It was 13:20 and I had just woken from another afternoon nap. I think it was the fine aroma of yet another Turkish bean salad which had once again been prepared by the captain. As I staggered into the galley from the aft cabin, I began to look for a clean bowl to shovel heaps of the delicious looking sustenance into. Of course, there weren't any clean bowls. I thought about using a plate but the salad just works better in a bowl, as the captain later proved by spilling the bean salad all over the
cockpit as it slid off his plate. This dilemma brought my attention to the mountainous pile of dishes forming in the galley sink. So I groggily removed the wash basin from the cabinet below and began the dish routine which has become more and more engrained as the days go by.
The captain was reading in one of the 25 spots he has around the boat, completely oblivious to my actions as he was completely immersed in the story of Roma. Jim was sitting in his usual spot, which is the midship berth on the starboard side, flipping through a book and dozing off at the same time. Marcel was in his groove up in the cockpit where he almost always is when awake (and sometimes asleep) and Roland was at the helm. Slowly regaining consciousness I placed the last of the dishes into
the basin and sent it up the companion way, made my way up and plopped myself down opposite Marcel.
About half way through the dishes I heard, “FISH.” It was Roland at the helm looking back at the clip device we rigged up to make it easier to see when we caught something. Wide-eyed and wide-grinned, he went back to investigate ignoring the pleas from Marcel to let this one go. In his defense we had caught and ate a 3 foot barracuda yesterday and a small Tuna the day before. A look of disappointment on Roland's face, and a limp fishing line implied nothing was there. As he was letting the line
back into the water, I noticed something in the water off the starboard side. It looked as if a fin had popped out of the water quickly submerging back down. I have “seen” this many times before, wishing it was a dolphin or shark only to be disappointed when it was only a small breaking wave. So, for a split second I thought nothing of it, looked down at the basin full of never ending dishes, and mentioned the sighting to Marcel. “There it is again,” he said, and there they were. For the third
time this journey a pod of dolphins had spotted the boat and decided to give us a show. “DOLPHINS” I shouted down to the crew below as I ran up to the bow. What a magnificent sight, it just doesn't get old. They move through the water with the grace and accuracy of a world class dancer, turning on a dime and jumping around in unison. They look up at five humanoid creatures clapping, whistling and waving like idiots. I can only imagine that's what they're seeing. That being said, they do love
the attention. The thing I've noticed about dolphins is that they disappear as quickly as they appear but this time one lone dolphin stuck around like a child not wanting to leave the playground. Just like that, he made a quick right turn and was gone almost as if his mother was calling, “I'm not going to ask you again, you come here right this minute!”
Well, the entertainment for the afternoon had come and gone but the dishes were still there waiting for me. For crying out loud, I just wanted some bean salad! With the whole crew now up in the cockpit, and a few dishes to go, I heard the two words I've been waiting 20 days to hear come from the captain, who was perched on the port side of the cockpit between the winches with binoculars in hand. “Land Ho!” Cress shouted, and there it was. The first sight of land, a mountain from the Fijian Yasawa
Island group was in sight. At 14:10 late into the 20th day we could finally see what we've been aiming for. I could see the feeling of relief and success brush across each of the crew member's face with a sense of fulfillment gleaming in their eyes. We are there….well, almost. Actually, our desired port of Lautoka is still around 24 hours away. 24 hours to an ice cold drink, 24 hours to a fresh water shower, 24 hours away from the sight of women! How exciting! It's been 20 days and here
it is. So what did I do next?
Of course, I finished the dishes, hopped down to the galley, took a freshly cleaned bowl off the rack, served myself a hefty portion of the Turkish bean salad that had woken me, found some Ritz crackers and finally satisfied my insatiable hunger. Damn it was good!!! Well that had to be by far the best dish washing experience of my life haha.
Well, for some of us on board the journey is almost over, but for myself it is just the beginning. I'll spend two weeks in Fiji, then it is off to Vanuatu, with a new crew, for a new adventure. I want to thank the guys, Roland, Marcel, Jim and Cress (who will obviously be with me until we arrive at our final destination) for making these three weeks a time I'll never forget. What a blast! What a great crew and a great group of guys. Cheers fellas! This will be my last post for a while, so thanks
for checking in and be sure to check in again in a few weeks, when we untie the lines and push off the dock once again.
Bye for now, Matt