Settling In

Settling In

We are slowly settling in to life aboard Starr. It’s the beginning of our third day at sea now and the crew are getting their sea legs. The wind and seas are beginning to moderate a bit as we approach the North Pacific high pressure area. In a day or so it should be flat calm. Barometric pressure has risen from 1013 to 1021mb.

Four of us, Sharry, Clay, Kyle and I, are standing 3 hour watches on our own. Don is floating, spending time with each of us as we learn Starr’s systems and operating procedures. He also spends a lot of time fixing stuff. Yesterday it was the stabilizers. Today one of our computer integrated instrument systems decided to go on strike.

I have the 6AM to 9AM watch and the 6PM to 9PM watch. I get to sleep all night. Civilized indeed. The watch stander mans the wheel house, monitors Starr’s systems, and keeps watch for marine traffic and floating debris. Autopilot steers the vessel. There are panels full of instruments and numerous alarms for the systems aboard. There are two radars and a navigation computer with AIS to warn us of approaching traffic. We even have a forward looking sonar to warn us of underwater obstacles that we will turn on when conditions warrant. Sharry picked up a fishing boat about twenty miles away during her watch last night. Other than that one vessel and a brown albatross that is keeping us company, we’ve seen nothing since leaving Oahu behind.

It’s been too rough to leave doors open for ventilation so we’ve had the air conditioning system running for the past couple of days. It is a new experience for me, sitting comfortably in the air conditioned wheel house in t-shirt and shorts as spray lashes the windows around me. If I were standing watch on a sailboat in these conditions I would probably be wet and miserable.

It is a lot different off watch as well. After my watch ends at 9PM I head down to my stateroom for a hot shower and stretch out in my Queen sized bed for nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. Yes, I could get used to this.

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