe diem – Seize the Day.  We knew we needed to seize this time of life and make it count.

A rookie is someone who has just started something new, and doesn’t have much prior experience at it.  Four years ago, we were rookies to retirement.  We had no experience at it.  We also had no experience with boating.  That’s right.   None, zippo, zilch.  So, what in the world were we thinking?  My far-sighted, adventure-loving husband was thinking of it as a means of seeing more of the world, but also as an opportunity for us to learn something new together.  Our 42’ Kady Krogen cabin cruiser is a vessel that requires both of us to operate it.  Of course, a seasoned mariner worth his salt might be able to single handedly operate it, but no sane rookie would be up to the task.  As it turns out, this working together effort has been good for us.  We each bring value to the table.  We also each bring incompetence at times, which leads to a lot of laughs.

But, you may say, now that you’ve been at this for 4 summers, surely you’ve learned enough to overcome your incompetency.   And we would answer that no matter how much we learn, there is still more to be learned, and we will never know it all.  Thus, we will remain in a perpetual state of rookiehood, and continue to have a lot of laughs.  This is something we greatly recommend, no matter your stage of life.  Resist the urge to take yourself too seriously, and embrace your inner rookie.  You will be led to places you could not have imagined.

In this, our fourth boating season, as we begin our time on the water, we are resisting any urges to become professional.  The rookie life suits us and keeps us humble, while continued learning and divine intervention keep us safe.  So, here’s to our tagline.  We’re going to keep it.  And here’s to you, dear reader, because we know that if you’re reading this, you care about us and our View Point.



Can rookies take their own boat to Alaska?

Chain Biter Bites the Dust

Welcome to Voyager’s third season with her rookie owners.  Whether or not it will be a third season of boating is yet to be determined.  Events have transpired in 2020 which have made life unpredictable and complex.  Planning is sometimes an exercise in futility.  Our false sense of security at being in control of our future has been exposed as just wishful thinking.

Covid 19 has changed the world for all of us.  We no longer just run to the store, or visit casually with others without thinking, “Do I have my mask?”  “Am I 6 feet away?”  “Where’s the hand sanitizer?”  We have been fortunate so far, that no one in our family has become ill.  We are grateful for health.

Enjoying the day, despite facemasks

Boating seems like an ideal way to isolate, by being away from populated areas and out in the fresh sea air.  When boating, there are times when you need to “come in” for provisioning, laundry, boat parts, etc.  By observing precautions at these times, we hope to stay safe.  But first, we have to get the boat in the water, and that has proven to be a challenge this year.

We began the season late, by choice, because we were blessed with the arrival of a new grandson.  There are priorities in life, and we chose the greater of two goods when we chose family time over boating.  The family time was wonderful, and our new grandson is a perfect cherub.  But eventually our attention wandered north to Voyager, and the possibility of a shortened season of boating.  The Great Northwest awaits!

Mike made the trip north first, to get our Big Girl prepped and ready for the water.  There is a lot of preparation to do, and of course there are a lot of projects that we never seem to get to when we’re out on the water.  Who wants to work at such a time?

After having had two previous seasons of various difficulties with our windlass, Mike decided to check the main gear box.  [Note:  you can read about these earlier windlass malfunctions in previous blogs.  We referred to our windlass as “Chain Biter.”]  What Mike found in the gearbox was a cause for alarm.

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It’s time for Chain Biter to retire, after 30 years.

After much discussion about possible solutions, we decided that the best option was to purcha$e a brand new windla$$.  This was an expense we weren’t expecting, but safety dictated the solution.

The necessary research was done by Mike, and he decided upon the best windlass for our current and future needs.  An order was placed, and our new windlass began the process of traveling to us from the east coast by truck.  In the meantime, I had flown north to join Mike after his 2 weeks of solo time.  There continued to be a flurry of work and projects by the two of us.  Mike had a lot of prep to do for the new windlass:  electrical wiring, new holes drilled in the deck, epoxy work – it was an extensive job.  I worked on the teak decks in between runs to the parts store for Mike.

