Sunday, June 24, 2012
There are moments on the ship when I feel like Eloise, the girl from the children's book who lives inside the Plaza Hotel in New York City. All day she runs around the hotel getting into things, and when I was a kid growing up in the country it seemed like the most fantastically fun existence imaginable.
Sometimes when the guests are eating lunch I'll get a break, run up to the sun deck and have the whole place to myself. I'll be doing yoga by myself with whales breaching alongside the boat, and I know I'm the only one who is seeing them. If I run up to the bar and there's not many people around, the bar tenders will make me something to drink- something with alcohol, but better than water, which is all we're given as crew.
That's not true. We have a soda machine, we can drink that. But you just can't drink that much soda every day you'll get sick. I guess what I mean to say is, there is no juice for crew. I think it would be nice to have just a little juice for the morning, or iced tea, but what are you going to do.
At night I'll go over to Pat's room, the chief engineer, and for some reason is office is in the Galley. And while I'm in the Galley I'll take a look around to see if there are any leftover desserts from the guest's dinner, and if so I'll take some for myself and for Pat or whoever else is around. We've pilfered profiterols, creme brules, layer cakes and just the other day- a bucket of rum soaked fruit and a bucket of marscapone creme.
That's right, a bucket.
We'll take what we can and steal out the hatches onto the fantail, where, if it's late enough, we'll watch the sun try and set. But that requires me to stay up so late that the next night I'll be extremely tired, so I'll choose some movie to watch- we have a whole library full of movies and books about whales, I ignore the books about whales- and I'll go down to my bunk at 7:30 and pull the curtain and watch the whole movie and then fall asleep.
There's more- there are always people up, deckhands and officers, somebody driving the boat, and most nights we are underway so there are mountains cruising past us. And everybody is doing the same tasks every day, and nobody can escape, so we all find the smallest things to be just the funniest things in the world.
The sad thing is, my friends keep leaving for their break. Bumbee left, and Greg, and this week Pat and Scott are leaving. This is going to be a lonely week for me, not an Eloise week. I was happy leading up to this day because Horner, my favorite, was supposed to be back as relief engineer. But he missed his flight and he didn't show up to Juneau and we're leaving in a few hours. Half of me expects to look up and see him lumbering down the gangway with his bag, but the other half of me knows he won't.
I'm going in for another week- fifth week. Each day 12 hours, sometimes more, not one day off. In one week though, I'll be stepping off the boat and onto a plane. And Andrew is picking me up and taking me to Derrington to go climbing, and we'll drink beers on the road somewhere and I'm not going to think at all about Alaska.