Sunday, September 11, 2011

A different kind of school

Part of the 12 day flying stretch Deb mentioned is the yearly visit to recurrent training for the jet; 12 hours in the box, 12 hours in the classroom. To accommodate the fact that three of us are going this year and all of us need our time in the box, each day will be at least 10 hours long. Our airliner ride leaves St. Louis in a few hours and yes, we are flying on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. I expect it to be a long, trying day of endless TSA hassle; and I really, really wish I was spending the day on Kintala with Deb.

Still, someone else is paying to put me on the road for 4 days and do my best to crash a multi-million dollar simulator; how can that not be fun? We have had a pretty good warm-up to the sim in the last two days of flying. Friday my new co-driver and I (my old one has be recalled to American) entered a hold at PDC to wait out fog, used up the holding fuel we had added, missed the approach and diverted to ALO. Getting back to SUS at the end of the day included dodging TRWs and shooting an ILS approach. Going to the maintenance base at ALN yesterday involved another ILS approach. My new co-driver is a long time pilot and friend who has spent the last year or so flying 747s freighters around the world. (The state of our industry is so fractured that flying 747s that can weight upwards of 400,000 pounds all around the planet pays considerably less than flying a Citation that weights 16,000 pounds around the mid-west. At least, in the mid-west, English is English and the food is tolerable.) I'm thinking we are going to have a pretty good time slogging around in our old Citation.

After a long week it will be good to be back in the school of Kintala and the lake sim known as Carlyle. Projects await, and with the cooler temps of fall the work will not be quite as trying. (Changing the head and hoses in 70 degree weather sounds much better than doing the same in 100 degree weather!) I need to learn more about head sail combinations, particularly on how to fly the bigger stay sail. Right now it isn't even clear if it can be flown parallel to the jib, something I am itching to explore. In fact I was thinking this morning of just how much I have yet to learn. I don't know much about zincs and saltwater, solar panels and wind generators, auto-helms and wind vanes, flag etiquette in foreign ports, picking up a mooring ball (and paying for same), laying to a stern anchor, or what the hell that new noise is coming from the engine compartment. (It popped up two weekends ago and I don't have a clue.)

Long time cruisers will probably get a chuckle out of the things I worry about not knowing. Then again, in many ways I am still a pilot pretending to be a sailor. Airplanes or sailboats, one thing I am pretty sure of is no one ever stops learning on either one.


S/V Veranda said...

At least your fears can fit in a paragraph. Our list read like War and Peace.

Bill K said...

New engine room sounds are usually not good.
I would suggest finding it before it becomes bigger.

Bill Kelleher

TJ said...

Rest assured the engine noise has been moved to the top of the to-do list; along with the topping lift and continued efforts to seal the V-berth hatch. The other 50+ items will have to wait for another weekend.

TJ said... for the "don't know yet" list and War & Peace? It is a pretty good bet I don't have a clue as to what I don't know yet...isn't this fun?