20/05/2010 - Squally bits

This morning, just before watch muster the call went out to loose the fore t’gallant,.. since I want to get used to going up there I jumped up and ran to the rigging, halfway up I discovered that they had re-tarred the shrouds and holy crap were they slippery,.. I thought the footropes on the yards were slippy, but this was something else.  The additional sway and wind factors made it even trickier, but I held on for dear life (covering a new polo shirt in grease and tar as I did) and moved carefully up the shrouds,.. once up on the t’gallant yard the view and sensation of being thrown to and fro with the movement of the boat made it all worthwhile and Dan and I loosed the t’gallant successfully, although as I learnt I had loosed the central gasket first which was wrong (although I am sure I was told previously by another AB that this should be done first!), well every day I am learning something new!!

As I came down I could feel my forearms burning thanks to my gripping onto the shrouds,.. decided I had better improve my grip if I was going to be going aloft more often,.. exercises required!

At watch muster we were warned of “squally bits” by Sophie,.. Jo burst into giggles,.. apparently “squally bits” sounds a little like “dangly bits”, which she still finds hysterical,…   I was on watch from 10 to 11 and passed it watching the flying fish and going over my previous employment again,.. once again someone had told me it seemed like I had had loads of jobs,.. on adding up all the different things I have done I discovered I have had over 25!!  I think that’s a bit high.. even for me!  Proves that I still don’t know what I want to do though!

As the squalls came up the swell increased and my afternoon nap was spent being tossed from one side of my bunk to the other,.. no baggy wankers though!!  Got a good hour or so’s sleep so felt fantastic when I woke up.

I had decided that it looked like it could get chilly this evening, so had shoes, carharts etc on, as we mustered for evening watch one of the squally waves came over the bulwarks and in order to avoid I literally had to somersault onto the hatch,.. I was awarded a 9/10 by the watch we were relieving,… would have been 10 if it weren’t for the fact I touched one of them on landing!!

Watching people walk on deck at night accentuates the way in which we walk during wavy weather,… everyone has their own particular style, but people’s silhouettes generally remind me of toddlers taking their first steps, we assume a wide-legged stance, take little nervous steps, grabbing at random stationary objects when possible and edging forward bit by bit.  There are of course some who take it a little further and Tiina has adopted an additional rhythmic movement to her ambulatory style, first she decided that Cocaine by Eric Clapton was the best beat to use for negotiating the breezeways and open deck spaces, but apparently this has been replaced by Twist and Shout as the most appropriate music to walk to and so recites it every time she walks,.. her subtle dance moves as she moves along the deck are almost unperceivable, but when you see her face and sing along you can see the little dance moves coming through! Quite fun!

Shawn appeared on deck with a flying fish that apparently decided to commit piscine suicide and had leapt onto the aloha deck,.. I know I’ve said it before, but when you see the fine wings that they have evolved  and the hydro/aero-dynamic form of their bodies, they are quite fantastic creatures! Sophie told about a time when whilst working on another boat a flying fish had leapt through the galley window and into a pan,….  That’s got to be a sign!!


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