03/05/2010 - Getting High

What a beautiful day, spring really has finally arrived in Nova Scotia! That makes 3 nice days in a row!  Today was absolutely exhausting (and not because I am still recovering from the hangover from Saturday!).  The morning was spent “mousing”, which despite sounding like a rodent eradication procedure meant I had to go aloft and bend mousing wire around all the shackles, basically so they don’t come undone when we are underway,.. each one takes a good few minutes and before we knew it, it was lunchtime.


Some of them were really tricky to get to and I would be lying if I said that there weren’t a few hairy moments as I leant out to get around bunts or other rigging lines, but with each minute spent aloft I am more and more relaxed and comfortable and really looking forward to going even further up the masts,.. little did I know that the moment was closer than I thought as this afternoon Nadia asked me to come up to the Royals and T’gallants to learn how to bend on and furl the sails.  The Royals are almost 35 metres above the deck and it was a bizarre experience seeing flocks of birds actually flying beneath me!  Lunenburg really is a beautiful little town and from that vantage point I could see almost all of it!! 

There was no real nervousness to speak of, only when my feet were slipping along the new footropes did I get a twinge as I looked down.  The footropes are covered in tar and initially is really, really slippy and while we wait for it to get sticky we are forced to put up with sliding to and fro down the yards!  I just made sure I was hanging on!


As it was Fred’s (Mike W’s) birthday we decided to have a field trip to the bowling alley in Lunenburg.  As we entered I felt there was something wrong, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it!,.. then it hit me,.. it was miniature bowling.  For those of us who are Europeans, this is the first time I had come across “candlepin” bowling. If I were to describe it in a politically incorrect way, it would simply be “bowling for midgets”, the balls feel like slightly larger than normal pool balls and the pins are about half the size of normal pins and straight (like candlesticks?).  It really is the ‘diet coke’ of bowling, it’s the same idea, looks the same, smells the same but there’s something just not quite right!  Suffice to say, despite coming a satisfactory joint second, it was a hollow victory. 

The sound the pins generate as they come crashing down is more of a “tinkle” as opposed to the thunderous roar that traditional bowling generates,.. not nearly as satisfying as real bowling!!!


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