10/05/2010 - The Departure: Part I

As morning broke people were obviously in high spirits as most of us were up and around early.  The muster at 8 was short and sweet and we were told to prepare to set sail.

The crowd at the dock grew steadily larger until it reached critical mass at around 09h and at 09:15 the mayor gave us his blessing, announcing that Lunenburg would miss us dearly (The Grand Banker Pub particularly I am sure!).  It was a strangely moving experience, we had made friends who were staying ashore, but we had only known them a few weeks, there were many townsfolk who turned up to see us set off, the local ships saluted us by blowing their horns and we had a cannon fire as we moved away from the dock.  With a “Three cheers for Lunenburg” from us, we set sail and headed for the open ocean. 

As I foresaw, the first lines I was told to grab,… I got wrong, but I think that was just the excitement!!  Everyone was in high spirits, the wind was light and in the right direction, the sea was calm,.. everything was perfect as we headed out en route to Panama.

At about 10.30 a general muster was called, (which we all assumed was standard) but there was important news to impart,.. BOTH RADAR machines had gone down so we were turning round and returning to Lunenburg and the RADAR technician, the mood fell instantly as people were ordered to furl sails and we turned around to motor back to Lunenburg bay….. at 12 we were back and another general muster was called to let us know the situation, we anchored just offshore and are presently waiting patiently for the technician.  People are visibly frustrated, not least of all the captain and first mate,.. both machines were working when tested earlier!!!  Lunenburg doesn’t want us to leave!

We split into our group shifts which meant that I had all afternoon off (I am on the 8-12 shift).  I tried to read my manual and learn yet more lines, but within minutes I was out for the count and probably snoring loudly,.. The dangers of reading in your bunk!

I woke up to a general muster at 4pm when we were informed that somehow a cable had been drilled through and caused the short and that had now been fixed, however the second RADAR machine wasn’t fixed yet and may take until the morning, and if it wasn’t we could quite happily set sail with only one working machine. 

Hourly night shifts would start at 20h so we had some time to kill before then, a game of Smut Scrabble was suggested and accepted with glee by the Bro-Cave,… to make the game more interesting letters could be bartered and made-up words were accepted as long as their meaning could be agreed on by the entire group!  Much hilarity and imaginative use of letters followed..  examples such as “crookpoo” (when a burglar takes a dump in your house whilst robbing it) were accepted without opposition.

I was on night watch from 21h to 22h, very relaxed, just chatted with Shawn and Lorraine and after a quick beer (after the shift) I was in bed and ready to wake up to yet another day of departure!


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