May 14, 2005

HMS Father's Folly Voyage Log : Day Two late evening

If you've not read the prologue, read it here.
If you've not read Day One, read it here.
If you've not read Day Two early, read it here.
If you've not read Day Two afternoon, read it here.
If you've not read Day Two early evening, read it here.

The Captain was right, this crew is magnificent. While there were moments where they threatened revolt, when they set about their duties, they were the best I've seen.

As the late afternoon gave way to eventide, the weather broke and we were able to see enough blue sky to make a dutchman's pants. We now steer by the stars. The water is calm, the night chill but clear, and the wind cool and at our backs. Things seem so much quieter.

There was a point when I'd begun to believe the crew and their jibs, Father's Folly and all. But now, in the quiet salt spray of the night, all becomes so much clearer. We've come so far today. What started as folly (to some) has proved to be such a great, grand source of pride. This vessel was aptly named, originally that is. When we put in to port, tomorrow or the next day, I aim to have her relettered.

Final Duties
This evening we continued our work below decks. Down in the hold matters were worse than I had anticipated. Entry ways to supposedly secure holds were ajar and doors, such as they are on a ship, were hanging at obtuse angles to each other. The crew and I set about the mending but all too soon it was just me and my deckhand. The wee one was more interested in philosophizing about the fixes I was clapping on than she was in actually lending a hand.

At regular intervals, my Trimmer (monkey boy) would swoop in just to see what I was doing. He would ask if he could help and, while I was grateful for the sheen of thoughtfulness he displayed, I was keenly aware that his duties were anything but complete. When I would get up from my tool laden tasks to check on his progress, he would mysteriously disappear from where he was supposed to be working and appear behind me, tools in hand, attempting to fix the ship himself. Not only is he not trained in proper ship maintenance, I do not believe he has ever actually fixed anything in his life. It seems that he is more about unfixing things. So you can imagine my chagrin when, after finding his quarters suffering the after effects of a sugar spawned tornado, I return to find him attempting to drill holes in our hull. “I just got this bucket of bolts back together, I'm not going to let something tear it apart!” I yelled.

Crew Maintenance
The event (and several more like it) vexed me so that I had to stop and get a drink for fear of throwing the lad overboard. Of course, the rest of the crew all had their opinions of what appropriate punishment was. The little devils. But when I would actually suggest something, suddenly they would all turn on me! Ahhh leadership. And to think, I wanted this. To be the captain. To sail my own course. I did, of course, realize that, in order for my Trimmer as well as the rest of the crew to respect my command, I would have to lower the boom. Why is it that discipline is so much easier when you are watching someone else dole it out? There were no shortages of opinions on the method of punishment. The First Mate lifted her nose out of a book (She Captains I think it was. I can only imagine the ideas that is putting into her head) and suggested hanging by his thumbs from the mizzen spar. The wee one kept repeating “pank, pank” which I think meant she wanted to see him walk the plank. Violent little bugger that one.

In the end it was between him and me (keep the others imagining – it's much worse for them that way). But it all turned out for the best.

We dined this night together on the sea's own bounty. Some seaweed salad and seaweed wraps like the exotics from the orient eat. We supplemented with some more dry goods rice this time and pickled ginger, but it was enough.

Physically we are all still doing well. Our Trimmer boy (he is prevalent isn't he?) required assistance in the head but when I got there, he was eager to try his hand at, well you understand. Suffice it to say that the boy is still learning. The amazing thing is that, here is a lad who has the coordination to swing and leap and fix and drill but not for some of the more basic actions. Oh well, I suppose we all learn at different paces.

I think the wee one is bound up by the sea air. There was no movement from her at all today. If this persists, it could require medical attention or maybe just creative use of our harpoon.

The Captain
It would seem that my hopes that reports of the abduction of the Captain were a hoax are untrue. I have credible evidence that the crew of the Stitch & Bitch Ship are behind the reports of the Captain's disappearance. While I received a brief communication from the Captain this evening, I now believe that they do have her and mean to make off with her. Worse yet, I sense that the Captain may be enjoying her carousing with them. While quite lovely, this lot o' Jennies are the denizens of the seas. Make no mistake. It is better to flee them than to engage them in open battle. No matter you advantage you always (always) lose. And no quarter is given. They may stay an immediate execution, but it is only to be able to watch you twist in the wind. The original list of demands for the safe return of the Captain make more sense now. Still, after looking again (and again and again) at their profiles (only to better understand my foe! I swear!) I can sense a weakness. Look closely at their images, do not quail at their site. On the sea you cannot defeat them. But on land, On LAND dear sailors, you need only run down hill and you will be able to get away as they overbalance and tumble forward. Don't understand? Look again.

I'll be sure to share this critical intelligence with the crew on the morrow. We will stay close to the shore to be able to put in quickly should we spy that fearsome vessel.

But for now, a good even to you.

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