Deckwork looks worse before it gets better.  Stay tuned…

Finally, the big day arrived!  The truck delivered our windlass.  The next challenge was getting the massive, heavy item lifted 15 feet in the air.  When the boat is not in the water, we can access it only by ladder.  There was no way to carry the windlass up a ladder.  The problem was solved by a forklift and driver, who lifted the windlass up to the bow pulpit, from where Mike was able to muscle it onto the deck.  We have no pictures of this dramatic arrival, as we were all busy helping.

So, may we now introduce Behemoth, our new windlass!

Some see a cow or a spaceship.  Others see a robot.  How about you?

Readers weigh in:  Is Behemoth a good name?

She’s big and beefy, and up to the challenge of raising and lowering 2 anchors and chains (one is a spare, for emergencies).  She is a Lofrans brand, made in Italy.  She doubles as an espresso machine if you push the right button.  No, not really, but we think she should.  We are getting close to finishing the installation, and then we will get to hear the new motor work.  Will it be quieter than Chain Biter?  We hope so.  Stay tuned and we will let you know!

As always, we miss family and friends we are away from.  We love you, and wish you health and good cheer.





The off season

Thanks for following our adventure.  We enjoy experiencing the challenges and adventure of the Northwest and boating during the summer, but I thought a winter update would be in order.

We are busy! How do people find time to ‘work’?  Don’t misunderstand here.  The morning coffee time does extend until 8:30 most days, so we aren’t on the run by any stretch.  Life is good.  Beth has played music for our church and Bluegrass with friends.  She exercises and attends yoga.  Playing in the dirt fills in a portion of her time, as she loves her garden.   Carver, our 3 year old grandson is often here for sleep overs and ‘adventures.’  This alone keeps us smiling, and a little bit tired.

Tree Filtered
A gift that hangs by our front door – thanks Nyssa!

Just as every thriving family tree has a visible upper part, it also has roots – unseen and hopefully deep.  The same is true for our faith.  With all things boating on hold, we are thankful for the things that run deep and have importance.  We hope you are allowing some of the trivial, even the fun stuff to go for awhile and focus on the people around you.  We count our many blessings.

A new anchor: It sure looks big.  Does your anchor set deep and hold fast?

With the great spring weather, thoughts are turning toward summer.  The ‘boat box’ is beginning to expand.  All winter I throw those random pieces and bits that we accumulate for the boat into a box.  There is a whole list of new things to do…  Check out the ‘boat page’ for some of the projects…  We hope to at least have a ‘maintenance year’ if the boating is postponed…

I hope this finds you well and thriving



Ebb and Flow

We have become accustomed to the ocean tides constantly ebbing out and flowing in.  It is a pattern that repeats day after day, but each repetition is unique.  Depending on the phase of the moon, the tide may be extra high, or extra low.  The ebb and flow of the tide also creates strong currents of which we need to be aware.  If we are traveling with the current, we can pick up some extra speed (and travel faster than our maximum 7 mph).  But if we travel against a strong current, our forward progress can become agonizingly slow.  Hence the phrase, “Don’t buck the current.”

Tidal rapids caused by ebb and flow – Skoocumchuk Narrows
When we look at the big picture of our lives, we also see an ebb and flow.  The biggest flow, of course, was the flow of hours and energy devoted to our work lives.  We had regular ebbs on the weekends, and occasional ebbs on periodic vacations.  The largest ebb in this context has been our retirement from work and busy schedules.

If we dial the microscope in on our current life, we also notice an ebb and flow:  8 months of the year are spent at our permanent home, where we engage in the flow of daily life, relationships and community.  Then we spend 4 months at ebb as we draw away from schedules and enjoy the anticipation of awaking every morning to a new and relatively unplanned adventure.  We adjust our lives to the rhythm of nature:  We sleep when we are tired, wake up when we are rested, eat when we are hungry.  Clocks and calendars don’t disappear, but they are no longer at the forefront.

