Cape Horn rounding
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Easter Island, and boxhauling



<x-flowed>noon position:
   N 27d 09.4'
  W 109d 26.0'
distance to Cape Horn:  2510 nm

I'm now on Easter Island.  People around here call it Rapa Nui, and 
on the Chilean mainland it's called Isla de Pascua.  I arrived last 
night, and I'm now waiting for my ship to come in.  Heh.  Bark 
"Europa" was originally to have arrived on October 16, but had to 
divert because of weather between San Diego and here--something about 
a typhoon.  When I left Seattle, the latest prediction was October 
19.  Last night the guest house proprietor said it's now October 20. 
At least it's realistic--it wouldn't be an authentic sailing trip if 
everything went exactly according to schedule.

The Aloha Guest House is certainly a pleasant enough place to wait 
for a ship.  It's very nicely decorated, the rooms are immaculate, 
the food and service are great, and the hosts are experts on the 
island and terrifically friendly too.  Email haumaka@entelchile.net, 
if you're passing this way.  I haven't done any serious statue 
visiting yet, just a few near the town, but Ramon gave me an overview 
of what I'll find at which sites, even telling me what time of day to 
visit each for the best photographic light.

On my flight from Santiago was one of my prospective shipmates, a 
Dutch pilot named Willem van Rijswijk.  He's also staying at the 
Aloha.  Funnily enough, he's also a Patrick O'Brian fan--imagine that 
on a tall ship expedition.  While we were at the pub last night, we 
had an interesting conversation about a bit of nautical terminology.

O'Brian makes reference at least once to a square rig maneuver called 
"boxhauling".  I had never understood what the maneuver is, or how or 
why to do it.  Willem explained that it's a K-shaped turn.  While 
sailing on a reach or closehauled, you turn head to wind as if to 
tack, but instead you stay head to wind, with your squaresails aback. 
Hold this orientation until you get sternway on, then apply rudder in 
the opposite direction from your original turn, and finish the tack. 
By boxhauling, you can tack in less space than a regular tack would 
require, which would be very useful for tacking in restricted waters.

Why is it called "boxhauling"?  There's a Dutch expression "bak 
zeil", back sail, which means to renege on a promise; it sounds like 
it also has the connotation of reneging surreptitiously or 
indirectly, equivocating.  I'm no linguist, but I'm certain that 
"boxhauling" is derived from that Dutch expression.

Hal

</x-flowed>

Date Index | Thread Index