And the most valuable crew member award goes to.......
13 July 2012 | out in the Pacific
Rick*, our Monitor windvane.
I honestly don't know how anyone can cross oceans without one. We've had the luxury of having an extra crew member (in the form of a windvane) since our first ocean passages aboard Cassiopeia. They are actually better than an extra crew member because they can stay at the job 24 hours a day and require no food or sleep, yet they perform the most arduous duties on board -- steering the boat in the right direction. And they seem to do a better job than the human crew.
His cousin Otto (the autopilot) is a great help to, but he requires power so to utilize his services we need to run the engine or he'll drain the batteries in a hurry. But in times of no wind, when Rick can't do his job, Otto is the man of the hour.
With a windvane at work steering the boat it allows all the other crew to take care of other tasks and to eat and sleep without someone always having to be behind the wheel. And steering a boat on the ocean in the winds and seas we're having is difficult at best and very wearing, so with Rick at the helm doing the toughest job on the boat, we are able to take care of everything else much easier. Thank you Rick!
* It seems all cruisers are want to give a name to their windvanes to recognize them as the crew member that they truly are. Monty is a common one for Monitor windvanes and others have named them after family members that they wish were sailing with them. Our windvane on Cassiopeia was a Navic windvane (designed for smaller boats) and when the salesman sold it to us the said it was like a Ford compared to a Monitor which is the Cadalac. So, since it was a Ford we called it Gerald. We've chosen to call Cetus's windvane Rick, after the fictional character in Terry's books.