The Mandisa Chronicles
This incredible tale is the first of Mandisa's adventures
with me. Please sit down while reading this; it may frighten you.
|2001/08/01||Wherein Mandisa is Acquired and Moved to Mission Bay, San Diego|
After all the work, all the sweat, all the money shelled out to sharks
and barracudas, it was time to get the show on the road. I let Kelly have
first honors at the helm as we passed out of the Marina Del Rey jetty
into the deep, slow swells of the Pacific Ocean. Sean, ever eager to
perform his duties, promptly turned green and went below.
We motored to gain a decent distance offshore, then killed the
engine and ran up the sails, whereupon we learned an important lesson
that will no doubt come in handy in the years and voyages ahead. Sailboats
require wind to move. The lesson fully absorbed, we fired up the
engine and proceeded apace.
The wind did us the courtesy of staying away for much of the day,
obliging us to motor to make the necessary distance before dark. We were
all terribly aware of the heinous fate that would befall us should we be
caught upon the open ocean at nightfall. (Don't ask. I shudder to think of it.)
As we putted along at an eye-popping
six knots, Kelly pointed excitedly to port and said, "Look!"
Speeding toward us on an intercept vector was a pod of at least twenty and
perhaps more dolphins, or porpoises or really large fish with holes drilled
in their skulls. Whatever they were, they met up with us and commenced to leaping
out of the water in twos and threes, providing us with fascinating entertainment.
We laughed and clapped and snapped photos and shouted with glee, little aware
that a covert mission was under way.
I chanced to glance down at the bow and noticed a couple of dolphins speeding along
close to the hull. I wondered what they were doing there while the rest of
the group put on the show. It then became clear to me what was going on.
Clearly, the noisy, boisterous
group was merely a diversion, while the ones below the ship were a team of operatives
set to carry out their true and no doubt evil purpose. I cleverly snapped a photograph
of the stealthy Ninja fish and they, realizing that the jig was up and that further, I
possessed a means of identifying them should something untoward happen, made haste
to get away. As they skulked off into the briny distance, I shouted that I would
be keeping these pictures in a safety deposit box with instructions to my lawyer to
release them to the New York Times should any "accident" befall me. So who's the
smart mammal now? Heh heh.
A Down-wind Run|
As we were heading in to Newport, the wind began to kick up out of the
Northwest to the point where we began to get a bit concerned. The waves
grew and it became a pretty interesting ride to keep the
boat from slewing to the side as we raced down the face of each wave.
We were beginning to get the hang of it when we saw this beautiful vessel
heading in to Los Angeles harbor. Looking at this picture, I'm struck
by the fact that the waves don't look nearly as big as they did from
the deck of Mandisa. I wonder if they were simply dinky little waves
like this picture shows, and I was just enlarging them in my imagination,
or if there isn't some interesting phenomenon in which photography
reduces the size of waves through some optical trick. I firmlly believe