Sunday 6 October 2013

First Full Day At Sea


Interesting how one's awareness changes at sea.

I have written at length about this, yet it still amazes me just how fast one's awareness changes once you get out to sea. It is like blinkers dropping from your eyes and you start seeing t5hings. But not just seeing; hearing and feeling too.

Perhaps it is your brain recovering from the onslaught of sensory inputs in the urban and electronic environment. Here at sea there is a lot less electronic disturbance and the noise is that of Nature. Neil Diamond has a song about the Beautiful Noise. Of the city, no less. While it is a beautiful noise, I cannot fathom why one would prefer city noise over that of Nature. The sounds of Nature are much more tuned to what we need, I guess, and therefore are a balm to the soul.

Your body also adapts at sea. That is, apart from the eating and sleeping. Speaking of which, I tend to sleep a lot more at sea. Ditto for our novice crew on this voyage.

We have a married couple as crew, making it four of us on board. Both of them are remarking about their core muscles working substantially more than normal. This is of course due to the boat never standing still. Very good for your tummy muscle tone. But it does tire you out in the beginning.

Today was our first full day at sea. I had the 00h00-03h00 shift this morning. In very cold conditions. Cloudy, with a wan moon shining ba steely light in the cold. Not overly nice weather, in spite of Naure's stark beauty.

I have slept three sessions of at least five hours each. My feet were still cold after last night's watch when I went on watch again this morning. At least the sun was shining and I could warm my feet. The weather cleared later today and we had a beautiful sunset with nary a cloud in the sky. And the wind is not as cold. Some blessing for our voyage.

As direct result of having to wait for a weather window, we now have excess food. We all brought food so as to not deplete the provisions for the voyage. So much that the skipper decreed that there shall be no fishing until we have eaten a gap in the fridge and freezer.

Tomorrow will be the first baking day. I shall be making a loaf, as we are running out of the one fresh loaf the skipper bought. There was no place for more. So this time araound the bread must last. Fat lot of hope we have, given the track record of the last trip. I think the longest the loaf lasted was 24 hours. The standing record for consumption is 45 minutes.

We have also started on growing sprouts. The first batch is mung bean sprouts and the beans are soaking overnight. More food, forsooth. The skipper is threatening to have big lunches and forcing us to eat a dent in the supplies. But perhaps we have the same as quantities as before, with a little more. This boat has an air conditioner fitted, with the various pumps and compressor taking up space which we normally would use for storage.

All of us are still adjusting to life aboard and are sleeping a lot. The working in shifts also is taking a toll, aggravated by the cold. The morale on board is very positive and I am looking forward to a most enjoyable voyage.

This will be my last voyage with Renier, as I shall have to go with other skippers for wider experience before TUI will appoint me as captain. Then of course, I shall have my own boat to ferry across the ocean. Something to look forward to.

Authored by Johan Zietsman.

Last updated on 2013-09-23

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