An astrolabe
1/2-Oct-2005: The name Bunky has been removed off the boat’s transom with a heat gun. All that is left is Olympia, the boat’s port of call. The new name lettering has been ordered — Astrolabe. Inga has picked this for two reasons. One, the astrolabe is an ancient navigation device, an astronomical computer for solving problems relating to time and the position of the Sun and stars in the sky that was invented 2,000 years ago. The astrolabe was highly developed in the Islamic world by 800 AD and was introduced to Europe from Islamic Spain in the early 12th century. It was finally replaced in 1650 AD by the sextant. Inga knows all about this kind of stuff due to her bachelor’s degree work in ancient astronomy and astrology.

The Astrolabe in Antarctica
The Astrolabe in Antarctica stopping to gather water

Two, Astrolabe is the name of a French ship captained by Jules Dumont d’Urville that sailed around the world and explored the Antarctic. Inga feels such an name is good luck for our competent little boat and all the adventures we hope to undertake in her. Sam Devlin, the builder of our boat, loves it being a true romantic at heart and uses the French pronunciation hence forth.

It’s been raining on and off all weekend as a storm is blowing through so we stay put at dock and go for walks with Freya. The only boats to leave the dock all weekend are four sailboats that head out to go play in the storm manned with 4 people per boat, dressed from head to toe in rainsuits. Sailing in Puget Sound is a fairly tame affair due to its protected waters so if you really want to mix it up, you need a storm. We sit in our cabin and listen to them over the marine radio excitedly calling out “Right of way!” to each other as they zip back and forth. This is what you say in order to warn another sailboat to not cut off your wind by sailing upwind of your boat. They finally return exhausted and soaking wet with big smiles on their faces. We spend the night gently rocking while listening to the sailboat masts clanking in the wind. — Scott Bruce Duncan */:-)

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