Happy Mother’s Day! (I think? – I think it will be by the time this gets published and most people being a bit ahead of us). Big hugs and I love you Mom! And Bean, and Amanda!
This morning we anchored off Maui, in Maalaea Bay. It is a beautiful spot to transition back to land after going a week at a time without even another radar contact. I think most people are enjoying a little change of pace, with lots of fun music to accompany the small bosunry projects going on. Impromptu microphones and mini-dance parties mixed with reflection on the upcoming end of our trip and re-entry to society. Your friendly neighborhood engine gremlins did fairly routine maintenance, with some much appreciated help from Franny. But I am left reflecting on my night watch from the day before. The watch started out with some force seven winds. At one point we were making 7.7 knots under just stay sails, and by the end of the watch things had died down to a notch above steerage. Despite being close to shore, we only saw one other ship that passed astern early in the watch. The turnover between lookout rotations was left to the usual discussion of clouds on the horizon, and whether any were developing into squalls that would menace us, but with the novel addition that we had a friend in the headrig. This was not a booby like we had been seeing on the yard arm - diving, coming back, chasing off any other boobies trying to land on the spar or threatening any of the antennas. This was a smaller storm petrel. He sat quietly and modestly nestled into the folds of the jib at the end of the bowsprit. In force seven winds, with white caps everywhere, and a heavy following sea producing a roll that made crew hold onto railings and rendered lee-cloths a strict necessity, the petrel was serenely tucked into the jib. I was struck by how trusting the petrel was through changing conditions. Rotation after rotation he stayed, occasionally looking up, stretching one wing and preening for a minute before settling down and tucking his head again. I identified with the petrel, deeply grateful for all of my shipmates standing watch, throughout the night, the squalls, the heat, so that everyone else could trust, could sleep, could paint, or anything, without worrying about the most basic needs of operating the ship, keeping everyone safe. And very humbled by the wildlife we see who very rarely get to hitch a ride. Beth Adams, Assistant Engineer