Born to Sail

Born to Sail

I keep the eggs in a storage area under the sole (aka., floor) in the main salon. It’s the same compartment the watchperson looks into every day to check the bilge water. It was just a matter of time. As I lifted eggs into the depression in my apron, one fell out and went rolling. Crack! And it was gone. I emptied out the compartment of the wine, and the potatoes and the egg crates, and lay on the sole on my belly, and went in head-first to search the bilge water with a ladle for the egg. I came up with only half an eggshell.

So last night, poor Eve had to go fishing for my renegade egg. She eventually found it – along with an assortment of spoons and forks; a disintegrating can of peas and carrots; the top to a broken glass bottle and all manner of muck.

I monitored her progress as I moved back and forth between the galley and the main salon. Harrison sat with headphones on, reading at the dining room table. “What are you up to?” I asked him.

“I collect shanties,” he said, “and I just found this book on them, so I’m transcribing a few… while I catch up on Car Talk.” Sometimes it feels like my fellow crewmates came out of the womb tying bowlines and singing shanties. A few of them are veritable encyclopedias of tall ship information.

Another night Eve and Smith and I sat up late drinking beer and talking about our route. Smith said we wouldn’t be stopping in Montreal, but we would be going to Lunenburg.

“Where’s that?” I asked.

She looked at me like I’d just asked what a mast was.

“Lunenberg is like Mecca for sailors,” she said. “That’s where Bluenose was built.” (“What’s Bluenose?” I thought, but decided not to ask aloud.) She went on to explain that the town had a history of wooden boat building, and is still one of the few places in North America where you can find a foundry and people with traditional shipbuilding skills.

I’m envious of how long they’ve been exposed to this world. Eve, our engineer, got into it in high school, and was on boats throughout college. At 25, she has ten years of experience. When she talks about the engine, it’s like she’s speaking a different language.

Last night at the bar, I asked Smith what the career path was like for a first mate like her – what did she see herself doing next?

“That’s a question you get asked a lot: Are you a lifer?”

“Well, are you?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t want to be a captain. But given the right situation, I could see myself being first mate for a long while.”

Saturday’s Menu
Breakfast
Waffles (a big hit) with accompaniments, including some re-broiled chicken fingers from our windfall after the charter the other night; as well as whipped cream, toasted pecans, plums, pineapple and sausage gravy.
Lunch
Sandwich smorgasbord, leftover corned beef, leftover BBQ pork, curried egg salad for the vegetarian and more.
Dinner
Pizzas: caramelized onion and blue cheese; sausage, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella; ham and pineapple; and cauliflower and mozzarella.
Dessert
Ice cream sundaes with homemade chocolate sauce and chopped nuts