10/19 early ---a cup of coffee!
20 October 2017
Graeme is so right. In a prospectus of NZ customs, there is a page advising people to be watchful and call officials if they see anything suspect, giving the example of the Rainbow Warrior as a proof that watching for suspicious happenings works. I guess that's how they found out who did it, but I seem to remember that the ship actually went down in harbor. But I do like that: giving a ship protesting nuclear tests as a worthy cause to defend. Go Kiwis!
So today upon waking up I smelled my armpits as I do occasionally, but this time I did pass out. So a minimalist sponge bath was in order which, given the ride was no small feat. I do think I ended up smelling somewhat less foul after the struggle.
The weather is nice: not too cold and blue sky. But a good amount of wind (at least going into it) and a pretty lumpy sea.
There is a majestic swell running from the south plus another couple different small swells from various directions and the seas due to the wind that have built up over the days. So sometimes you get an interaction between these various waves and end up with a bitch wave, not big but steep, so the boat takes off at the top of it and slams in the trough behind (you know that kind: the same type of stuff we had offshore from NYC).
There is a grave moment in the morning. You've woken up, you made coffee (which in and of itself requires a touch more concentration, steady movements and anticipation than the newly awaken mind is usually capable of delivering). You've poured your cup of coffee. Of course not a full cup because you know better. In addition when you poured the coffee, you positioned the pot and the cup along a longitudinal line with respect to the boat, because you knew that if you had poured the coffee along an athwartship line, the probability that, on a wave, the pour would have departed the cup was for all practical purposes equal to 1. So the reward is near, in few seconds you will dip your lips into that hot fresh coffee. The lips must barely dip because the coffee is hot and too much immersion will burn. A slight misjudgement, or a careless move and the day could start very poorly. So the moment is grave indeed. You carefully wedge your body first, so it is secure and is one with the boat, then wait for a lull, and for the set of big waves to pass; you then bring the cup carefully but not slowly to your mouth; not too slowly because allowing more time also gives more chance for the unpredictable to happen. And you bring that cup, like the pour before it, also on a longitudinal line. Your face is thus facing either aft or forward. Athwartship and the burning coffee will travel up your nose, or your lips will miss it or, more probably one will happen after the other as the wave passes. So you bring that cup of coffee longitudinally to your lips, dip them in, sip the slightest amount of coffee and carefully put the cup down. And you feel like this was a job well done. And that the day is off to a good start. Maybe later the coffee pot will take off and crash on a bulkhead, the cup will tip, or after being closed up for so many days you'll decide to crack open the saloon hatch to circulate some air and another bitch wave will manage to pour a gallon of seawater inside...... but that's later. SO far it is a great day!