ROMANCE was tied up at the Aloha Tower. Skipper told me that the day before I arrived, a hot tar truck on the pier was servicing either a road or possibly a roof repair job very nearby. Someone was asleep at the shut off switch, and the whole rig overheated and exploded in a fireball. Skipper said there was nothing he could do to fight the fire, so he and the few crew on board left for their own safety. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished before it could get into either the rig, or the hull. Also of interest, a major incident like that, was mentioned only once to me. Further, there was no talk of it during the delivery voyage.
I bet you never heard that story before! When we cleared Honolulu, we had to take a pilot, even though I could clearly see the Morse A outer mid channel marker. Easiest job the Pilot ever had! Further, because the trade winds were directly abeam, we put on a show for the FALLS of CLYDE 's rigging gang; by sailing her off the pier. As soon as we rounded the buoy, we started a long motor-sail beat to windward. However, eventually we got some favorable winds, followed by flat calm.
Skipper took us to the latitude of San Francisco, where we wore ship onto a very broad reach down to L.A. Of course we set the stunsl's. Skipper said it was the furthest north he had ever set the stuns'ls in ROMANCE. In fact, it was probably the furthest north he had ever sailed her. But at least we got a wonderful 3 day (plus or minus) sail down to L A, where we came in at about 5:00 AM local time. Even as the greenest member of the crew, I could have predicted that! A couple of other incidents:
Of course, I got Mrs. K's 12 to 4 watch...probably so she could keep an eye on me. So, picture this: pitch black, first night watch around 0200, she asks me to "give me some sheet " on the Spanker. What to do?! Did she want it trimmed or slacked? Well, as I didn't want to get yelled at, I went over to the sheet, and made a big show of tending it: first slacked a bit, then trimmed back and made fast. I retreated to my spot on the coach roof. She never said a word. I think she probably just wanted to see if I knew where it was.
We had a close encounter with what was identified a great Blue Whale. I was below, and people started whispering Whale. I hurried up on deck and forward; but only saw the upwelling from the tail fluke as it sounded. Coming into L A , as it was foggy, Skipper asked me to stand lookout on top of the scuttle leading down to the Foc'sle. Well, in due course, I managed to step off it, one leg ending up between the scuttle and the chain locker, and the other going who knows where. As soon as I knew I was going to fall, I went completely limp; hoping that would help cushion the landing. An X ray showed 2 broken, but not displaced ribs. I managed to fake my way through the arrival work party, but I needed someone to help get my sea bag over the side when my brother picked me up around noon. I never told Skipper. I didn't want him to worry.
Finally, I took 200 ft of super 8 mm movie film on the voyage. I had it transferred to a disc, which I think I gave to someone....or maybe not. I just don't remember. So, if anyone has it and wants to add it to the ROMANCE documentary, its OK by me. I have a copy, and could make another copy plus write a narrative for a dubbed in sound track. I just don't know what you have in mind. Looking forward to hearing from someone eventually. Steve Hopkins 914 632 2012. email@example.com
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