Trip Reports

Vomit (23-Mar-2001-12-30):
12:30 PM local time Wednesday. 31 36 N 123 46 W. Temp. 67, Humidity 76%, cloud cover 100%. Seas WNW 1.5 meters. Wind S 3k. In our informal world, we often speak metaphorically, do we not, as we might say, for example, "Play 'Cheeseburgers in Paradise' one more time, and there will be vomiting."

The reader is sophisticated enough to realize that having heard the above, it is not necessary to ring the triage nurse at the local hospital to arrange for care, nor run to the medicine cabinet for an antiemetic. The speaker is but having a little fun with language. A more appropriate response than medical care would be to change the music to something which obeys the letter, if not the spirit of the plea-- something which is not Jimmy Buffet, yet is equally repellent. Admittedly, the research required to achieve this end would be prodigious, and beyond the means of all but the most resourceful sadists.

On shipboard, however, predictions about bodily effluents need to be given sober consideration before being dismissed as metaphorical. When for example, above the rustle of the waves and rush of the wind rings the cry, "Verily, Captain, I am going to hurl," the prudent mariner will place himself at a generous remove and to windward of the afflicted, having made the seamanlike inference that no attempt at poesy is intended. And so it goes with other conversation in the environment in which "lowering the boom" on someone will produce a result more life threatening than a flushed countenance.

On Saturday night last, when the crew of Maverick had made its way into the great Pacific, strait talk was called for. Soon after sunset, demonstrating the leadership which is both the privilege and the burden of his rank, the Captain tossed his cookies. Officer of the Deck Terry Shrode, than whom a man more willing to take up the task at hand would be difficult to find, soon came forward with a suitable hearty offering of his own. The Captain, in a fit of paranoia, perhaps, immediately saw a budding challenge to his authority, and rebutted with alacrity. To this, Mr. Shrode had a ready answer. And so it went on through the night, each man unwilling to yield. Come morning, however, the Captain was ready to concede the match, which he had convinced himself was inconsequential, to the challenger. But Mr. Shrode was not done with him. He was simultaneously hungry and queasy, not sure which was the cause of which. So each time he felt unease, he would eat; with predictable results. By this stratagem, he was able to thoroughly put to rest any doubts about his mastery of this area, and the contest was settled.

On Monday we had light and variable winds, then Tuesday and Wednesday gave us light wind from the south, so we've been tacking on the shifts and earning every inch. The latest fax shows the high southeast of us which would explain the southerly wind; and it predicts it will move to the west and below us in the next 24 hours. If this happens, we can expect favorable winds within the next day. According to the pilot chart there's a high percentage of northerly winds in this quadrant this time of year, which went into our planning, so we'd like to see some. Three days of very slow progress has had little effect on our spirits, however, which remain high.

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