Monthly Archives: April 2014

Swift Kick To The Stones With A Side Of Fire

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New Caledonia Countryside

We arrived in New Caledonia on a Monday around noon. We arrived late enough in the day that I would have to wait until Tues to catch the next flight. We offloaded the science party lickity split and I had my bags packed ready to go for Tuesday morning. The driver arrived on time and drove the hour to the airport. The driver had just retired from the Customs Service in New Caledonia and was also a champion breath hold free diver / spear fisherman. I learned a lot about the area from him and the fishing that I didn’t get time to try. Perhaps I will be able to return another time.

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Another Countryside Photo

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Inside the International Airport

My flights took about 28 hours total to arrive back in Seattle where my family picked me up and I had them take me straight to the hospital to see my mom. I was so fortunate that we were headed to port when “the call” came in. I was able to spend each day with my mom until she passed away a week later.

When I first arrived home, things looked very good for her and the doctors thought she would be on a recovery path. When I heard that news, I scheduled an STCW Advanced Fire Fighting Course for a couple weeks later through Compass Courses in Edmonds, WA. Things then changed with mom and she passed away and then you realize how much work there is to do. I was wishing I hadn’t signed up for the class, but I decided to go and knock it out anyway. I think it helped me to get out a bit and have some fun. The fun part of course is the day you’re not in class. It’s the day you go to put out fires and learn from some incredible trainers the things that may save your ass one day. The training takes place at the Washington State Fire Training Academy run by the WA State Patrol. The place was abuzz with different training groups from Boeing using the aircraft mockup, the FBI was there teaching about radioactive stuff, other groups were learning about methods to cook meth and what to look out for and several other groups of fire fighters doing the normal building fire training, buses, and so on. The special part is that all of the fires they train with are real fires like diesel oil, gas, wood, etc.

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The Washington State Fire Training Academy Marine Mock Up

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Some live fire training with a real class B fire.

So now that I’ve given up my spot on the Thompson, it may be awhile before I can rejoin. My buddy Marlin Mike are headed out on another short yacht delivery if the weather ever cooperates and in May I’ll be running a 29′ Defiance during halibut season for my buddy Mark. Here is a link to his website.

See you guys again soon!

Rough Weather Video, Cape Horn 2010

This video was taken during 2010 when the 274′ Thomas G. Thompson rounded Cape Horn. One Z Drive was broken down and they were just hove-to trying to ride out the storm until they could get back to port. The seas were reported to be 60′. (I wasn’t on this trip)