05/06/2010 - Nipple Greasing

We were suddenly thrown from our dreams at 1 am as the boat heeled over until it seemed like the mast touched the water, I was thrown into the small shelf on the outboard side of my bunk and I heard smashing and crashing as items were thrown around the hold, benches were overturned, the contents of people’s bunks were thrown on top of them and the entire carpenter’s workspace emptied itself onto the floor … We later discovered that Jimmy had decided that he would rather head to Costa Rica instead of Panama by overcorrecting a misturn of the wheel in the wrong direction and we ended up pointing 4 points in the wrong direction just as a huge swell broadsided the ship and bounced us around like a cork.  Apparently even the captain came up onto the quarterdeck to find out what was going on!

The night’s excitement was the talk of breakfast and the only respite was Davey who came down to inform us that there were dolphins surfing on the bow wave… despite having all seen them on a fairly regular basis over the last month, they are always alluring, fascinating and intriguing at the same time.  This pod was having a lot of fun using the 6 knot bow wave we were creating to really propel them forward and they were to-ing and fro-ing for a good 15 minutes until they got bored of us and disappeared.

For that morning’s ship work WT took me aside and instructed me to get the grease gun, and grease all the nipples on the ship, for those of you who do not yet know how a grease gun works, the parts that require greasing generally have a small metal nipple which feeds directly into the part to be greased.  The gun then has what can best be described as a “nipple receptacle” into which the nipples clip allowing the operator to squeeze the lever and inject grease into the required space.  Now this doesn’t sound very thrilling, but the double entendre potential of this job is fantastic and I take great satisfaction in wandering around asking people if their nipples need greasing or expressing my disdain for blocked nipples to whoever is closest,.. immature I know, but fun!  This job has the added bonus that I am pretty much my own boss and involves a lot of grease, which, let’s face it, is kind of fun in a messy juvenile way too! 

We had a surprise for dinner, Donald had decided the time had come to clean out the freezers and so we had a meal of “Liam-caught” tuna and “Dave-caught” Mahi-Mahi,… it was spectacular and everyone was very complimentary.  As I piped up after every compliment, “there is plenty more where that came from,.. we just have to catch it first!”

The evening watch was mostly spent practising knots and everyone is getting increasingly nervous about “boxing” the compass, the pin chase and exactly what the Seamanship Derby will consist of.


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