Getting Underway, April 25

LEAKS

Edgar and I set about trying to plug the leak in the ‘tween deck stern. First we had to unship (remove) the large table so that we could get at the stern timbers through which the water was seeping in. We had to crawl on the wet deck and under the table and, with considerable difficulty, we managed to unship the table, push it up part of the ‘tween deck and lash it to a stanchion. We had to be careful that a sudden roll or pitch didn’t cause the table to rush down at us like an angry dog. Then Edgar set about plugging the leak, but when he stood up, the ship gave a violent lurch to port and flung him across on one of the benches fixed to the side. For a moment, he seemed to be performing a grotesque pirouette in a lunatic ballet. Fortunately he landed in the sitting position. He remained there for some minutes and never stopped swearing. Then, suddenly, we realized the absurdity of the situation and burst out laughing.

Jack Scarr (Journal, 26 April 1957)


SEASICKNESS

The motion of the ship is more pitch than roll, up one side of the swell and down the other, almost a soothing motion, or at least it is to me, but a number of the crew, including Joe Meany, Dr. Stevens and David Thorpe, are seasick. I can quite understand Joe’s feeling poorly, but I am surprised at Doc and David Thorpe, because they are both experienced yachtsmen, and Doc was in the Navy during the war, part of the time in submarines, but as he says: “It’s calmer under the water than on top.”

Warwick Charlton, The Second Mayflower Adventure

The constant rolling and pitching made even the veteran seamen seasick, but Ford took modern preventative measures and took pills to ward it off—“my willpower isn’t strong enough.”

Mike Ford (“54 Days Before the Mast”)

Before lunch Charley Church and I looked very green. I have no appetite for food and the struggle has begun again. I have however got through half the day without vomiting. The doctor and Andy were ordered up to the fore top to mend the tear in the foresail. They had a pretty rough time of it. They were both sick and up there a long time.

Jack Scarr (Journal, 3 May 1957)

Jan Junker, the third mate, was a quiet Dane who ambled the decks with a vaguely sorrowful expression and an incisive, dry wit. He could sum up a situation or bring a high-flown idea down to earth with incredibly few words — “In zis kind of weazer we always have apricot soup. It tastes ze same going down or coming op”— He was a seaman who knew what he was about at all times.

Peter Padfield (Voyage, 15 May 1957) 

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