MAX EBB of not knowing what's been cleaned and what's still dirty. I'm putting a little video camera on the brush." "A GoPro on a stick!" said the foredeck crew. "Brilliant!" "On the brush head," said Lee. "I
want to see what the brush is brushing in real time. And like, you don't even need a GoPro. For $20 you can buy this little waterproof inspection camera on a 15-foot cable. These cameras are made for finding damage inside pipes or lost things inside walls. There's a camera with built-in LED lighting on one end, and a USB connector on the other end."
"Do you have to mount your laptop computer on the brush handle, so you can see the picture while you brush?" I asked. "It's a natural for Google Glass!" said the foredeck crew. "Or at least a smartphone app," said another crew from the leeward rail.
ore heel angle, please," Lee requested, and the crew all tried to get their weight even farther to leeward to
help the sails fill. We didn't think the wind could get any lighter, but it must have gone to absolute zero. "Goose eggs," announced Lee as she took a peek at the knotmeter. "Max, what's the time limit for this race?" "Well," I informed her, "since this race is not part of a series, just a stand-alone single race, and since the RC finishes the race from the club deck..." "Don't tell me there's no time limit," said one of the novice crew. "There's no time limit," I said. "Max, I asked you not to tell me that!" she moaned. "How long are we going to stick this out?" "Do you have opera tickets?" asked Lee. "Yes!" she answered. "We'll give the wind a chance to come back," I said. "But no worries, we'll get you back in time." he wind did not come back. In stead, it started to rain. "There is one more very important element of the winter beer can race management formula," I explained. "They cancel
the race if it's raining."
"Wimps." said Lee. "We get enough of cold and wet in the summer," I said. "And with a race scheduled every week, we can afford to skip the weeks when the weather is nasty."
ith that, I hit the starter button and directed the crew to douse the jib. Lee did not seem happy with my decision. "I guess we were going to come in last
anyway," she finally shrugged after the jib was down and the rain was getting worse. "We'll have a clean bottom next week," I promised. "And you know, if I could always race with a clean bottom, without paying for a diver every week, I'd sail in these beer can things a lot more often." "Under 'true confessions,'" said Lee, "I built the bottom brush that the other boat was using this morning. "So this is all your fault!" I teased. "Sorry about that, Chief..." — max ebb
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• March, 2014
The March 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.