Sunday, August 9, 2009


It was a busy week at work for the General, so I let my blogging lag a bit. I will endeavor to dedicate at least a few hours per week to writing. I also feel strongly that if I have nothing to say, I should do just that: say nothing. That being said, I do have a few updates on the happenings at this magical place just East of the Equator.

Last Sunday (8/2), Deirdre's colleague Dorothy invited us to go sailing with them for a few hours. Dorothy and her husband Daryl own a 30 foot Catalina. The weather was perfect for sailing, with a strong southern wind, little to no chop in Lake Muskegon, and a clear blue sky. We drove to Muskegon where they keep their boat, and soon after we arrived, we got on board and left for a few hours of sailing. Growing up, I learned to sail at the Detroit Yacht Club, and I kept sailing on and off, ever since. I suppose my 22 years in the Navy helped a little, too! Dorthy and Daryl's son, Braden asked me to take the helm, which I happily obliged. In addition to ourselves, there were some of Deirdre's co-workers aboard, and none of them had any experience sailing, so it was up to me and Braden to keep on an "even keel" and allow the land lubbers to enjoy themselves.

Most of the 90 minutes or so we spent sailing were uneventful. With the strong southern winds, I was able to guide the boat to a respectable 4-5 knot speed through the water, and only once did things get a little interesting. I was in a broad reach heading west when a gust of wind filled the sails and in a matter of a few seconds, the sailboat went from having 0 degrees of heel to 25 degrees of starboard heel. This gust was unexpected, and my aforementioned land lubber passengers were a little startled when the boat suddenly heeled over. I steered the bow into the wind to right the sailboat, and as quickly as the heel came, it went. However, it was fun to see the look on the faces of the people in the cockpit with me as a few of them thought that the boat was going to capsize. I tacked back and forth a few times, gave Braden some lessons about the Nautical Rules of the Road and generally had a great time. We returned to the boat slip, and we then settled in for some grilled burgers and conversation. It was a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon and evening.

The next issue of the week had to deal with our corkscrew. On Wednesday night, I made Chicken Cordon Bleu, and I wanted to serve a bottle of Chardonnay with the meal. I cut the foil off the top of the bottle and proceeded to work the corkscrew into the cork so I could pull it out. While I was inserting the corkscrew into the cork, I noticed that the corkscrew seemed to be twisting in an unexpected way. Undaunted, I then tried to extract the cork, but instead of removing it, the corkscrew broke off inside the cork. Thankfully, I had a back up corkscrew, so the cork was removed without incident a few moments later and we enjoyed the Chardonnay with our meal.

However, I was deeply troubled by the failure of the corkscrew. Was this failure attributable to operator error, metal fatigue from use, or was it all just a cosmic coincidence? Upon further review, I determined that the corkscrew failed due to metal fatigue. The corkscrew failed due to repeated cyclic loading. Of course, I needed to find a scapegoat, so during our visit to see Amy at Art of the Table, I confronted her with the failed corkscrew and said to her, "It is because of all of the wonderful wines you have sold to us that my corkscrew failed!" We all got quite a laugh out of it, and Amy handed me a brand spanking new corkscrew, emblazoned with the Art of the Table logo. All in all, it has been a good week.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Classic overuse syndrome. Cheers!