Thursday, July 26, 2007

Red Hand Gang

It could have been entered for our most embarrassing moments in sailing project. Bill Faude's moment occurred while sailing in the Pan Am games in Brazil and is recounted on his Lightning in Rio blog.

This morning we went out onto the racecourse before the racing to check out the conditions. One of the things we regularly do is to sail by a permanent sea buoy of some kind to check the current. We have tide charts that tell us whether the tide should be coming in or going out. But the wind delays that sometimes. Or else the wind can even prevent the tide from going out at all. This happened on Tuesday. Anyway, we put a sponge in the water next to a big red buoy. The sponge floats low in the water so that when it moves you know it's the current that's moving it and not the wind. You might also do this with a weighted stick. OK, so we picked up the sponge and I told David I wanted to touch the buoy for good luck. I smacked it a good one as we went by. Later I looked down and saw a red splotch on the side of the boat. I thought someone was bleeding but in reality it was a hand print. The red sea buoy 3/4th of a mile off shore. The red sea buoy smack dab in the middle of the dirtiest harbor you'd ever never dream of swimming in. The red sea buoy, one of thousands in a gigantic country where very little appears to get periodic maintenance...had just been painted. Incredible!


EVK4 said...

If the red sea buoy was going to be a racing mark, maybe it was painted to identify people who hit the mark?!? Sort of like checking for chalk marks on a baseball to see if it was fair? Possible?

Tillerman said...

Hmmm. I dunno.

You either have to believe that the Brazilian authority responsible for maintaining buoys is incredibly house-proud and meticulous; or that the race committee for the Pan Am games have minds as devious as yours, Edward.

Or perhaps someone bought a job lot of paint that never dries?

Tough choice.

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