Day 90

15th January 2002

Yesterday was yet another fun filled day of wave watching. It was blowing a force 10 with 10 metre waves and hurricane force winds, nice. The epicentre of excitement was when a large wave pushed the ship off course and beam on to the waves. The autopilot couldn’t cope and we were thrown around very violently until the captain manually steered her back on course. I underwent the extreme frustration previously described of listening to the engaged tone for the second day running and watched Armageddon again even though I couldn’t believe how ‘corny’ it was the first time.

That pretty much sums up yesterday except for a thought that occurred to me as I was trying to get to sleep on dobbin. It was the scariest thought to have crossed my mind since the start of the trip. I was excitedly thinking about going home when I realised I was actually quite anxious about it. You see I haven’t lived in the real world for three months, I have little idea what has happened in the news and have missed so much of what has been going on with my friends that when I get home I’m going to be alien. I can’t talk about what’s been on TV nor what they did last week. I am completely out of touch and it’s scary. I suppose in a way I’m becoming institutionalised as I have to think for myself very little and nothing happens which is out of the ordinary, life is so habituous here.

Tomorrow was the predicted end date of my trip: that would be manageable but I think the extra three weeks I have to serve is an unjust and extended sentence. I think if I do another trip I will only do it if it is no longer than 3 months and in summer, however I’m not sure if I want to do another. At the end of February MRAG’s contract with NAFO expires and there is a lot of speculation that they will not get the contract again. In the past when this has happened the new company has kept the existing observers, but it is rumoured that this time they will replace us all…if that happens my decision will be made.

The weather today is much better and we are steaming, yet again, back to the fishing grounds. I haven’t yet seen the weather chart and think I’ll live in blissful ignorance a while longer before going up to the bridge for a ganders.


Another thought occurred to me yesterday while I was beadily-eyed wave watching. We were steaming south to avoid the centre of the storm and I was plotting our course on a chart (for some reason I like to know where we are in relation to the world even though the scenery is always the same). I noticed that we were only a few miles from the Titanic, strange to think that we might have actually sailed right over the wreck. If it were up to me I’d spend the days trawling for wrecks on the sounder and trying to find the titanic but it doesn’t interest these fishermen, they prefer to fish!

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