How many other people are you considering for the job?” I asked the captain.
“Are you trying to see how desperate I am?” came the voice on the other end of the line.
“How desperate are you?”
“Pretty desperate,” I thought to myself.
One week later, he hired me. Two weeks later I packed up all my belongings, put them in storage and flew to Michigan. Three weeks after that first phone call I found myself in Boston with one week left as a landlubber.I was charging up my batteries at the home of old family friends and getting a crash course in baking when I checked my messages and found a voicemail. It was from the captain. “Where are you?” he asked. “We were expecting you three days ago!” I called I told him there must be some misunderstanding, but I did not want to get off on the wrong foot. When he asked how soon I could come, I said I could make it in a few days as long as I could pop out for the weekend. Two of my friends were coming up to give me a send-off and had already booked a hotel in Boston.
I arrived just before lunch. I asked around for Captain Wright and was taken to him as he stood working at a table saw with a few other people in a giant shell of a building. He introduced me around and then led me straight to the galley. Filip, who had been acting as substitute cook, seemed not sure what to do with me. I took over, turning leftover pasta into a larger amount of pasta and marinara sauce. Voila. It wasn’t perfect, but it was edible. The crew seemed amiable and appreciative. And if lunch had been a test, I thought I passed it.
As I began my first foray into a new world, my father was ending his long career with the airlines. His last layover was in Boston that night. So as the crew made plans to go out for pizza, I drove into Boston for dinner with Dad.”How was your first day?” he asked. I told him first about the boat, which was beautiful. Even up on stilts in the shipyard, she had a regal air about her. The galley (the word for kitchen on a boat) sits between the main salon and the mid-deck, making it the boat’s main thoroughfare. While some galleys are tucked away belowdecks, this one protruded above the deck, so it had three portholes to look out as well as the main hatch. So far, it was just an introduction, but I had a feeling I was going to like it.