Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Riding the Wave

"Come along Boats," say's the new Warrant Officer in charge of our division, "it's time to inspect the decks."

He gives me a patronizing look, but the ship heaves to the side and slams him into the bulkhead. I sigh. We use to have a real Bosun's Mate in charge and now we have a signalman, a flag flyer, an outsider.

I wait, as three hundred and seventy eight feet of sleek sided metal, pitch and yaw in the following waves, then get to my feet. This ain't no cruise ship and Captain closed the decks for a reason.

Quigly fastens his yellow slicker and tightens the strap of his rain hat. He looks like a Gloucester fisherman minus the burly build and bushy whiskers. He looks at me and arches a brow.

"Okay," I shrug, "I'll just get a safety line. One for you?"

He declines with a wave of the hand, but I'm not going out in the storm without one.

"Get your foul weather gear." He snaps as I disappear below decks. When I return, he glares, but doesn't make an issue of my bare forearms. Yes, it's winter in the Bering Sea, but I suspect this won't take long.

This isn't your average storm and waves are cresting as high as the flying bridge, some forty, fifty feet in the air. The ship pitches to starboard just as Quigly and I shove against the port hatch. For a moment, it doesn't move, then wind rips the steel door out of our grasp and sucks us out toward the rail. I attach the safety hook just as the ship slams to port and waves crash up to create a solid wall of icy blue water between our deck and the one above. We are in a narrow corridor of gleaming white metal and raging sea.

Heart slamming in my chest, I'm still awed by the power and beauty of the moment. Once again we pitch to the right and get a glimpse of leaden sky. I grip the rail and turn to Quigly just as a wave slides in from the stern, lifts him several feet in the air, carries him down the length of the ship and deposits him by the galley door. Like a mad cartoon character, he leaps to his feet and turns to me. "We're finished here," he shouts, "get back inside," then he disappears into the ship.

Oh my gawd, he could have been swept out to sea. For a split second, shock holds me in place, then I bark a laugh, slip inside and secure the door. Neptune, I think, just tossed him back.







76 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. According to the Achtionary, boss man had a case of dirigiballs.

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  2. Nice. I felt present in the moment. I was there..... And wow! Intense!

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    1. One of those weird moments I'll never forget.

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  3. Goodness. You sent me reeling a bit. Is this part of a longer piece?

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    1. Naw, just a snippet from an otherwise dull job.:)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks. Glad you're back on four wheels!

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  5. Woah! I would have been scared to death. I'm terrfied of Neptune and his temper. :) Nice writing. :)

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    1. I have to admit, I always got a kick out of stormy seas.

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  6. Real and captivating write. I'm glad it wasn't a Neptune captive. Ha.

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    1. I imagine that moment took ten years off of his life. He was a lucky man.

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  7. And the flag flyer flew! I love the sea even when she's angry but the Bering Sea doesn't sound like fun. Great post!

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    1. The Bering is beautiful, just beautiful.

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  8. Replies
    1. In those days it was a bit like the boy-bus. Glad you survived the field trip.

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  9. It makes me glad I was in the merchant navy. People can ask me to do anything and I will try to oblige but when told or barked at they have no chance.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I wasn't very military, but I had some good times despite the bs.

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  10. This is why I hate the ocean. Cute.

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    Replies
    1. You've made me look at call centers in a whole new light.

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  11. Scary and funny at the same time. Great work! Please visit my blog and pick up your award. XOXO

    http://myviewthroughkateyes.blogspot.com/2012/05/woohoo-another-award-and-another.html

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, yeah, I'll be right over. You better be scared funny lady. :)

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  12. Short and sweet - even got me a little seasick. Nicely done!

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    1. Breathings of Your Heart is really lovely. I think I'll work on hubby's eulogy. maybe get even with the madman.

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  13. Well done, My pretty! Ahoy there! Is there more or is this just a quick piece of brilliance? ♥

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    1. A flash at a time Jo, a flash at a time. The rest is just bs. :)

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  14. Hello, Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog. I REALLY appreciate it!

    This was a fun and intense post to read. Love your writing style. You do bring things to life, don't you? ;-)

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  15. You brought the power of the sea to life. Living on a boat, and spending some time on the crest of angry waves, I know exactly the power you speak of. Thanks for finding me. Now following with interest.
    Di
    X

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  16. just a quick note
    I am adding you to my reading list on my main blog
    http://rjacobpost.blogspot.com/

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  17. Yeah. Al would call Quigley a Dummy. ;)
    Great stuff, as always, my friend.

