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Old 09-04-2014, 05:22   #1
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The Steering Wheel

Ok, so I want this to be above board and respectful.

does anyone think it amiss that a vessels steering wheel would be handed off to rescuers when leaving a vessel in danger of sinking?

To me is seems a bit like passing that new bathroom vanity out the window to a firefighter on the ladder.

Perhaps there is a good explanation for this. the shaft sheared off, was trying to repair a broken chain and had removed the wheel to access the pedestal better, etc, etc.

After 35 years of sailing, I can't imagining being in a life or death situation and getting out my tools to remove the steering wheel......
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:23   #2
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Re: The Steering wheel

Presumably its a memento

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Old 09-04-2014, 05:24   #3
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Re: The Steering wheel

So like the firefighter on the ladder thing then.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:30   #4
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pirate Re: The Steering Wheel

This isn't going to end well.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:46   #5
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Re: The Steering Wheel

I can have my wheel off in about ten seconds.....no tools. Similar construction.
I'd have done the same thing as a memento.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:55   #6
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Re: The Steering Wheel

No one was in a life or death situation. The US Navy was standing by. The firefighter analogy is silly. There was no "fire" burning. It was already put out if you will.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:02   #7
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Re: The Steering Wheel

A wheel nut may be. Fits in a pocket so less theatrical. Just little something to start a new project.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:04   #8
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Re: The Steering Wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
No one was in a life or death situation.
This.

Yes, the boat was being abandoned, but that was for a variety of reasons that presented no imminent danger to anyone's life. Under the circumstances, taking the wheel seems perfectly reasonable to me.
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:41   #9
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Re: The Steering Wheel

Probably not a good subject to troll.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:51   #10
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Re: The Steering Wheel

you have a wheel........luxury
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Old 09-04-2014, 17:23   #11
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Re: The Steering Wheel

Boatguy30,

First let me say, I was surprised for a bit, too, and I know this was an issue for you from the get-go. I would say it was more like someone handing the fireman their beloved guitar, a symbol so much part of you that you want to save it.

Then I thought back to when I was 35 and had a picture of a tropical beach in back of the sofa in our livingroom. What that was for me, was a focal point for dreams of travel. I have used pictures of our boat under sail to keep me focused on recovery from surgery, too.

So I can say, if it were I, taking the wheel would be symbolic of a number of things for me: a relic of a beloved; a dream attempted; a possible focal point for the future; sort of like an emotional star to steer by. For some of us, we get emotionally involved with our boats in ways that don't make rational sense, so it was something portable that they gave him permission to keep in addition to the three pillowcases worth of their home.

Of course, it is other folks than me involved, so this may not apply in any way to the Kaufmans.

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Old 09-04-2014, 17:32   #12
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Re: The Steering Wheel

Me, I think that the diamonds they were smuggling into NZ were hidden in the wheel...


(For those who worry about such things... this post was meant as a joke)

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Old 09-04-2014, 17:38   #13
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Re: The Steering Wheel

I don't think he made them wait while he took it off. I am assuming that since they were actually on the boat waiting for the Vandergrift to arrive for several days he had ample time to consider which momento of his lost dream would mean the most to him and plenty of time to remove it.

Maybe he intends to install the wheel on his next boat as a memorial to the Rebel Heart so that she can continue to sail with him. Considering everything he lost I don't think it was a lot to ask, and the Vandergrift is a Navy ship.....I think they had room.
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Old 09-04-2014, 17:49   #14
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Re: The Steering Wheel

My husband was stationed aboard the USS Lake Champlain in 1991 when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines. His ship aided in the evacuation of citizens to a neighboring island. They loaded up as much of their belongings, their dogs, their goats, whatever they could, onto the ship. I wasn't there, but my husband describes every inch of deck space being taken with whatever they could carry. They considered it a service they could provide to give these people a little something to hang onto and start over with. What could possibly be the purpose of denying Eric such a small token after such a huge loss.

It's not outside the realm of possibility that his rescuers were moved with compassion and asked him if there was anything he would like to save.
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Old 09-04-2014, 18:10   #15
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Re: The Steering Wheel

I don't think the boat or crew were in imminent danger. He had an allowance of space, and a wheel was certainly within that. Seems like a very appropriate memento.
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