Friday, May 12th, 2006
Guess what? It is still raining.
Day 11 out of Fernando: It doesn’t rain continuously but in pockets. It could be really nice all morning and then, BAM! there’s a squall. Then an hour later, again, usually it is just when we are either about to do something like eat dinner, or when Rebecca and Amanda have finally decided okay maybe they will paint something or, God help us, varnish.
I grew up in England, so I generally don’t mind the rain too much, but this is A LOT of rain. Everyone is half dry, half wet, and that starts to lose its appeal quite quickly. As a whole we did not mind the rain too much in the beginning; it was refreshing and brought wind with it. Then one soaking and another and now this morning’s has, I admit, tipped us over from the not minding it to feeling that this is now very aggravating. The crew begs the engineers to let them hang their jeans over the rails in the Main Engine Room. Foulie coats hang from anywhere where they might dry, even a little bit. People even stand in the galley with a little hope that maybe their tee-shirt will dry from the heat of the stove. Clothes hang on the laundry line for a long time. You think you’ll be clever—as it’s been sunny for a few hours—so you throw your towel up there on the line, and Bingo! a squall. Your towel is now a lot more wet than it was. Three days later you look longingly at it, wishing it would eventually dry.
But, honestly—like anything Mother Nature brings, what can you really do about it? We make alternative arrangements. The sailmakers stitch in the salon, and it does get steamy down there with hatches closed, and the light isn’t so great because there are still people sleeping. The galley staff make do the best they can. Their biggest problem is to predict where to eat: Aloha deck, outside, or lug everything down below to the Salon? Most of us enjoy eating dinner in the salon, it gives us a chance to chat and hang about and, of course, eat on a table. Lunch and breakfast are eaten so quickly anyway, it doesn’t really matter where you eat it.
The rain changes where everyone hangs around during their off times. Usually there is a mass of people reading on the hatch or on the aloha deck, or working on projects like ditty bags and practicing celestial navigation. After dinner many people will watch the sunset or just chat on deck. With the rain we lose a bit of our socializing. Many of us, including myself, simply go hibernate. We go down below to where it’s dry (or less damp) to read or listen to music, or write letters. The Salon dwellers are card sharks, and generally a game or two of cards is being played, poker at the moment being their favourite. Kjetil openly admits he loves taking all Sam’s money off her. The Bat Cave dwellers generally have a movie of some sort playing, and last night the theme song from Indiana Jones was ringing all over the aft quarters! Sometimes computer batteries last the whole movie and sometimes they don’t, so you watch in installments!
About 800 nm from Grenada, we had a unexpected visitor. A beautiful red bird stopped by to have a rest. He was only little, but so gloriously red. Amanda fed him some crackers and Chibbley actually behaved—if you call skulking on the hatch twittering her whiskers behaving. The bird rested and then he was gone to find the rest of his friends.