I went sailing today. We (Andrew Cheung and I) took out the I-14. The I-14 is a fairly high performance dinghy (read: go fast). It’s a little trickier to sail than most of the other boats the yacht club has, so we capsized it a few times. At some point we capsized near the 520 bridge and someone driving by on the bridge decided to call the Seattle harbor patrol and report some poor drowning sailors.

So Andrew and I are halfway back to the Waterfront Activites Center when we see the Harbor patrol with lights on speeding in the opposite direction, where we’d been earlier. Then we start seeing aid cars and fire trucks show up at the Waterfront Activities Center. The Harbor Patrol boat finally came back up behind us and asked if we’d been “tipped over” by the bridge earlier. Anyway, as we got closer to the dock all the people on shore realized that we didn’t need rescuing and got back in their trucks and left.

So yes, one boat, two aid cars, and one firetruck. Other members we ribbing us because they’d only had a single aid car and a firetruck show up when they capsized near the bridge.

Anyway, so that was my adventure for the day. In other news, I’m still peeling from not wearing sunscreen weekend before last. Melanoma, here I come! Also, my submersible marine VHF radio appears to be truly submersible (I hear they aren’t always).


“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky. And all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by.” —John Masefield

I was going to sailing this morning, but it didn’t happen–I was too lazy. I’m shooting for Friday now. I work in the morning, and then I can go straight to the water and sail from about 1:00 to sunset. I saw Andy this morning–he says he’ll be there to laugh at me. It probably will be pretty funny, I haven’t been out in a while.

I’ve been thinking lately, and the only moments I’ve been really happy over the past 4-5 years have been sailing. I bought a book of sailing quotes the other day (that’s where the above came from, you may also have heard it from Star Trek V). There really is something about sailing that can’t be explained…

When you’re sailing…it just seems like everything melts away…you’re only 20 minutes from shore, but everything there seems infinitely far away. Nothing on shore (work, school, whatever) can bother you while you’re out on the water. There’s you, the boat, the water, and God. I could swear God has a stronger presence on the water than on land. That’s probably due to the absence of distractions out there.

I think the best thing is when you go out in a storm, and it’s kind of nerve-wracking, and you’re putting all your effort into not capsizing. It’s kind of scary, but it’s great. And then the storm settles down and there’s still plenty of wind, but it’s not scary anymore, and you realize you’re still alive and the rest of the world just seems so trivial in comparison to what you’re doing right then. It’s purifying.


Tides came up at work, and we were trying to figure out what the tide numbers were relative to. You would think this would have been easy…but it took a lot of searching to find.


Tides are given in feet above (sometimes below) chart datum. Chart datum is defined (in the United States) by Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW). MLLW is “The average of the lower low water height of each tidal day observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch” ( Lower low water is the lower of the two low tides (or single low tide) in a day. The National Tidal Date Epoch is 19 years, and currently is the period from 1983-2001 ( I’m mainly posting this just to remind myself since I spent so much time figuring it out.