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Hard Work Pays Off With a “Prickly” Night Out

Oct 8, 2013


Location: Underway to Prickly Bay, Grenada
Author: Ben
The winds were howling, and the waves were capping, but that did not stop Watch Team Two from performing our duties. My day in particular, along with Matty, Bridget, Gwen, Brooke, and James, started around 0000 hours (midnight, 12:00 AM) with an early morning watch until 0300 hours. During our overnight passages, watch consists of three hours on, six hours off. Jobs like bow watch, helm duty, and boat checks are what keep Ocean Star in tip-top shape, the crew safe, and our minds at ease. As I sat there, with my butt nearly numb from sitting too long in one position, the swells were capping and crashing along the port side of Ocean Star, sometimes completely soaking James and me. Our eyes may have been tired, but our minds knew better than to fall asleep. Boat traffic, fish traps, squalls and more could be in our path and it is our job to spot them ahead of time in order for the helm to maneuver around them. The boat checks consist of checking engine fuel pressure, our longitude and latitude, our course, wind direction, bilges, salon and galley, the deck and more, in order to find any deficiencies amongst Ocean Star, and to then fix the problems to stay on course efficiently. After multiple boat checks, some story telling with the watch team, and a wet bow watch, sleep was in order. Lets just say my head hit the pillow pretty hard. As my alarm clock from Watch Team One came to wake me up, this being in the form of tan Jersey-girl Dominique, I found myself quite amped up to be anchoring in Grenada in a couple hours. We set our sights upon our destination, Prickly Bay, and after a couple tacks and a maneuver around an ambitious forty-foot schooner, the 18-man (and woman) crew of Ocean Star found ourselves finally anchoring. Now our destination may have been reached, but the work was far from over. After a quick swim, and my usual workout with a weight belt and pull up bar, it was lunchtime, then right back to work. Motivation for doing a good job during boat appreciation included a night out to the Prickly Bay Marinas trivia night. Teams of the crew separated into various jobs that included lowering the booms and covering the sails, washing and scrubbing the deck, waxing off rust, coiling lines, tidying up the galley and salon, and many more. All in all, three hours and many more embarrassing pictures later, out came the shower products, razors, and flips off the deck for shower time. Let me remind you that showers here are not that of a normal one; its jump in the salty ocean, climb back aboard, lather yourself up, jump back in and scrub away, then rinse off with the hose. Back home I would take a shower and sometimes take long enough for two people. The need to conserve water here on board makes you really think about what one may take for granted back home. After a delicious dinner on deck, out came the nice smelling colognes and perfumes, snazzy outfits, and an increased excitement for our night out. The trivia quiz was more than just a good time. It was a great bonding moment and fun last hurrah for staff member Matty who’d be leaving us in two days. As our Australian friend commentated the entire quiz, question after question, including comedic relief in the form of adult humor and jokes about the university students from the island, Prickly Bay Marina was loud in laughter, and the crew of Ocean Start was at ease. The real question now is what else is to come?