Land, Ho!

Land, Ho!

Sunrise on Orient Harbor.

Sunrise on Orient Harbor.

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 bearingsĀ 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.

Monday’s Menu
Breakfast
Dutch Baby with stewed apples, rice pudding
Lunch
Leftovers, rejuvenated: Al fredo sauce on bow-tie pasta; orzo in chicken broth; bluefish in Thai coconut milk; and salads and bread.
Dinner
Gumbo, without onions, or spice (she used to live in New Orleans) and rice
Dessert
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.
junkfood