Singing in the rain
My crewmate Daniella climbed on deck holding a bowl of tortillas, rice and beans just as a wave crashed onto the ship and soaked her dinner.
“What should I do?” she asked.
“Throw it overboard,” I laughed. I knew there was no salvaging a dinner that was full of salty seawater.
Only a few days earlier Tracey was drenched so thoroughly by a wave that her life vest inflated. Today the net on the high-speed manta trawl ripped off after being tossed around in the water and the closet where we keep our foul weather gear has started to smell like a high school men’s locker room. The stench was so nauseating that Laura had to run up on deck—the smell literally made her sick to her stomach. And Kelvin, who we’ve lovingly dubbed the Korean Tiger, is still seasick after 15 days of sailing. He stopped eating and we think he’s lost at least 10 pounds. He reassured us that he can make it to Hawaii and we’ve finally managed to get him eating a small bowl of rice and scrambled eggs each day. His wife is going to kill us. So it’s been an intense two weeks at sea. Through it all we’ve found ways to laugh at the insanity of the trip. Last week Jesse, the first mate, tied a frayed piece of rope to my coveralls and I walked around like a monkey with a tail for five minutes before I realized what he’d done. Marcus, Shannon and I sported goggles during a particularly rainy watch yesterday and I joked that we should have a wet weather boat camp, where we do crunches and lunges while being soaked by seven-foot swells. Jesse and our captain Rodrigo have taken turns hiding a small stuffed animal that Tracey brought on board. The little orange bird has been tied 30 feet in the air to the ship’s flag line, wedged into the freezer and stuffed into a coffee mug. Right now he’s dangling from a metal rail above the sink, with a note that says, “please do not choke the sparrow.” You get to know people extremely well when you spend three weeks at sea with them. And for a trip that’s been this tumultuous I can’t imagine a better crew to be with. Within the first 24 hours I’d been feed an amazing dinner, loaned a dry t-shirt and had my hair tied back while I got seasick on deck—thanks Daniella, I owe you one.