Swing_Lynn

Canada

She/her
Not quite original or noteworthy,
living on a sail boat,
Formerly aBirdwith.noWings
My writing doesn't make sense,
So please interpret it any way you fancy.

Message to Readers

Since a nightwatch at sea isn't a common thing to do I thought I'd write about it. Hope whoever reads this likes it but wouldn't be surprised is no one does. Need to work on the conclusion. Review for a follow and a review in return. Thanky

Nightwatch

April 15, 2021

FREE WRITING

2
    As many things do, it starts with the alarm going off and it always seems to go off too early. Often, the nav station’s red glow is the only light in the saloon, but someone might be watching a movie, the white glow shifting across their face. Oatmeal or maybe banana bread will be waiting in the galley. The flame on the stove shines blue from under the kettle. With tea boiling and a bowl of oatmeal in hand, the next place to go is the helm station. Whomever had the shift before will be sitting there, waiting. Often Dad takes the first shift and the second shift, from ten o’clock to one am, is my favourite, so chances are, he will be the one to give a quick briefing on the sea conditions. 
    While he talks about the wind speed, how the sails are reefed, the tide, the GPS heading, I’ll be eating a quick breakfast and subsequently drinking tea. After explaining everything that needs to be explained, my dad will head back to his cabin or maybe watch a movie on the bead in the saloon, and I will be alone. 
    Far from any road there is the perfect kind of silence. The wind, a ruffling of the sails, small waves crashing against the boat. The horizon might be laced with the shimmering lights of far off cities, or the night’s darkness could surround the boat. A cloudless night sky bears innumerable stars that cover the sky like dust particles, infinite and innumerable. The more you look the more you see, but there are so many stars that no one could ever see them all. 
    On one is allowed to go forwards without telling someone, thus waking them up, so I stay in the cockpit. From the helm seat you can see the water, not just the water, but the fossflorcents. They turn the white caps turquoise and make a trail of sparkles behind the boat. The ink-coloured water looks like it stole the stars from the sky above. Schools of fish sometimes follow along the boat. They swim in circles and the fossflorcents make their trails into art on the ocean’s surface. The water looks like someone spilled a jar of turquoise glitter on it.
The autopilot does all of the steering on during the night but every fifteen minutes everything must be checked. The wind speed and direction need to be looked at. The sails need to be adjusted depending on the direction of the wind. If the engines are running, those need to be checked as well. You need to scan the horizon for fishing boats that don’t show up on AIS and also check the Garmin for any approaching vessels. Then, fifteen minutes later the process is repeated. 
There are not many things available to do during a night watch. Most often I let a podcast absorb the time. Films also do a fine job of wasting the three hours. All it takes is one The Lord of the Rings movie or a full season of The Office. Of course, you cannot get too comfortable, the fifteen minute check ups make that near to impossible but it is a small price for the peaceful solitude of a nightwatch. 

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  • April 15, 2021 - 1:56pm (Now Viewing)

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3 Comments
  • sunshinetea

    Re: awww tysm! I really appreciate it hahah


    5 months ago
  • Nyla

    I like the intense descriptions in this piece. Talking about stars like dust particles kind of gives an insight into the characters' psyche and shows how they might be tired by always doing the night watch. "The water looks like someone spilled a jar of turquoise glitter on it." -loved that. Also oooh, I love The Office!
    RE: Aww thank you so much! Wow, totally not blushing over here haha. Thank you!
    You can totally review if you want! (Though don’t feel a need to if you’re busy) Would you want anything reviewed? I’m always up to :)


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Re: Thank you! Oh, no problem! <33


    5 months ago