Put your feet up with someone you love
“What do you do with your time?” is a question we are frequently asked by our friends.  For those who’ve never experienced boating life, it may seem that we could get bored with this lifestyle.  If I am honest, there have been a few times when I think, “What shall I do?”  Mike is busy with a project, I don’t feel like reading, we aren’t near shore to go for a walk, I miss my friends, etc.  But these times are infrequent.

Generally, the day includes an over-breakfast discussion of the day’s options.  Shall we stay here, or go elsewhere?  Sometimes we stay put for a few days.  Other times we travel to a new destination.  There are many attractions, and we will never run out of new things to experience.  Nature surrounds us each day, and there are spectacular sunsets.  Plants, animals, birds – we enjoy them all.  As the honking geese fly overhead, we can hear the wind in their wings.  It’s amazing!  Paths through the forest open up to breathtaking views of oceans and mountains.  Small seaside towns provide a fun diversion as we stroll along the sidewalks to find unique shops and restaurants.  People we meet along the way are friendly.  Who has time to be bored?  Contentment is a great blessing, and we are content with whatever each day brings us.

So many choices…
This year’s boating season brought us a new ebb and flow of visitors!  We have had 21 people visit Voyager during the past couple of months.  Some stayed briefly, but most stayed for a few days, and some as long as a week.  We have taken great pleasure in sharing the boat blessings we’ve been given.  It is a joy to watch people transition from busy scheduled lives to a state of relaxation and a feeling of well-being.  We think of it as offering a retreat from normal life, where our guests can experience a “re-set.”  There is rest for the soul in beautiful surroundings.  A sentiment that is often expressed by our visitors is, “it doesn’t get any better than this.”  We agree!

Now, as we enter the ebb of concluding days of our summer away, and prepare to flow back into life at home, we count our blessings.  We have a couple more weeks to enjoy here before we pack up Voyager and put her to bed for the winter.  Life is good.  We are grateful and content.  We thank the Lord of Creation for beauty, safety, provision and good fellowship.

Embrace your world

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die;  a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  a time to break down, and a time to build up;  a time to weep and a time to laugh;  a time to mourn and a time to dance;  a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;  a time to embrace, and a time to refrain;  a time to get and a time to lose;  a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  a time to rend, and a time to sew;  a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;  a time to love, and a time to hate;  a time of war, and a time of peace”.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A time to ebb and a time to flow…


Let It Develop

It has become a joke on board Voyager.  But at first, it wasn’t so…

A phrase that keeps coming up is: “Let it develop.”  Take for example, the ofttimes crowded waterways of July in the Puget Sound.  There can be countless boats on the horizon; everyone going their own direction. To avoid a conflict, should I turn left, stay straight, turn right, or just stop?  The standard response is: yes, you guessed it… “Let it develop.”  Last year we had very little experience with this chaotic dance.  I would say let it develop even though we wanted immediate resolution.  At seven miles per hour, there just isn’t enough information to make decisions and choices of direction even though we could see several miles ahead.  Some of the really big, ominous ships travelling faster than us would simply be gone by the time we got to the dreaded collision point.  Their size can be deceiving.

This guy cut us off even though we had the ‘right of way’.  He is bigger…


This may seem academic after the tense moment has passed, but when your well-being is in jeopardy, it might not be the time to say, “just let it develop.” You want resolution and you want it now.  We have earned some experience in boating and also in life.  There is comfort in the many successful conflict resolutions that didn’t end up in catastrophe.  Even if the evidence would suggest otherwise, there is a calm assurance that we’ll be okay. The process of adjusting to life on the boat has opportunity for applying what we already know to the new and different situations all around.  This is what adventure is all about.  We do tend to like the tame variety so the outcome is really never in doubt.

