Monday, April 21, 2008

On this heading lie the Marquesas

Hello to all,

A rolicking reach? Rollin' along? Whatever the sailing magazines would call it we're having a good night of sailing but it's a little rollie. We're N16'19" and running straight down the 130W meridian to N10' where we'll start to get across the ITCZ towards S05'. That's the present plan. It's really a pretty moon lit night with a little high thin cirrus. It's rollie because we've got 20 knts of wind from the port quarter (left behind for you lubbers) and the eight foot swell is directly on the beam. Thus, she rolls! We've got a double reef in the main and the stay'sl set to keep the boat on her feet and moving about 7.5 knots. The wind vane has been steering very well the past couple days. Life is good. We still haven't had any hot weather. I'm sitting here at 0130 on watch in shorts and a fleece shirt and it's about 70F. With the breeze it's pleasantly cool. Ate some very fresh Yellow Fin Tuna for dinner and just sneeked a bite from Janet's chocolate stash. Tomorrow we'll probably pass the half way point in distance to the Marquesas. That'll be cause for a small celebration I'm sure.

Please allow me to break off the sailing talk a little while to express my thanks to all the people at NWA who have been so good to us over more than twenty years. For me, even as a retired puke, the merger announced with DAL brings up a lot of old mixed emotions concerning beloved 'Northworst'. I think a 'love-hate' relationship best describes the feelings of a lot of us about the old beast. We love the flying, we love the many, many great people, agents, mechanics, flight attendants, fellow pilots, who work so hard and so well just because they want to do their best and take a little pride in their work and their company. And we hate the fact that so often decisions have been made that have frustrated all this good work and have kept the company from being what we wanted it to be. Sometimes it has been beyond my understanding why we care. I've worked with so many agents and flight attendants who have been screwed to the gills by the situation at NWA but still are putting out 100% for a company that doesn't seem to care about them at all. Brings a tear to eye of the observer and, very strangely, there are a few in my own at this moment. So, we're thinking of you all. We know what fun the merger process can be. Ultimately I believe, if this thing goes through, you'll have a better place to work but it will take a long time for the new culture to settle in for both NWA and DAl people.

Time to do a little late night navigating. Love to all and thanks for the emails!

Bill & Janet, Ken Stiver and Bill Huber

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