21 days at sea, and murmuring among the crew
BOUNTY 2 November, 08:46 local (three hours west of GMT), running downwind, West by North 1/2 N, 6 knots, 6 foot swells, 18-52' N 048-11'W, 21 days since we sunk the Azores astern.
0330, a couple of days ago in the bosuns store, well below decks. Only red lights are on and furtive figures are murmuring in the shadows-"quiet, it's the mate of the watch", so we withdraw further into the shadows. Mutiny? No (although there is disaffection aboard), but Halloween, and C watch is about to do a zombie takeover of the watch. A painter's filter mask without the filters alters the outline of a face, and even does a good job of changing the voice. Chains are carried, a noose decorates a neck, dry-erase markers are abused, a bag over the head is a bit scary (both for the wearer and observers) and we strike! Our leader's beard tickles when he bites, but we do cause one minor shreak of fear.
Later, a very expensive pumpkin is decorated with schools of fish, a few predator fish and a shark.
The windlass (covered) makes an appearance with two pair of legs (we would have thrown a horse overboard in the Horse Latitudes, as tradition calls for). Blind justice appears, wrapped in a sheet, with a parceling blindfold, a sword from "pirate days", and scales with pans being cocnut shells from some iced desserts picked up in the Azores.
Then Sunday, watches are dogged again (I'm now on 12 to 4, and wish I were asleep now). And change happens! Some of the mates and their watches are too chummy and set in their peculiar ways, so the 4 mates are going to rotate through the three watches (at least for a week). The 4th is striking to be Bligh, with strong technical skills, but no people skills. He's young, and ambitious, and a pain.
Another was a deckhand last year, and is learning the fine technical details, but gernerally is pretty good. The others are a couple with a long history with the boat, and are conflicted about being on this trip. They'd signed off, but were begged to come back for some of this voyage, but are doing the whole thing. We had one of the latter for our watch mate this morning, and she wasn't too bad. And she's agreed to give us all report cards when the week is over and she's had all three watches. She's been a kindergarden teacher in the past, so we have an idea of what to expect. In fact, a few of the deckhands give evidence of having failed that grade (one with a degree in finance).
But the disaffection is mostly concentrated on our shore-side establishment- she got the job by nepotism, here job is to communicate, and she apparently doesn't know how to. "Why won't the officals in Porto Del Garda speak English to me?", and the some of the email exchanges have been shared because they're a joke. She's now sharing her attention with a custom vitamin scheme (sounds bogus to me), so things are even worse now. She's due to be replaced, but for now.... I saw some evidence of this myself, but after starting to communicate with the officers here directly, I had little trouble. Some others did as well, others, who knows- they're not here.
Next time, why you don't want to be on this boat.