21st October 2001
8:55am and the crew cast off the ropes. We slowly steamed out of the harbour. It was a bright-ish morning with little wind. It was both very exciting and very final to get under way, there was no going back now. Out through the straits, past Ross’ valley on the port side and the lighthouse to starboard. I glanced up towards Queen’s Battery, to the spot where I had watched from yesterday as the L.J Cowley left port. I pictured the view in my mind, editing in this ship, and me standing on the stern of it looking up. I wasn’t sure which view was best.
The sea was flat so I stood on deck for ages watching the land retreat to the horizon. It’s weird to think that I might not see any land at all for the next four months. St John’s disappeared from view quickly, and it was hard to see where the small inlet led to the town hidden beyond. It was obvious why that spot was chosen to build a town as it is a perfect natural harbour.
I wasn’t alone on deck, Peter was getting his last look at terra firma too. It turns out he’s from Plymouth but I won’t hold that against him. Peter is an experienced observer and a very nice chap; quietly confident and sincere. We got chatting and I was keen to learn from his experience. He told me about some of the ruses the fishing vessels use to hide or misreport catch, and some tips on how to spot them. What really stuck with me though was his warning ‘If you find they are fishing illegally, write it down and wait until you get back on dry land to report it. You are out here on your own, don’t forget that, and it’s a very big and lonely sea’.
For the rest of the day I paced the deck, looked out for whales, and when I got cold would warm up and watch whatever video was being played in the TV lounge. I didn’t hang around in there long though as ‘sporadic facial hair boy’ gets on my nerves. I haven’t liked him since I first set eyes on him in London. He’s an obnoxious little twat, and has the most annoying little sporadic tufts of facial hair growing out of his fat face. He sits in the chair with the remote control as if he owns the place and when the crew come in he doesn’t even ask them if they want to watch something – this is their home and we are visitors in it, I can’t believe his neck.
The wind picked up in the afternoon and the the ship is rolling a lot more. I’m relieved that I don’t feel sea sick, but I am so tired I can barely think straight so I’ll have to finish writing here for today and hit my bunk.
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