Trip Reports

Dinnertime (16-Jun-2001-21-25):
9:25 PM local time Saturday June 16th. (0725 June 17th UTC) 17 43 S 159 16 W. Temp. 82, Humidity 84%, cloud cover 20%. We finally got out of Bora Bora Wednesday morning. After a nice start, a front came through with 40 knots and 15-foot seas for about ten hours, then left us with rain, no wind, and a bumpy sea. It's now Saturday night, the skies have cleared a bit and we're close reaching in light air. It's dinnertime in this odd piece of the tradewinds.

Culinary Specialist Terry Shrode has taken on the preparation of dinner as one of his many contributions to the ship's well being, partly in self-defense. His Pineapple Princess Ham Parts, mentioned in an earlier episode, was a great success, by the way, as are all of his meals, born, most often, of canned goods assembled in quite a merry fashion. Cooking while underway is not easy, and we can liken it to strapping a small kitchenette to oneself like a hot dog vendor at a ballpark, then mounting a horse and trotting around in a circle cutting up vegetables and stirring a boiling pot.

If conditions are benign, as they often are, and the weather is balmy, as it often is, onto the stereo goes some music, which can vary widely, although not so widely as to include Jimmy Buffet, and this immediately changes the feeling aboard. Perhaps a tape of oldies is put on, and we may hear The Penguins or Little Eva or the Dovells or Little Shorty Long (who looks as if he may never have been to sea before), and the Captain is transported to a time when he thought if he just concentrated hard enough, the girl next to him at the beach party, for whom he was willing to endure the sand grinding his sunburn, might realize that she ought to give him some signal that she wouldn't mind if he held her hand, and whatever may happen next he could not think as the hand-holding itself was so great a thing to imagine he couldn't visualize anything beyond it, and for all he knew it would cause him to vanish into the sky and become a constellation. Or when those girls on Bandstand used to sit in their seats and bounce and twirl their hands to the music, between clapping on the backbeat, in a manner thought-provoking for a person of his age, and wear their hair all ratted up which didn't help Jackie Kennedy but was used to limb-loosening effect by Brigette Bardot and Britt Ekland and Elke Sommer, and--in the interest of full and complete disclosure--Theresa Fisher, your very own email monitor.

Then we're back on a small boat in the Pacific Ocean, and out comes some delicious concoction from Mr. Shrode and as the sun sets and we eat our meal we hear "Running Bear" (the tragedy of which song could have been averted had the two lovers but worn their life vests), and "For Your Precious Love" and "Stranded In The Jungle" and "One Fine Day" and "You Talk Too Much" and "Lavender Blue" and it is difficult for the Captain not to compromise his level of military alertness by falling into a reverie upon the puzzling bounty of life. It seems it ought to be possible to put all of the hilarious, amazing, sexy, revelatory, soulful, untethered, ecstatic, and sensual things you've ever experienced all in your mind at the same time, like a computer uploading a significant portion of the hard drive into RAM and putting it all on the screen simultaneously. But if you could do that for even 1/100th of all the good things, your brain would just pop like a balloon.

Mr. Shrode has retired now and the Captain is left with just Luigi for company. We don't always have a moon out here anymore than you do on land but tonight on the second watch we will, so in honor of that we'll put the needle down on a Blast from the Past Built to Last, a Solid Smash that Brought Home the Cash, a Golden Nugget cuz You Dug It, a Groove that Time Could Not Improve: one from the Capris entitled "There's a Moon Out Tonight" and this one goes out to Theresa from Tony, To Caroline from Terry, To Mary from Allen, To Jill from Shawn (you kids just sit down and work this out), To the late, beloved Carole from her devoted Tom, To Sarah from Maynard, To Maynard from Jefferson (but, to clarify, not the same Maynard), To Cindy from Jim, To Jeanne from Peter, To Tina From Doug, To Sharon from Gabe, To Sandy from David, To Tami from her dad, To Tanya from her dad, To Selina from Shane, To Ziggy from Tim, To Rochella from Joe (We're out here listening to you, son, don't ever run yourself down), To Jane from Bob, To Cassandra from Doug, To Nancie from Keith, To Pat from Ted, To Renee from Bob, To Mary from Paul, to Leslie from Austin, To Leslie from Bob (not the…), To Tracy from Steve, To Terry from Michael, To Sharon from Larry, To Judy from Ely, To Ellie from Steve, To Vickie from Blackie, To Louise from Bill, To Luann from Paul, To Janka from Ron, To Linda from Jon, To Alice from Fred, To Mary from Jake, and to the folks at Tradewinds and all the rest of our friends, especially the ones out there sailing their ships alone tonight, from the crew of Maverick, ghosting through a starry night, in a quiet neighborhood of Paradise.

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