The Cast of Characters & Quick Guide to the Story

Monday, May 2, 2011

Land, ho

Sunrise on Orient Harbor.
Everyone seemed a little on edge today - irritable or irritated. I remember this sentiment from my last transit. Now that land is within sight, you are no longer certain you want to see it. Partly, I think, because it means that there's an end to the reverie.  

At 5:45 I had to be up for anchor watch. That's only slightly earlier than I usually rise. I'm fortunate; the rest of the crew has to wake up at ungodly hours, like 2:45 AM. They have to stand watch on the deck to make sure we aren't approached by another vessel that doesn't see us; to make sure our anchor light is still lit, and our anchor chain is still in place. Lastly, we take three bearings using this glow-in-the-dark compass that looks like a hockey puck to make sure we aren't moving. 

We also have to check the bilges - something I'd never done before. We have four bilges, hideen underneath the soles of the fo'c'sle, the main salon, the engine room and the aft cabin. Each one has a float switch triggered by high water levels. My new job - for one hour and one hour only - was to make sure the water is not about to trigger any of the switches. (This would be bad.)

I somehow misunderstood the instructions and was checking them every half hour. The task takes about 15 minutes, so I was barely finished with one bilge check when I'd start another one. The crew later found this quite amusing. 

A Sailor's Work is Never Done

Eve, polishing the brass.

Today the crew put in a very long day, practicing raising and lowering our many sails. Down in the galley, I too felt overwhelmed.

But I conjured up enough energy to make Cap' a paper captain's hat and hang streamers from the lamps over the table.

Monday's Menu
Dutch Baby with stewed apples, rice pudding 

Leftovers, rejuvenated: Al fredo sauce on bow-tie pasta; orzo in chicken broth; bluefish in Thai coconut milk; and salads and bread.

Gumbo, without onions, or spice, in honor of Cap's 31st birthday (she used to live in New Orleans) and rice

This crazy concoction of pre-mixed box cakes (I never use these and so was shocked that they actually smell a little... plasticky) with an icing made of pudding mixed with ready-made icing. Cap' says yum; I say nazty.


  1. Hey its kip here. could you send me the recipe for your bread? im doing a lot of cooking and could use a nice easy bread recipe.

  2. Hey Kip- Here's the link:
    I never removed the lid because I want to keep it as hot in that pot as possible. Also, since Ol' Diez only gets to 350 max, I've made the bread at 350 for an hour - to always perfect results. ...We still miss you, by the way. -C