June 5th

I woke up to see the sunrise but it really was more of a “brightening” because the sun never really set. The weather is much improved today, winds down to 10-15 knots and the seas are 4-6 feet. There is improved visibility and the horizon actually looks like the horizon rather than disappearing into the fog as has been the last few days. There are small blue patches in the sky but for the most part it is overcast and grey in the sky. The water up here is a deep green, not blue like we have back home. I think it is the temperature? Perhaps as we approach some of the islands the water will change and look like it is full of life. For the most part, this is a desert out here. I did see those whales yesterday but there is no bird life to speak of and none of the familiar porpoise that I am so accustomed to back home. This really is a much different offshore experience than I have become so familiar with. When we head offshore back home I know what to expect, where to expect it, when to start being on the look-out. Here there is none of the familiar sights. No kelps, no temperature breaks, no birds. Just open expanse.

This is the “ride it out” part of the voyage, across the Pacific in the vastness of nothing. There is a time like this on every long voyage I have ever done, the area where you are just getting through it on your way to someplace. The ocean is a remarkable place and those who have not been out in the vastness of it really have little idea of its scale and size. I know that in the next few days it will change entirely and there will be new sights to see, much like driving through the desert and suddenly reaching the mountains. This is the part where you can’t find anything on the radio and you put the windows down to let the warm air rush in, the part where you just kill time and wonder what will break the cycle.

The morning was uneventful, too cold to be outside for more than 30 minutes at a time and I am pretty much isolated to the starboard side since the wind on the port side is just howling. The kind of cold wind that just makes jeans seem like a poor choice. I did bring my boat jacket and a flannel plus some sweaters so I am fine out there but with no life to look at the scenery is pretty dull. You can only look at swells, wind waves and choppy water on the horizon for so long.

Today it is Sunday all over again, which in itself is freaky. We will move the clocks forward another hour today at 1400 and the good thing about that is that it means we are getting closer to home. I had oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast, I had one cup of coffee today. I don’t like the way the coffee has been amping me up in the morning so I am backing off. Same thing with the Cokes, I love them and missed them, then I bought 24 in the ship store. I was rationing 2 per day until the end of the voyage. I have not used my ration, with 7 days to go I still have 18 Cokes left. I think drinking all that water just changed my desire a bit. Dianna will like that.

I struggled with lunch, my sutures have begun falling out and where they are still attached is sore and sensitive, I would have thought after a month it would not be an issue but it is. We had hard boiled eggs, halved with curry mayonnaise and tuna over the top, beef in gravy with penne pasta. No desert today. I guess only one Sunday a week is special.

Our safety drill is on at 1400 and because we change the clocks today at 1400, that means it is really 1500. I go to the bridge and we do safety drills. How to get off the ship, where to go, what my job is and that sort of thing. Interesting that the language of communication is English, which is the native language of NO ONE except me. I don’t expect all the commands to be easily understood. It is interesting to hear the Ukrainian guys speak with a Russian accent and the French with a French accent. Some accents are much more pronounced than others, I can only imagine what I sound like to a Mexican when I stumble through my Spanish?

The weather is acting up again here at 1330, the wind is blowing about 30 knots again and now it has begun raining. I had thought we were beyond the depression we were running from but it looks like this may be an edge of it and we are in for a long rainy and windy afternoon. Should make the safety seminar pretty interesting, huh?

Well the safety drill was a downer for me, as a passenger I was instructed to go to the bridge. I am to wait there until someone tells me otherwise or instructs me on what to do. The rest of the crew had a fire drill, they were simulating a fire on the deck inside a hazardous material container, in this instance a container loaded with lithium Ion batteries. I had to stay up on the bridge while all the excitement of a fire drill was going on. Shoot.

They then ran an abandon ship drill and so I went down to the A deck as the drill requires. The entire crew assembled in the ships office and then when everyone was accounted for, they started reviewing the fire drill. I was promptly dismissed. I don’t think the Captain wanted me to witness a butt chewing of the crew, no sense in that. His comment was “after the drill there is a 90% chance we burned the ship”, “Mr. Hess, you are dismissed to your cabin”. I guess fire drills are the same everywhere in the world. I also guess the boss here is like some bosses I had. I hated those guys.

I went back outside to get the wind in my face. OK, remind me if I do this sort of thing again to take voyage SOUTH. It is awful out there. Like being in a winter storm with rain instead of snow, if it was snowing it would be a white out. Actually, this would be an awesome trip in the Caribbean or South America where you could go ashore often. The cabins are awesome, the food is great, there is internet. If you sailed for a day or two, then stopped and went ashore it would be a great trip. I think they have a Caribbean route and a South American route. I wanted to sail across the Pacific Ocean but if you wanted a super relaxing trip that felt private and had great accommodation, I suggest this as an option. Really.

Today is where I feel like going home would be great. I get like this even on an 8 day fishing trip, I miss home, it is slow, the time passes, I miss my girl. Today is that day.

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