0530 AM. I wake up, what time is it, holy shit only 30 minutes to go for my shift starts. 5:45 AM a red light shines in my eyes, who is this, where am i, what do they want ”goodmorning, your shift is on”, hmm… no way i am getting up, way too tired, what kind of holiday is this?? 5:50 AM I get out of bed, I meet my roommate in the hallway for the 21st time and for the 21st time we do our routine: “how are you:”, “I am ok”, “how are you?”, “good thanks”. He disappears in the toilet, as he always does. I get my life jacket, shorts and t-shirt and walk outside, meeting on the way some other sleepy faces getting up, the kettle is on, good stuff. I take the stairs outside, my eyes half open, ”you might want to get your rain jacket we have a squall coming”, no way, I am getting back to bed, 5 minutes later i am up with my rain jacket on. Good morning guys its groundhog day again,
”Good morning, how are you”, “good thanks”, “are you clipped on”, “sure”. Sleepy faces behind the wheel in the darkness, only one lights up in the red light of the compass, I know that when I do not take over before exactly 6 AM they will hate me, so at 5:59 AM, I beat them to it and get behind the wheel. While I am far from awake i am steering downwind with 25 knots of wind and around 11 knots in boat speed, rain is pouring down and the boat is slamming into the waves, this is what we signed up for. Mint tea is being served, to get this from the kitchen to the driver is like a storm chase.
It is getting dawn at 6:30 AM, one of the most incredible sightings ever, the full moon is going down before me, whilst the same time the sun is getting up behind me, stars above me, this you do not experience anywhere else than on the middle of the ocean, tears would be very much appropriate. The rest of the dream team is sitting in front of me, we talk about nothing, it is Thursday morning 7 AM, sun is up.
The next shift will starts again at 12 noon for the other watch, life begins for them in a parade of 80s underwear downstairs, and a race for the steering wheel between Mike and Ian, I will go to bed again only to wake up three more times during in the next 24 hours hours. Same routine, same wonders with 3 days in one. It is only day 12, lucky us.