Wow is not good enough. I really do not have the words to describe today. We were to be in the galley early this morning for breakfast. We had all put our names in a basket to be drawn out for a prize the day before.
Anyway the only morning I depended on an alarm clock to wake me up the thing did not work properly. Anyway Dudley and I were scrambling around trying to both get dressed in the matchbox. I think I got my leg in his shirtsleeve once. Anyway we got to breakfast just on time and after we had set down to eat the phone rang. It was the Captain and he wanted to talk to me.
It seems as though my name was drawn from the hat and my treat was to go up and help get the JR underway from our station to head in to Victoria. Now I have driven a lot of things, from matchbox cars to school buses to big trucks, but I had never operated anything on the water bigger than a canoe. I get up there and just about all of the Rockers joined me on the bridge. Captain Pete went over all the controls with me and told me exactly what we were going to do.
One thing that I really found of interest was that the bridge crew still kept paper charts. Even with tens of thousands of dollars of navigation equipment, a paper chart, pencil and a triangle were the failsafe for navigation. It is a good lesson for my son and the other scouts in our troop. Even if you have a really cool GPS you still had better be able to do it the old fashioned way.
Well as the time approached to leave station I found myself repeating the prayer that Alan Sheppard prayed just before he went up in the first manned Mercury mission. “Oh God, please don’t let me mess up.” Rest assured that Captain Pete was very close at hand to make sure that it did not happen. We are now just outside the Strait of Juan de Fuca and our journey is just about over. As the end draws near I find that the frustration and weariness I was feeling at the end of the last school year is gone, and a profound excitement is beginning to grow for the upcoming school year. This will not be my last blog here. After we leave Victoria, I am off on a new adventure to climb Mt. St. Helens. I’ll let you know how that turns out later.