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The Sirens call- The cat, walrus, boffin and seadog.


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Chapter One.

 

There comes a time in a mans life when  the calling of their true self can no longer be ignored, years are but a interval for respite.

 

The smell of the salt, oaken and tar, the seductive call of the siren has captured me. So I go to sea once more

 

 Neptune will determine my fate.

 

In the morrow, I shall be neither marooned nor landsmen. 

 

Its not a regular commission as they are always anything but. At this stage- I would take any old hulk or scowl, as long as she has a  pump to keep the powder dry.

 

A scrap of paper appeared under my door, with just some co-ordinates, a name and time. It had been years, but the Sirens always know, my wounds were healed and vigor had returned. I had no expectations except it would float, and failure would not be countenanced. With no time to loose, I  called for a four horse coach to speed my arrival. My trunk was ready as always- should the need occur, timepieces,charts and all. Sadly my cutlass and pistols were a shambles, I will tend them on the trot.

 

It is, whilst  a welcome  serendipity that the sirens have at last answered my call, I feel trepidation for the urgency. The note indicated none. but the howl of the tempest surely does. To venture forth in such a cauldron makes mockery of calm machinations in archaic  mens clubs. Now was a time of action and the devil may pay the butchers bill.

 

The coachmen spared none on the trip and dropped me at the edge of the village. I arrived quite wet and looking bedraggled, not that anyone could make me out in the storm. To any cove I just looked like a rummy stumbling aboard- just the way it should be. Another Salty fierce at sea but easily fleeced of his booty, be it rum, song or woman- deflated he returns with a full belly  and a empty sack. I find my cabin, light the lamp and searched for the orders, my concerns were justified and time was a luxury I had nought to spare. At first light we must away to catch the tide and favourable wind, any delay would put us lee on the rocks, I have not a moment to loose and good weather is days too late. The sea in the Port of Stephen, our anchorage is 6 foot swells and gusting to rip off their tops, outside its the full force of a angry sea. A combination of a Easterly and a big cyclone heading south east, the tail been felt now, was not to be a pleasure cruise.

 

I pondered over a drink the species of this strange ship- neither beast nor fowl, but called a trawler. I knew it might be a small design and made to look inconspicuous but I had my doubts, sure it had  a ketch rig but also a contraption that sounded like bedlam playing with hammers. I had heard rumours of such a wonder and had seen a locomotive engine in a ship, but never a beast of burden that drank a strange oil brew and so small. I had seen plenty of oil in my time Sperm, Blue, Wright and the others but never this cousin of tar. Having kept up my sources, I deduced it must be that clever German fellow I met at the Royal Society. We spent a whole evening talking the latest in philosophical knowledge and how it pertains to cannon and rifle. He seemed very interested in the explosion of the charge and the different loads I might use ball, grenade or chain given for type of target.  He at first looked astonished, then roared in laughter when I explained if things got real rough we "throw the silverware at em", we both saw the Irony of it. A deck of deadly swords and cannon crews cut down by crews mess kits- if only the poor souls did not mock us running short of shot.  We had another Wine and Rudolf said "If only I could harness this cannon power into a engine". We pondered some more on the merits of such a contraption and saw the need to move like a steam engine, but small and without a huge command for fuel or explosive like my cannon.

 

Initially It seemed like a impossible problem to be practically solved, but as the hours  and wine flowed we seemed to have formulated a plan to test such a hypothesis in the best scientific manner.

 

Naturally that is far from success but it least a plan, and given the hangover, a damn good evening. I left him to it and wished him well, Rudolf grabbed my hand and said " I will see you again, when its real".

 

I had thought little of it since, just another Royal Society meeting, too many drinks and too many ideas to capture and make full . The beast below us was testament he had indeed made a groggy idea into a contraption that could power a small ship as good as sail but  better. Into a strong sea with a storm sail and power through on its 3 foot screw. Rudy had not only made a engine small but very powerful and made "Walrus" 35ft and 15 ton cruise at 8 Knots and 5 litres of this strange Rudy brew. She was a special and heavily built for her size, a deep stable sailing hull but a screw out back. Rudy reckons 1500 nautical miles between tanks without a sail seen. I will stick with sails and try them both as suits and this contraption better prove its worth. I am grateful though and sure it will come in handy to leave come dawn. The sea is angry and not to be trifled with, Rudy had better be right or we are going nowhere but the bottom. To anyone about at first light, they will assume some mad bastards too drunk on rum and off to chase a better anchorage. 

