Friday, July 15, 2011

THE HOLY PLACE by Rolynn Anderson

What is the ‘holy place’ on a boat, you ask?

My husband and I are on our first cruise to Alaska in our 42 foot trawler, INTEPID. As we explore the fabulous Inside Passage, we pay special attention to our boat’s ‘holy place.’

The helm, you think? That is certainly the place of power on a boat, where the turn of the wheel helps us take the next enormous wave at a 45 degree angle instead of straight on or sideways. Lots of praying goes on at the helm, for sure, when the seas climb higher than our boat and push us in directions we don’t want to go

Second guess for the holy place? Maybe the galley (kitchen), where the cook must magically make meals out of limited ingredients, none of which are fresh (stores in the Alaskan hinterlands are woefully understocked…if we don’t grow our own lettuce on board, we’re eating frozen vegetables every meal). Food is important on a boat, but the fare is pretty basic. No, the galley, a cramped space, is far from holy.

The head (toilet). Excellent choice. Seriously, if a boat’s head gets plugged the trip sours immediately. We have two heads (better than one…sorry, couldn’t resist) on INTREPID. One is a fancy flusher, but the other is an old-fashioned hand-pumper. Guess which one fails most often. Yup, the complicated one. No question, functioning heads are sacred, but it’s hard to call them holy.

The REAL holy place is the engine room. Our trawler comes with only one engine. Do the math. If our big red Ford Lehman 235 quits on us, we have no spare to call upon. We’re dead in the water, afloat, adrift…in deep trouble. If the seas are troubled and we’ve got wind to contend with, no engine means a May Day call.

Recently, when my husband and I cleaned the holy place, shining the engine, sopping up oil, scrubbing the bilge and neatening up the stored items, we did so with care. Our engine gets a full tank of gas with additives, oil, water and spanking new belts whenever it wants them.

Yes, all that is holy on a boat centers on the engine. No need to pray for us on this long, amazing cruise, but please, do bless our sainted Ford Lehman.

Order LAST RESORT, a suspense/romance:
The Wild Rose Press

and Amazon


Mona Risk said...

Rolynn, you are a brave sailor. I watched my husband clean the engine but never dared approaching it. I clean and shine the deck, more than enough for fist mate duties!

Josie said...

This is simply amazing. Please keep us posted on this voyage.

Dawn Marie Hamilron said...

Have a safe trip, Rolynn. Enjoy!