A Road to Nowhere

Author: Margot Ferris, Watch C

Not Anegada island, but still breathtaking.

Not Anegada island, but still breathtaking.

Ship's Log

Noon Position: (Lat and Long):
18 38.60' N x 63 50. 48W

Ship Heading (degrees):

Taffrail Log (nm):

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan:
Head reaching on a port tack under the fore and mainstysils and a shallow reefed main. Wind SExE, Force 3. Seas NE, 5ft.

Souls on Board

I'm tired! But, fear not dear, readers, for it is the best sort of tired where everything aches, your brain has gone to mush and you can't even get your ducks in line enough to walk to the foc'sle where a cozy-ish bunk, awaits. In such an instance what does a tired sailor do? Well, you write your blog post, of course, so your Mumsie and Papsie know you haven't been a duffer and gone off and drowned!!!

It has been a rather stupendous day aboard the Cramer. Today we have had nothing but sea blue water around us and sky blue skies above us, except for one little bugger of an island, Anegada the northernmost of the British Virgin Island. The thing is I think it's Anegada, but I'm not actually sure.

This uncertainty of mine leads me to the two certainties I have come to establish thus far along the journey: 1. When all you can see is blue you haven't a clue where to go 2. I should probably be doing the opposite of whatever I think I should be doing.

We do this nifty thing on the Cramah called Heaving to so that we aren't moving (as much as possible in the middle of the blue blue ocean) for science deployments, to do this we turn into the wind. Again don't quote me, the mates are always saying something about having the sails backed by the wind whatever on this green earth (that is now very blue) that actually means. The thing is that when we gibe I can't tell. I see the helm turning and everyone scurrying to sheet in the outhauls, but it never feels like we've turned. So, today with all the hoofing to for science and emergency practice drills (ex. Man over board-don't worry Oliver the volley ball was rescued despite being wet, cold, and disgruntled) Anegada kept jumping around port, starboard, port, starboard (also doesn't help that I haven't mastered my port from my starboard yet). So, exhibit A, all sense of direction has been lost. Oh the Irony?! ship-middle of ocean-humans scurrying about-chartroom full of charts-hours spent navigating-no direction. And for certainty number two, here is a detailed scene that repeats itself for approximately 6hrs every time I'm on watch:

0700-1300 Morning Watch Script

Scene 1

Ava: "Make ready the main staysail downhaul"

Margot confidently run to mainsail clew'lin

Ava (sings out her Scottish professor alter ego voice) : "No running! And that is not the main staysail downhaul"

Scene 2

Colleen (in a kind even tone): "Alright Margot what do we do to make ready this line?"

Margot(confidently): "We take it all off the pin!!!"

Colleen (in a kind even tone): "Actually, for this one we are going to just take one turn off because there is so much force on this line and we don't want to hurt anyone"

Hopefully you can picture why I have come to certainty number two! As much as it's wonderful to be mildly self-deprecating, this really is a rare and special environment where you get to mess up so many times and your teachers are still there smiling(if not wearily) at you when the watch is done.

Thank you to all the wonderful crew!

Now I have Dawn watch at 0100, so I really must scurry to find those ducks and waddle my way to the foc'sle. Hopefully I will have time to sing through the second Marry Poppin's when I'm on lookout. I sang the first on helm today interspersed with Sound of Music and Matilda, as one should if they want to do things correctly.

P.S. Wagu don't worry it sucks you aren't missing out on anything. Mummy I love you so much, and I will be sure to actually have all this boat stuff down when I see you next. AP my bubble trail has been a little wobbly, but it's getting better. Capt. Nancy might even be proud, dare I say. NataWewe, you turdsicle, I can't wait to see you and to maybe (that's a big if) finally know more about something than you do.

margot ferris, Watch C

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | dkarlson@sea.edu

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous March 8, 2022 at 12:39 - Reply

    Catch me a fish and call me Hook!
    Forgot to give this blog a look!
    Two weeks it’s been, for heaven’s sake,
    Of taking Hugo on four thousand pee breaks.
    But betwixt the the scent
    Of that penny spending gent,
    I caught whiff of the sea
    And with it, the letter you sent.
    By George, by me!
    Oh the bumbling, rumbling glee,
    Of the sound of your pen
    And your Boston accent.

    You’re lost, did you say?
    Must be a Second Tuesday.
    Or Monday? Or Friday?
    Hugo also cannot say,
    So it must be ok.
    Yes, Frost said it best—
    That rhyme-less man on a quest…
    What was it again?
    ‘Bout waters— lost Men?

    “If you’re lost enough to find yourself by now,
    Pull in your ladder road behind you
    …Then make yourself at home”

    That’s the way,
    With or without mainstays.
    No way is our way,
    Until again, we stray.

    But enough of that mush,
    Here the snow’s turned to slush,
    So I’m forced to pick up
    Five thousand turd clumps.
    Some by the door, some in the shed,
    And a big one, plopped down, right on his dog bed.

    So as far as you roam,
    Let it be known,
    That I am the duffer
    Of the dung-er dog-er’s home.

    Oh Margot, my captain,
    This world that we’re trapped in?
    This world that they’ve mapped in?
    “Here are your waters and your watering place”
    Look up to the sea and down into space,
    For one is your soul, and one shows your face.
    It’s all right here— nothing else to chase.

    I’ll wait here ‘till spring for your duffer’s embrace.

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