 

As arranged at 5 before first light, a red light beacon spoke the code and Rudy appeared, from the abyss in a strange dinghy. a little thing and made not of wood but some grey sausage like thing. It was filled with air and had a small box engine on the back. I was taken aback by the scene but should have  expected no less from Rudy. He explained with great detail how he tried various methods to create his little boat. After much research, Rudy decided the best was a bladder made from Dorks and how the Sperm Whale penis is a exceptional candidate for such a engineering task. I winced at the thought and felt the dread of progress. Over a drink he explained the dorks were discards and a waste not to use, he could see my discomfort.  I was however impressed that a boat could be packed into a suitcase and combined with that electric motor he has devised could be vary handy. Needs must and as we are going on the hush, it could be good for dark work. Better to complete a raid and not have to fight it out, numbers are not on our side. Including Rudy our first mate, engineer and boat designer, it was just me and a mongrel black cat. The mystery of its parentage and how it decided 

 

Walrus was a suitable home are lost in time and his qualifications for the voyage were yet to be determined. But he had a certain something about him,  firstly he had swum 150 feet out to the boat, then just swaggered into the saloon and made it his. When he jumped onto the table and quietly sprang his claws to demonstrate his  prowess and determination to get his fare share, we laughed and he had his fill of tuna. He passed the first test and we hoped he would see it through.  Were we go no man or beast gets a holiday cruise, we must use every skill and cunning we possess. A stranger crew and ship that ever sailed the seas I could not imagine and I hope the enemy do not either, such a clandestine contraption and speed against the wind. Rudy assures me Walrus also has big teeth as well, we are sure to need them.

 

Ships Log:  Sea 7 foot swell, anchored off Port of Stephen Wind S 35 knt 05:20 prepare for sail at 05.30

 

 

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Last time I had 35kts from behind I had about 15 kts over the deck and was scared stiff I was going to jibe and tear out a backstay. That was at night in a multi race winning yacht, just me on deck and approaching Sydney from the North.

 

 

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It gets easier when north of the Whisundays, 

 

Left Blowen, when the southerlies died down, heading north, headsails wing&wing, big swells behind then, before we were ready Magnetic Island  abeam,

 

Great sailing. 

 

Did anyone find that L that blew out of Bowen.

 

spacesailor

 

 

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Your intrepid agent reports from his adventures afloat. My mission to survey the Port of Stephen for misscreants and agent provocateurs continues.

 

Our cunning plan to enter enemy waters at Nelsons bay has succeeded. We conviently "ran aground at the public wharf in the marina due to steering failure" the hydraulic line choose that exact moment to give up the ghost. Amazing what careful planning and help from the  "Sirens can acheive.". Thus three days free at the wharf conviently blocking easy access to the game fishing weigh bridge.

 

This last weekend and again this one is a mad procession of murderers looking to kill giants of the sea like Marlin. Rich pricks in million dollar plus boats wanting to kill stuff for a photo. Today was at least $100 million in big boats full of self entitled pricks out for bragging rights on who owns the biggest boat, the smallest dick and can kill as much as possible for a photo.

 

Sadly today we were visited by a lovely lass and seargant on a police launch and asked to leave pronto for the tournament. I guess you can only block the bastards for so long.. 

 

Some mention of pissing off the side of the boat during daytime was made and excessive merriment at night. It was the damn cats fault, and the bloody Walrus was no help either.

 

But having left port and stationed just outside we may " find a serious problem in our little ship" and make 

 

merry mayhem with the murderers plans.

 

Is it our fault the public wharf with the weigh station is the only one available for emergency repairs?

 

Sea trials and sampling of german beer continue with haste. 

 

The only drowning has been  my micro enigma machine to ensure it not fall into the enemy hands.

 

Our mission continues, weather has been good , some pussy complained of storms and gales but they are soft.

 

Walrus has made a new friend- Octopussy.

