A Shoutout for Technology
22 December 2021
When we started this Odyssey I was a believer in hand signals between the anchor crew and the helmsman. Like many guys, I figured you could say what you needed to say with the wave of an arm or a hand or a finger! Look at the internet sites that talk about using headsets and you will see the macho attitude against the technology.
Well the Lambs bought a pair of headsets in St. Augustine. Some call them wifesavers and we agree completely. It was a perfect anniversary present.
Try a hand signal when setting an anchor in the dark, or while you are using two hands to attached a line to a chain. I guess you could use your feet! We use the headsets whenever we are doing anything where the wind or distance would require us to raise our voices. For example when raising and setting the anchor, when docking or when one of us is serving as lookout.
In an earlier post I described dodging a drifting trawler. Before running out on deck we grabbed our PFDs and our headsets. They were a great help in a stressful situation.
The headset lets me speak in a calm and normal tone of voice. It also lets me provide details on what I am doing with the anchor or give precise instructions to the helm. Try saying "turn the wheel 1/2 turn to the right and put her in forward for 3 secs at low speed" with your hands while holding on to the bow pulpit as a wake passes. Or try using your hands to warn some on the bow about a large wake while they are looking at the anchor with a strong wind. It does not work.
We love talking calmly and quietly with as much detail as we want. It gives us greater confidence as we perform challenging tasks.