Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Back to Sea with The Gainey Foundation

For another watch at the helm. Or even just at the bow.

It's been a while since I sat down and watched a hockey game. By "while," I mean, "longer time than necessary." And it's been a really long while since I needed the vicarious thrill of watching the goon drop his gloves and head for the melee. But that was a need after the returns were in.
But the last time I watched the Habs, I tipped the beverage seaward and offering up a whisper of hope to Bob Gainey.
Not that he needs it. He's a hockey guy who works hard with his team, his people, his family, and with charity. And his community supports him. Like with his Gainey Foundation, established in memory of his wife Cathy and daughter Laura. According to their site, "the Gainey Foundation is committed to supporting charitable organizations that offer environmental and arts education programs for youth."
Some good can come of tragedy. (I keep telling myself that, after yesterday's nonsense.)
So, today I'm thinking about Hockey and TallShips™. I'm retreating to the comfort of pursuits that require discipline of body and mind and spirit.
But bittersweet are those waters too. reports on the required safety changes on board Picton Castle, still being beaten up for the overboard death of Laura Gainey during a storm, December '06. A number of recommendations have been made:
  • $50,000 will be invested on new safety equipment, including lightweight life-jackets with beacons.
  • A safety line will be installed along the deck where Laura Gainey was swept off, for crews to hook their harnesses in bad weather.
  • There will be additional beacons on the ship that can be thrown overboard to mark the spot if a person falls overboard.
  • All volunteer crew will be required to have basic safety training, either the Marine Emergencies Duty course or the U.S. Coast Guard equivalent.
  • A new rescue boat, made of Fiberglas, will be purchased.
  • A five-day safety audit will also be carried out by a master mariner from New Zealand.
According to some online discussions with Picton crew, safety precautions were in place and followed during the storm, including safety lines.
But are all those preparations merely outward expressions, quantifiable statistics, roll calls and rosters of motions, that we can share with the concerned lubbers? Expressions that show, in no adequate way, the preparation and responsibility of every crewmember in his or her attention to "course and crew and cargo?"
No one goes to sea to damage themselves or their mates or their ship. I've seen a pure sense of duty in the saltiest old marlinespike-wielding would-be mutineer, and I've seen it in wobbly novices just learning the ropes.
Maybe Irving Johnson is right: "You do it for the ship."
I like to think that "You do it for the shipmates."
And there's no course too hard to navigate when you're thinking of the others.

1 comment:

karie said...

Thinking "of the others," seems to be the thing that is WAY too hard to do, these days! It seems folks think it "puts you behind."

This sad town is what we have to prove of that.

There seem to be some very fine cottages up in New Beige, then, eh?!