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    1. Quigley was a dummy. Now be still my achy breaky heart, I have to reread your post. Too funny.

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  18. Replies
    1. Ooh thanks Mom. you got some healing to do. Hope the leg feels better soon.

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    2. It'll be fine. i just have to convince someone to bring me the cake : )

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  19. Great story! Made me seasick just reading it. Gene Pool Diva is a perfect title, now I am a follower; you are too clever.

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    Replies
    1. Gene Pool Diva was a happy accident, but I'm having fun with it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  20. Yep, that's why I rode aircraft carriers.

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    Replies
    1. Oh no, that's way too many people in a confined space.

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  21. Morning/evening/hullo fellow bloggers,

    SORRY< SORRY< SORRY<SORRY

    I decided to change my blog name because sarchasm2 was confusing me with my other local blog sarchasm and I seem to have inadvertently deleted the name sarchasm2 but the blog still exists under comedyincrisis.wordpress.com

    I am going to try to reconnect with all the blogs I’ve followed so please bear with me and follow me back.

    I am still pretty new to wordpress and I got too clever or stupid for my own good.

    Sorry again

    Roly

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    1. I like the name change Roly and I'm still a follower.

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  22. Wow,
    *impressed*

    I've survived gas attacks, incompetent officers, incompetent enlisted (OR's in the British Army)and even an incompetent Warrant Officer (very, very rare) but the power of nature as you describe it gives me the sh*ts.

    Keep safe.

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    1. You're right, most warrants are wonderful, but it's the pickles that make the best copy.

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  23. Great to come across a blogger who is such a good storyteller. Will come back for more!

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    1. Hi Trish, I enjoyed your account of Copenhagen. Thanks for the visit.

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  24. Love your blog! I will be back for sure. :)

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    1. And I love the spirit of your blog. Now hush, I'm about to read about a wave in The Dream. :)

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  25. I loved reading this story. You write in such a captivation way...I was almost transformed to a different world while reading your story!
    Do visit my food blog whenever you feel like!

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    1. Chicken slow cooked in curry. Purabi you are speaking my language :)

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  26. I just wanted to stop back in and read this again. Your stories read so well that they almost sound like fiction. IDK if that makes sense. Oh well.
    You have such a gift, Diva. :)

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    Replies
    1. Dawn it's been an exhausting day and I don't care if you're blowin smoke or serious. That's just about the best compliment ever and you've made my day. Tell the dog to scoot over, I'm moving in.

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  27. Hey Gene, a great story. Glad I was a desk-bound soldier.

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    1. Desks have their advantages. Now about doubles ... Got any recipes for doubles?

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  28. Great story! You would not find me anywhere near a ship like that!

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    1. HI Susan, I wish I were perched high above the bay in San Diego sipping coffee and watching the pacific. What a perfect spot.

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  29. Replies
    1. Thanks, it was a moment that stuck with me.

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  30. I suspect you're far too busy to play an ice-breaking blog game, but just in case you're not, I've tagged you! Please visit http://fourunder4plustwo.blogspot.ca/2012/05/have-i-mentioned-that-i-suck-at-tag.html to see what I mean:)

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    1. I love that you stopped by, but oh no, my glasses are fogging over. I can't see a thing. sigh.

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  31. New venture for you? Writing a book? I feel out of touch.

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    1. Nah, that crap's true, but lets talk wedding cake. Can you send me a slice?

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  32. Fun read. I just joined your site...that is I re joined. This time my link is present in my profile. Maybe more people will come to mine if they can click a link, huh? Thanks for the good read.

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    1. Why you fickle friend you. I'm waiting to get a good look at your new button. Enjoy your summer.

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  33. I fear I owe you and apology and am sorry but you've been tagged and tasked in my latest blog. http://www.blondiemcbaffled.com/2012/05/11-questions-gamedang-it.html

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    1. *Plugs fingers in ears* "lah, lah, lah, lah."

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  34. LOL!

    Love this -> Neptune, I think, just tossed him back.

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    1. Neptunes no dummy, he knows what he's doing :)

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  35. Tag, you're it...if you choose to participate. Please see instructions on my website.
    http://myviewthroughkateyes.blogspot.com/2012/06/tag-youre-it.html

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    1. Oh no Kat, somethings wrong ... so wrong ... and blurry ... words disappearing ... bad browser ... I ... I

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  36. What an interesting read. Once again, I really loved your tale! :)

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    1. Galloping Insanity. Have I told you how much I adore you?

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  37. Been away from the blogosphere for a few...just got back and read this. What a great story! Thanks!

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