"Uuuunnnh," I inform him. He's glad his watch is over and he's heading for bed; I'm not happy that mine's about to begin.
It's black as a cave in the cabin named Cook & Boy and I want to stay here in my nice cozy bunk. But there's no way out of this, short of a mutiny. I roll out of bed and, in the pitch black, pull on the shorts and sweatshirt I'd left within easy reach. I stagger to the door and past the larger cabins to either side, where the rest of the crew bunks. (During a campaign against Russian whaling, two of these cabins will come to be known as Slobovia and Smellvokia.)
| Oh, for one more night, |
steering the R Dub.
Only the glow of the instruments lights the wheelhouse. Peter sits with his feet up against the chart table, coffee mug in hand. He tells me the course and I take my place behind the great wooden wheel--yes, picture an old-fashioned ship's wheel, spokes worn smooth by many hands over many nights and days over many seas. I check the compass in the glass housing above, and then I hold the ship on course.
Sometimes we talk during the dark hours, as we look out past the mast, past the running lights, over the bow of the Rainbow Warrior, watching the darkness of the night meet the darkness of the waves. But it's the companionable silence I remember best, the hum of the engines, the softness of the light, the spokes beneath my hands as I guided the ship with its sleeping crew through the warm Pacific night.
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