Sunday, April 08, 2012

Battle Sail Weekend

Hawaiian Chieftain by suzipaw
Hawaiian Chieftain, a photo by suzipaw on Flickr.

While we were up in Manchester a couple of weeks ago, I saw in the local paper that two tall ships would be in Bodega Bay, the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain. M and I are unabashed fans of the Aubrey-Maturin and Hornblower books, so I visited the website for more info. How excited we both were that not only would there be tours, but that we could reserve for a "battle sail"! So that's what we did yesterday.

We took the bike out, which was handy. There was parking, but it was very crowded (I had heard at the gym the day before that kids were skipping school to see them--I think the fact that the Lady Washington was the vessel used in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie helped fan the fan flames). It was a beautiful day--not much of a swell, fairly clear skies, not too chilly, good visibility, and not too windy, which was good and bad. There was enough to actually do some real sailing without the engines, but we didn't maneuver too quickly. Though I think that was just as well. It was easier to see what the mostly volunteer crew was doing, how the mast and booms and sails and rigging worked, and also just enjoy the lovely day. The cannons made a fine loud boom--we saluted several other boats as well as the spectators lining the sea walls. The crew was very informal and playful, I'm sure Jack Aubrey would have been horrified. When another vessel hailed us, our captain replied with a "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" quip. An unexpected highlight was when a very small, white plane zipped between the tall ships, flying not much higher than the masts--I saw the pilot wave as he flew by. I took some movies with my phone that I'll try to edit and post soon.

Though the sail was just a few hours long, it really wiped me out. I got to bed early and had a hard time waking up today. I had entertained (not very seriously) thoughts of taking time off to volunteer as a hand (the crew was a least half women) but I don't think I'd last very long.

I was in San Francisco earlier in the week for our third show of the year. It went pretty well, but I think we'd all hope for more attendees. It was nice having an event in SF rather than Santa Clara. Much nearer, and I had some lovely food! Good pizza at Zero Zero and a second visit to Salt House. More long days, made a bit longer by my commitment to activity. I went to the hotel gym two mornings (I'm coming to the conclusion that hotel gyms just aren't very pleasant) and took an early walk another morning. San Franciscans are not early risers.

The week before the conference I had yet another evening event in the City. I had to drive down in a torrential downpour and I was glad not to be in the Cadillac, though I was white knuckling it all the way, even with Jane's help. It was my first formal speaking gig, at an event for women in tech. There were about 200 gals in the audience! It came about very suddenly and I had just enough time to prepare the five-minute talk, though it meant I worked on it all weekend. It went OK.

Frankly, it's a relief to have this first one over, and now I have a presentation that I can work on and take on the road. In other speaking related news, I was able to take part in a speaker training at the office on Thursday, and that really helped, though I have a lot of exercises I need to work on. My upward inflection, nose and eyes tracking together, and filler words, particularly "um," are bad, as the video illustrates. Also, I bobble my head quite a bit which undercuts my perceived authority--don't want to do that! The exercise for that is wearing a balled up pair of socks on your head and making sure they don't slip off--talk about undercutting authority! Anyway, I'm pretty excited and nervous about doing more speaking, but I truly believe that it will be very good for my career and for my self confidence generally. Wish I had worked to get over my fear of public speaking earlier!

In house hunting related news, we won't be able to schedule the painting til the end of the month. Meanwhile, interest rates are edging up and we're still not seeing any houses that we like. Gah. It's a little frustrating.

OK, time to pack my gym bag and head to bed.


At 6:47 AM, April 12, 2012, Blogger Brenda said...

I couldn't view the video! I assume it is because of my location, but quite disappointing.
I hope that the house hunting gets better.


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