Sailors, Storms and Smiles

Sailors, Storms and Smiles

by Rayenne Hale – Guest Crew

Sea Dragon

Who would have thought the most bruises would be amassed in the washroom or the heads as they are called aboard… Conveniently it is also a great place to gain arm strength as one has to pump a handle quite fervently to accomplish what is done with one press of a lever on land.

So far, as my first week on board comes to a close, I have learned to appreciate the small pleasures in life, along with the  aforementioned toilet extravaganza, all sustenance that does not come from a can, a surprise fleet of dolphins showing off for us and lastly the immense pleasure felt watching the last bit of the sun be swallowed by the horizon.

Cooking in a stable environment will forever be cherished as being thrown about in the galley is now my norm. Through all of these new challenges I am most thankful to have such an adaptive crew surrounding me, laughter is constant around here which keeps what would have been the most miserable of watches quite engaging and doable.

The conditions so far have gone from very calm to quite rough over these past two days. On our 8pm to midnight watch we were thrown into the trenches of a storm. Visibility was compromised by the dark clouds and the waves showed no mercy tossing us every which way. As night progressed steering at the helm became a crap shoot and I entered into survival mode the half hour raced by. The adrenaline helped me perform quite well at the helm and I even topped the record speed cashing in 15.4 knots, it didn’t last for long as the storm conditions showed themselves to be more severe my watchmates clocked in 17.1 and 17.4. Fighting with the waves proves quite exhausting and as the clock stroke midnight the three of us were able to finally change out of wet clothes and crawl in to bed only to be tossed around not so gently for the next few hours. Sleep is elusive when conditions are rougher however the mileage and smiles gained makes it all worth it.