Thursday, January 06, 2005

Nicole: No sight of land

0900 Thursday
It happened sometime in the night, while I slept blissfully in spite of the constant motion above and below me. This morning I stumbled bleary onto the deck and scanned the horizon for land, but there was none. Sometime in the night we lost sight of terra firma. Somehow this magnifies the feeling of being at sea and the understanding that this small vessel of timber and steel is the only piece of solidity between us, and the murky deep.

Yesterday people swam for an hour or so after we did the man overboard drill. Lobster lines had fouled the prop, though not in a serious way.

Divers went down to free it and to check if the lines led to any sea creatures upon which we might dine, but there were none. The food on board is surprisingly tasty, though I do not envy the job of the cook, as there is always someone unsatisfied by the food, and cooking for 30 in any kind of weather must be quite a trick.

For now I must be off, as I sneak all time to write from my "idle shifts" on watch. Idle is a misnomer as we use the time to clean the heads and the galley and the deck, depending upon the time of day and the assigned watch. Consequently I feel a bit like I am shirking my duty to the rest of my watch by not helping to clean. The crew is pleasant about this, eager and willing to help make time so that we can write in our logs, but they may not be so eager in a few days, and I prefer not to find out. This is a small space and harmony among all present is the preference. So with that, I think I will head to the weather deck and attempt to make myself useful.
posted by Nicole