The crew likes it when I play This American Life or stories from the Moth. Most of the time they can’t hear it – they’re suspended from the mast on a bosun’s chair or painting the rails or varnishing stuncils. But for about an hour every morning they are cleaning the soles and the heads in the main salon and the fo’c’sle, and I play the podcasts for them.
The next day they’ll say, “What happened to the kids that guy was trying to rescue?” So I have to rewind the program to the part where they finished their work below-decks.
On Saturday I bought a set of rockin’ speakers – so they can hear it over the water pressurizer and even above-decks.
These kinds of rituals become important on a boat. Our days are broken up into mini-rituals: every morning I wake the crew 15 minutes before breakfast. “Good morning, Fo’c’sle! Good morning, Aft!” Fifteen minutes later comes the second call: “Breakfast!” Every morning we muster after breakfast and again before dinner. At muster Smith and Cap prepare us for the events of the day, and in the evening they review the day’s work.
Given the steadiness of our routine, you might wonder why I woke up at 7 AM one morning, thinking I had overslept and only had a half hour to put breakfast together. The miracle is, I did it – I made breakfast in 30 minutes. The not so miraculous part is that… um… I woke everyone up a half hour early.
In an attempt to get things straight, I am making a concerted effort to ritualize my days. To find a pattern. After getting a run in for the first day since we arrived in Wilmington, I’ve decided to start getting up early and getting my lunches started before breakfast so I can immediately get a run in after muster.
I also want to get a weekly plan in place, starting on Mondays. I don’t like to shop on Saturdays because of the crowds, so my menu planning starts on Tuesdays. It’s designed to use up food from the previous week as well as to help me shop. I know I should be defrosting that fridge once a week, so I’m looking ahead, wondering if Monday nights might generally be best for this – assuming the crew eats up my leftovers during the day on Monday.
A fried green tomato BLT, grits and a bloody marry at the Dixie Cafe.
Coffee and ice cream
Flights of beer and free meatballs at Tony’s
Cuban sandwich with pickled okra at Mixto