Friday, October 26, 2012

Combatting Lightening Using Lt. Dan and Forest Gump

Some would say sailors are a superstitious lot and they would be absolutely right. Common among them are;  Never leave on a Friday, don't have bananas onboard, do not rename your boat, and my all-time favorite, no women aboard.  It should be noted that we have done three out of four..

Our fellow cruiser friends, Aaron and Nicole of Bella Star, have taken this to the next level by installing a foolproof lightening prevention invention that will soon be sweeping sailing cities everywhere. Their ingenuity and out of the box thinking is inspiring to cruisers everywhere and perhaps also useful for those poor folks in the Midwest, experiencing a barrage of thunder and lightning storms. Let it be known, the Doolittles have plans for a patent and plan to market it worldwide on QVC upon our return.

First, you must obtain a worthy Lego figure or Army guy out of your children's toy box.  If whining or complaining occurs at this pillaging, simply explain you are attempting to save their lives and quell Mother Nature's most powerful force.  In our case, the Lego and Army guy were given up voluntarily and carefully handpicked by our children.  Our children have become sailors, they understand.

Next, haul your husband up the mast using a pulley system on your sailboat. Mickey and I are becoming adept and doing this, however, Captain Ben continues to take 10 minutes lecturing us on the importance of managing the lines while he is up there.  After he is a few feet from the ground, I remind Mickey that there is nothing to fear, we have a large life insurance policy on the captain and this is definitely a win-win situation. He makes it back down, we get to keep traveling and if he doesn't, we go home in style. Perhaps I should rethink this, as I observed a twinkle in Mickey's eye after relaying this information.

Forrest Gump takes a watch on the top of our mast!

The poor schmuck who is hauled up the mast, now places the figures on top using epoxy, shoe glue or any other adhesive found on board.  This will defend your mast from any lightening strikes and ensure a safe voyage for your vessel. 

There is no ceremony required, but naming figures will help solidify the relationship with your new guardians at sea.  Aboard Knee Deep we have named our Army Guy, Lieutenant Dan and our Lego Guy, Forrest Gump. Taken from the scene where the legless, Lt. Dan, ties himself to the mast screaming at the heavens while enduring a horrific storm:

"Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you son of a bit##! Blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me! You'll never sink this boat!"

Lt. Dan kicks butt......all is well!!!
Together...they are GIANT!!! Lt. Dan and Forrest Gump working side by side. When it's not thunder and lightening could they do something about that rusty VHF antennae???
Lt. Dan takes a watch at the anchorage

This is the guy you want atop your mast when the sh##  hits the fan. And we all know everything always works out great for "Forrest - Forrest - Gump".  As we set our for Costa Rica, we are confident our guys will watch over us and make our travels that much safer. 



Some more El Salvador anchorage pics from the top of the mast:

That's a looooong fall!


  1. Love it. Did you ever spy the dinosaur atop Andiamo's stick? Fair winds, Michael

  2. Love the pics! I think those guys on the mast are sending good mojo to the Giagantes tambien : )

  3. Makes me happy to see that you guys have installed your lightning protection system. That'll get you through the rest of the rainy season no problem! Hope to see you guys soon!

  4. Great post. To think we cruised all the way to Ecuador to escape the lightning, when all we needed to do was bribe Mickey and JP to give up a coupla army or Lego guys. (course with their rather, ummmm.... refined taste in electronics, sailing to Ecuador might have been cheaper!!!) Cheers, guys, and great to see you back aboard. Adam & Cindi, just back to Cusco after a great trek to Machu Picchu. Bravo safe and sound, we hope, in Puerto Amistad.