Everyone seemed a little on edge today – irritable or irritated. I remember this sentiment from my last transit. Now that land is within sight, you are no longer certain you want to see it. Partly, I think, because it means that there’s an end to the reverie.
At 5:45 I had to be up for anchor watch. That’s only slightly earlier than I usually rise. I’m fortunate; the rest of the crew had to wake up at ungodly hours, like 2:45 AM. On anchor watch we have to stand on deck to make sure we aren’t approached by another vessel – in case they don’t see us in the dark; we have to make sure our anchor light is always lit, and our anchor chain is still in place. Lastly, we have to take three bearings using this glow-in-the-dark compass that looks like a hockey puck, to make sure we aren’t moving.
We also have to check the bilges – something I’d never done before. We have four bilges, hidden underneath the soles of the fo’c’sle, the main salon, the engine room and the aft cabin. Each one has a float switch triggered by high water levels. My new job – for one hour and one hour only – was to make sure the water would not trigger any of the switches. (This would be bad.)
I somehow misunderstood the instructions and was checking them every half hour. The task takes about 15 minutes, so I was barely finished with one bilge check when I’d start another one. When I told the crew later, they found this quite amusing.
A Sailor’s Work is Never Done
Today the crew put in a long day, practicing raising and lowering our many sails. Down in the galley, I too felt overwhelmed.
But I conjured up enough energy to make Cap’ a paper captain’s hat and hang streamers from the lamps over the table in celebration of her 31st birthday.
Dutch Baby with stewed apples, rice pudding
Leftovers, rejuvenated: Al fredo sauce on bow-tie pasta; orzo in chicken broth; bluefish in Thai coconut milk; and salads and bread.
Gumbo, without onions, or spice (she used to live in New Orleans) and rice
This crazy concoction of pre-mixed box cakes (I never use these and was surprised to find that they actually smell a little… plasticky) with an icing made of pudding mixed with ready-made icing. Cap’ says yum; I say nazty.