“What's that noise?” asks Matt.
He and I have been sitting idly in the cockpit digesting an excellent dinner of Dennis' spaghetti and meatballs and Rita's fresh baked scones. It was only a few minutes after sun down and already it was as black as only a starless, moonless night can be at sea in tropical latitudes.
I knew what that noise was alright, because today it had been familiar. 'It's the beans we all had had for lunch' I said to myself. Earlier in the day we had all agreed that being at sea is the only respectful place to each beans and garlic – lots of wind around. So we all had had a really good go at a guilt free lunch of garlic bean salad made by yours truly.
When Matt had disturbed my introspection with his question, I had been quietly exercising by prerogative as delicately as I could, and I was darned if I was going to fess up, so I sat on in the dark silently pretending I was either dead or asleep. 'Could be anything' I said to myself.
“Hey Cress, what's that noise?!” Matt asked more loudly, “What the heck's going on in the galley”
'Ahhh, I am in the clear' I thought.
Yes, there was another familiar sound that had not really risen into my conscious until Matt asked his question. I looked around the companionway opening and sure enough there was Bob working the galley sink with the plunger. And he was having a really good go at it with both hands on the plunger, apparently with no success. It was making a very gratifying sucking sound, but not yielding.
I turned to Matt. “Just Bob having an after dinner treat” I said, “he's plunging the sink.”
I turned back to watch over Bob's shoulder for a moment longer as he worked away at the sink full of 'tomatoey' water splashing this way and that with no relief in sight. The girls had had a go at it earlier, apparently, equally without success. They had called in 'a man' to get the dirty job done. Hmmm.
“You know Bob”, I said as helpfully as I could leaning in the companionway, “You sure look like you know what you're doing and all but have you tried plugging the other sink at the same time?”
“Yuppp” he said between pressed lips as he continued with ever greater more gusto.
I watched for another moment or so. I had never seen the galley sink plunged with such intention.
Now, I don't pretend to be any expert, but it is my boat after all and I plunge that sink at least every other day and it yields a lot easier than that.
“You know” I said again, “There must be something wrong”.
“Do you figure!!” said Bob and he trenched away with even more vigor
“Well.. yeah …. It's not usually that…. recalcitrant”
Finally, Bob stopped for a breath and leaned his chin on the plunger staring at the slopping contents with great concentration, willing the answer to come, as if from the swill itself. Then his right hand let go of the plunger almost of its own accord and attacked the drain. His fingers were gouging the drain, fiercely determined to find the problem. 'Here was a man of determination, not to be defeated by a mere galley sink.' I thought approvingly.
There was a small cry of anguish from Bob. Out from the murk he hauled this big black object. Initially, in revulsion, I wondered 'Where in gods great mercy did that horrible dark mass of muck come from?'
But I saw I was mistaken. It was the sink plug.
“What the….” sputtered Bob, but whatever he said was lost in the laughter from the cockpit. Even Dennis woke from his slumber to join in. Bob looked at the Rita and Jan in the galley beside him but they were not laughing. “I just assumed you had……..”
“Dibbs on tonight's blogg” I said between tears of laughter, “that's one for the books.”
We are underway again, sailing overnight between Tanna Island and the Island where Port Vila is located. Great volcano action of a different kind last night. We should arrive shortly after dawn.