 

 

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The Octopussy is not crocheted but 3 d printed in one run and articulated. My son made it.

 

We might be seadogs but high tech for toys.

 

Walrus is old school timber no fibreglass and metals are bronze bar ss rails. The engine a Perkins 120 hp. At 35 ft she is a solid seaboat. 15 tonnes plus fuel and 1500 litres at 5 litres hr for 8 knts. So in theory 2400 nm range. Across the ditch is no issue, even Fiji is in range. A solid bugger worthy of the name Walrus.

 

Beware the tusks.

 

 

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If you ever grow tired of sunny days, golden beaches, predictable Tradewinds and tropical islands, you might stray south to Van Diemen's Land.

 

Walrus would be most welcome at the Living Boat Trust, and would feel happy in the company of others in the Wooden boat festival.

 

Sadly, I suspect that Walrus might shun my company, as I'd be bobbing about in my Tupperware sailboat.

 

 

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I like how so many good sayings relate back to the old maritime days. One common corruption you hear a lot these days is the term 'hell to pay'. The way I understand it, the original saying is 'the devil to pay'. Comes from the days of paying timber decks, where the outer plank is obviously a lot harder to pay because of it being hard up to the gunwhales. The outer plank became known as the devil because it was a devil to pay. Hence the saying 'between the devil and the deep blue sea' referred to standing on the gunwhale, a rather precarious position.

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I am back on land for a while. Back in the big smoke-damn.

 

Had great time, lots of Bavarian beer drunk, seafood daily and sun, sand and waves. Some storms but they are fun.

 

Met lots of characters including a bloke who was the first to do the lap of Australia solo as a Deaf person.

 

Lots of Dolphins, some Whales.

 

 

Pleased to see most rich wankers spending 20,000 a day chasing Marlin missed out.

 

 

Did have a great laugh when one boat came in and weighed its 76.5kg Marlin, had eyes removed for research and blood, stomach tests done. Then the poor beast was slid on the blood soaked dock into the boat. That's when it was slid across the deck by the head scientist with strength and punched a hole in the side of the boat with the huge spike. He walked off with a smirk and I laughed my ass off. He had a job but was happy to show his distaste at rich wankers killing the top predators for a photo shot.

 

Justice well done. But a sinking would have been better.

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A Windlass panel?

 

That kind of new fangled electrickery has no place on a old hungover sea dog's oak n tar ship!

 

Never fear the bugger has not worked in years and will not until a full service and rewire.

 

A 50 lb anchor, 35 m of chain and 100m of road ( heavy Rope) gives a good workout to retrieve.

 

 

If you ever grow tired of sunny days, golden beaches, predictable Tradewinds and tropical islands, you might stray south to Van Diemen's Land.

 

Walrus would be most welcome at the Living Boat Trust, and would feel happy in the company of others in the Wooden boat festival.

 

Sadly, I suspect that Walrus might shun my company, as I'd be bobbing about in my Tupperware sailboat.

 

 

Walrus will be going south maybe this winter as thats when the sea currents suit for a nice ride and speed. The boat festival is a possibility and we accept booby dazzlers in Tupperware as seadogs.

 

Amazing what can be bought in wood for so little money- too many scared of a little work. Not a issue when living aboard. NO great skills or tools needed just a bit of elbow grease and a ability to copy whats is there.

 

Tassie is a wonderland for wooden boats and all at affordable prices. Discovered a secret stash of Huon held by a hobbit in the forests that will provide to wood lovers only for boats- all ancient and cut last century. And not a millionaire prices.

 

Meanwhile- Walrus will be getting slipped and painted below, with a 500kg min lead added as ingots to the stern for better sea keeping. She was designed to carry a huge fish load so extra weight is a good thing. And a rewire is needed as in the engine room is a mess and looks wired by a blind man. Old lead acid batts will go and LIfepho battery banks installed, solar and new fridge freezer.

 

The engine driven one at 500 litres is crap, so a modern efficient one is coming. New camping fridges are super efficient and cold beer is a must.

 

A fish holding tank also on the list to keep bait alive, the King Fish like live squid. King Fish fresh is awesome and very hard to beat.

 

 

Later a dive compressor will join the toys as I find it difficult breathing in water- strange huh?

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