A Message From Jeff Log1

Posted by Jeff on Thursday, May 31st, 2007 at 10:00 am

May 30 – First mate/potato scrubber/deck swabber Golden reporting:
Writing time is precious. It’s been stormy weather for days now so the laptop cannot go above deck. And to go below deck is to invite seasickness. And to work on a computer below deck is sure death. Seasickness is my current nemesis — not that I am experiencing it very much now. But it’s always lurking. The first day hit me hard. I hurled twice. (I didn’t feel as utterly disgusted as I did in the desert, for those who know that story, but this just wouldn’t go away.) Day two much better but still queezy the whole day. By day 3 things were pretty good and now I only get it if I am below deck for too long, doing something stupid like writing a log for the website in the middle of a storm like this one… So I’m going to try to do this in ten minute spurts.
So what have we been up to all this time? No guitar for me for a few days cuz of the weather. No reading for ay of us but Tni cuz of fear of seasickness. My mp3 player has been a lifesaver a couple times (thanks Anya and mom!), transporting me to south india (Boys), idaho (Gomez), DC (Corelli), Atlanta (Goapele), and many many hudson valley dance parties. Food is a popular topic of conversation. Indian take-out has been a popular theme. Yesterday morning I had an intense craving for my mom’s cottage cheese pancakes (sadly non-vegan). And last night I was longing for Kavitha’s pinni’s South Indian cooking. Yum! Also very popular subjects are Star Wars and the Matrix.
The ocean sounds savage by night when you’re down below. It’s dark out, your ear is to the ground. (I sleep on the floor wedged between two benches so I don’t move around too much. I tried sleeping in the bed in the front cabin but it gets so much action i was literally being launched in the air.) Two images have come to my mind at night while lying there. One is of the boat being thrown around by a giant wrestler. Throwing us against the ropes first on that side then this side. Then jumping off the ropes into the air with us (as we ride up a wave) only to smash down on us when we hit the ground (as we hit the the wave behind that one). Last night I had the image of the boat being a tennis ball thrown in the air for a serve — just as it becomes weightless and then starts to fall it gets smacked hard. The hull makes a tremendous crashing sound when it hits a wave and the whole boat shudders. You’re below sea level so you hear immense amounts of water rushing and swirling past on both sides. The wood creaks. You hear the boat make other sounds you can’t figure out but that don’t sound good. My imagination runs wild and I’ve managed to really scare myself lying awake these past couple nights. I’ve seen titanic too many times.
All of this makes It is very hard to sleep. We are doing two hours shifts, which means we never get to sleep more than about 6 hours, though that’s much better than when Tni and David were alone doing 3 hours shifts. Sailing with Admiral Iron Ear (Tni, who seems close to immune to seasickness) and the Captain (David) has been great. They are super competent, fun, and serve good food. And it has been really great to get to see them up close and personal interacting as a couple. We didn’t really do anything to celebrate their 3rd anniversary cuz of the awful conditions. But they are awesome together, through good times and rough. Bet long on them, people.
At night the phosphorescence in the water when we pass and the moonlight on the ocean (not since first night, sigh), remind me of the fireflies that are just breaking out all around home. I miss it, but am glad to be here doing this.
My deep respect for Kavitha’s dad (who worked for NOAA for something like 25 years doing computer modeling for weather predictions over the ocean) runs even deeper now that we rely so greatly on effective detailed weather projections.
Kavitha, think of you all the time. Had a sweet moment first night on watch, cried a little out of joy and gratitude when the song “…how to save a life…” came on. The shins came on a little later but by then I felt ill again and couldn’t think about anything else… Huge hug and kiss and a tear.
Love to friends and family, known and unknown. Back above deck with me now! Jeff

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