Chardonnay thought on the events of the previous day as she helmed at 090 degrees, due East on 44.45 latitude. The morning had been a busy one. The ship’s murderess had been unveiled in the act of her final evil act aided by the treachery of the unwitting victim’s Watch leader who traded the life of a member of his watch for favours from the Galley. Only one person left alive on this ship of ethereal souls. During the night the ship had been rolling in very light winds so the officer of the watch decided to brace the yards sharp to starboard. Then after morning Smoko, all hands and the Bosun’s team practised reefing the Fore Topsail to enable the ship to be balanced in the expected increasing wind strengths.
So why did I sign up for this epic voyage? She reflected. It all started on the Tall Ships in Bergen when our hands brushed briefly while passing the Marmite. I knew then that whatever the hardships, I had to embark on the longest voyage of my life.
Our paths crossed again while purchasing merino underwear in Auckland, he extolled the virtues of this warm and fast drying fabric. I discovered on the wine tour from Napier a disparity in our tastes for wine, while I found I could not share his preference for Pinot Gris, he suggested that in depth tasting might persuade me.
Yesterday, while taking sun-sights, I found myself explaining to him the index error on the sextant and how to correct when doing the calculations. He said “I had no idea you had such talents” as I passed him the almanac at the right page.
On our night watch, we shared the binoculars between us, our shoulders close, as we gazed upwards into the beautiful heavens and fleetingly observed Jupiter’s moons before the clouds obscured them. Our watchleader said “who hasn’t done the MetObs recently?” and I put up my hand as I saw him volunteer: I knew we would be close together over the keyboard in the darkened chartroom. We were alone in the chartroom, as the officer of the watch was doing her deck-rounds. Was he going to make a move? Was that a deliberate brushing of his hand against mine as he moved the mouse, or just coincidence? Later on as we headed below, the ship rolled and he caught me in his arms…To be continued…
Forward Starboard: Chardonnay, Horatio, Wendy, Mike, Alan, Paul, Emma, Steph, Andrew and Liz.