Life’s outcome is good.  Do you believe this?  It is easy to project a different, tragic ending based on the constant barrage of bad news or being surrounded by the bad choices of others.  This is a fear-based existence and would be easy to adopt while out on the water.  Storms with rough seas, a hole in the boat taking on water or any number of overwhelming breakdowns with resulting bad outcomes could all ruin us.  Thankfully, we have managed to avoid these fearful possibilities.  There is still the tendency to pray for immediate relief from the chaos that finds us. But, as Rich reminded me while visiting last week, I should thank God for unanswered prayers.  Garth Brooks sang:

“If only He’d grant me this wish, I wished back then, I’d never ask for anything again. Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.                                                Remember while talkin’ to the Man upstairs,                                                                    and just because He doesn’t answer, doesn’t mean He don’t care.                              Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

There is no way that we could have predicted or manufactured the teamwork, time with friends and family, scenery and the joy of this season of life.  These are good gifts from above.



I like the boating phrase that describes a boat with the ‘right of way.’  It is the ‘stand on vessel’.  With confidence that comes from experience, and faith in a caring God, we have become a Stand on Vessel.  When things look dire, I don’t say ‘let it develop’ anymore, but I might just be praying.  Could it be that it’s His voice that is saying…

“Just let it develop”





Meet Chuck
Chuck is an individual with the rugged good looks you would expect if you crossed Homer Simpson with Sponge Bob.  You might think you see the glint of intelligence in those steely blue eyes, but you would be wrong.  Chuck is a total airhead.  That’s right, zippo between the ears.  In fact, zippo ears.  Chuck has the dubious distinction, and extreme bad luck, of finding himself overboard at inopportune moments.  That’s right, in the drink.  If the truth be known, he actually gets chucked out of the boat, and thus the name.

Whenever we have company aboard the boat, we try to be good hosts in the extreme.  We consider it our solemn duty to make sure everyone knows their way around the boat, and knows what to do in case of emergency.  We give short lessons on how to operate the radio to call for help.  Guests are told where to find the first aid kit.  Finally, they are instructed on procedures for getting someone back on the boat, should they fall into the water. This is where Chuck comes in.

One never knows when Chuck will make his move.  Attention grabber that he is, he likes to wait until everyone is comfortable and unsuspecting, but he always makes sure someone catches a glimpse of him going over the rail.  Once Chuck is in the water, the crew leaps into action:  First, a flotation device is thrown in Chuck’s general direction.  You might think that Chuck could just swim and catch up, but alas, he has no limbs.  Even if he did have them, the breathtakingly cold water would render them useless in fairly short order.  A flotation device will help him stay afloat until we can reach him.

The next step is to alert the captain.  Some shrill blasts on the nearby whistle, followed by yells and screams of, “MAN OVERBOARD!!!” will do the trick.  The captain’s job is to turn the boat around and get close to Chuck.  Our sturdy big girl, Voyager, is known for her solid stability and dependability in the water.  She is not, however, known for turning on a dime.  Mike gets that turn down to a pretty good half dollar, but a dime is out of the question.

While the turn-around is underway, the trusty crew must keep their heads and make preparations for hauling Chuck out of the water.  Everybody dons life vests, in the event that they also fall out of the boat during the rescue attempt.  One of the crew stands on deck in sight of the captain, never letting Chuck out of his sight, and pointing his finger at Chuck’s location.  Another crew member makes sure that all obstacles are out of the way in preparation for hauling Chuck in.  This person also fetches the boat hook.  A boat hook is a long extendable pole with a rubberized hook on the end.  A person in the water can grab on to the pole when we get close enough.  Chuck, having no limbs, needs to be “hooked” with the boat hook, and brought aboard.

The operation requires everyone to keep a clear head and do their part.  The current record for a successful haul out belongs to the crew headed up by our granddaughter:  4 minutes.  Future guests on Voyager are invited to try and beat the record, but be aware that points are deducted for falling in, hurting oneself, hurting someone else, or insulting the captain.

A successful rescue is a cause for…..  Celebration!  Glasses are raised in honor of Chuck.  The glasses are empty, because, you know, so is Chuck.  Chuck is lovingly dried off and stored in a safe place, where he will hopefully remain secure until the next, “MAN OVERBOARD!!!”

To Chuck!