Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Nino: Final entry

I have arrived home and am sending the last post, a reflection on the last few days at sea.

We were made into mini mates on our trip back to St. Petersburg, we took (to some extent) charge of the ship. On C watch there is the tradition of the mate telling a bad joke at the end of the watch, at the capstan meeting. I am proud to say that the students on my watch had some serious muscle on this front and I would like to share some of my favorites.

Here is Anna’s joke, “What do you call a fish with no eye”...”fsh”; Natalia’s joke, “Why did the mushroom go to the bar?... Because he is a fungi... and why did he leave...because there wasn’t mush room.” The pressure was on, as I was the last among my group to take command. Unfortunately, they already knew the one I used. “A pirate walks into a bar with a helm in his pants and asks for a drink. The bartender says ‘I will give you a drink if you tell me why you have a helm in your pants’. The pirate says ‘it’s drivin me knots.” The crew is always touchy about the pirate subject as they are asked if the Bounty is a real pirate ship at every port, but I still think it’s a good joke.

It would be pointless for me to try and write about all that I learned about sailing; it would take to long. I knew nothing about sailing in general or more specifically about sailing the Bounty when I signed on for this trip; by the end I was comfortable at every station (but still holding on tight any time I went aloft). During the trip, the captain gave us lessons about sailing and the experience. He, more than once, said that the most important lesson was not on how to navigate or which line to pull for what, but the interaction with the people we were sailing with. While no one can belittle the magic of watching dolphins swim by the ship or the beauty of the night sky, the greatest influence on my experience was the crew. I raise my glass and thank the eclectic, fascinating, and warm crew of the Bounty. I am going to have to give more specific thanks to C watch crew: to Teresa for being my buddy and showing me the ropes (both literal and not) on my first watch, to Beth for always being friendly and welcoming, and to John for the Time Warp Dance.

I think I will end on this note. With the image of C watch lined up on Deck at 3am, doing the Time Warp.
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posted by Nino