I’ve been wanting my interns to work on a short video piece — yet another skill the 21st century journalist needs — and last night was our opportunity. I got the three of us aboard a 40-foot racing yacht for a night of it.
It was strictly a fun race, so there’d be no yelling or cursing if one of them got in someone’s way. The boat was big enough that there’d be little need for scrambling and anxiety. The rain earlier in the night blew off and left a lovely evening. The yacht club was having a Hummer-making competition. The crew included a friendly pit bull who helpfully barked at all passing boats. Everything went great — we even won the race — until it came time to back into the slip at the end. The skipper delicately maneuvered into position, hit reverse, and was greeted by a loud, menacing-sounding clatter from below, accompanied by a crew member’s observation that we were taking on water, fast.
Long story short: Some coupler had sheared off from the transmission, and damaged the stuffing box, the point where the drive shaft passes through the hull. That’s where the water was coming in.
Fortunately, there were other sailors within shouting distance, and we were able to hand-pull ourselves into the slip to offload the journalists and the pit bull. Then it was a short tow to the hoist and dry dock. No biggie, the skip said: “Better it happens here than on the way to Chicago.”
My biggest regret: I had already stowed the cameras — they were in the bag that was getting wet below, in fact — and missed capturing the incident. It wouldn’t have really gone with the narrative, but it might have made for an entertaining parting gift for our host.
And by then, there wasn’t time to sample a Hummer. FML!
(FML, for you people who spend less time online than I do, stands for “fuck my life,” shorthand for a certain sort of whining. Given that it’s most often used when someone has lost car keys and the like, I think it’s entirely fitting here — we had a great evening out, capped by a genuinely interesting near-sinking incident, but it’s FML because there wasn’t time to order an alcoholic milk shake.)
I’m going to have to make one of those this weekend. They were invented at this club, the story goes, by the 75-year-old bartender, Jerome Adams.
And now it’s already growing late, and I have to skedaddle. Slept until eight! ayem! this morning, which makes me feel like I can bend steel with my bare hands. Instead, I’m going to ride my bike to my Friday morning meeting, followed by weights class at the gym. My weekend begins Friday morning.
Bloggage? Let’s see if we can’t scramble a little:
I’m really glad I didn’t watch the Anthony Weiner resignation fiasco.
An extremely, extremely difficult read: The bravest woman in Seattle, a Stranger account of a woman’s courtroom account of her rape, and that of her partner, before an intruder stabbed the latter to death in their home one night. Very graphic, heartbreaking. HT: Mary Helmes Sheely
Because after that we need a major palate-cleanser, Tom & Lorenzo on the Royal Ascot hats. Yeah, baby.
A great weekend to all. It’s clear and temperate outdoors here at the moment. Can’t wait to get outside in it.