Oct 20, 2008
For all the landlubbers out there . . . Imagine. Imagine being slowly lulled and then awakened by the steady rocking of a huge boat at anchor next to the Great Barrier Reef off of the coast of Australia. Realize that for all the wonders of imagination, the mind cannot understand what it will be like before the experience. Visualize a tiny airplane toilet but instead of a flusher there is a pump that must be pumped 50 times in order to work effectively. Like a large bike pump, only really noisy. Think back to when you were really young and had bunk beds at sleep away camp, or perhaps at home with a sibling. Now shrink down the bunks to about the size of a bench seat in a medium sized van, and stack them three to a row. Put two rows on two walls of a luxurious sized master bedroom closet. That’s six men to a closet sized cabin, with the bunks touching at the ends. Imagine rising in the middle of the night to the smelly, salty hand of your shipmate who desperately tries to bring you out of the netherworld of blissful sleep that you have managed to catch before the night watch at 0300. That’s 3am. Humor the idea of walking through the companionway, or tiny hallway, up the hatch and onto the deck to a cloudless, full moon night. Remember the way the sea breeze feels on the face. Salty, yet pleasantly refreshing. Think of an hour of alert scanning and watching the surroundings. Not for the night sights, bur for a slowly dragging anchor, God forbid it should come loose. Remember how it feels to go to sleep (what you wish were a deep sleep) after a tiring day of work. Imagine then waking up at 0630 to start making breakfast. Simple pleasures, simple pleasures. Think of groggily getting ready for a day of both school classes and households jobs, as well as the daily duties of a sailor. The exhausted body wants to sleep yet you arise anyway to greet the morning light. Imagine shaking the dried salt out of your hair, and embracing the day. For it will be a day full of wonders and wind and beautiful views. Oceans that are every shade between turquoise and blue and sails that extend high overhead. Try to think of what it is like to be at sea. Try to imagine.