Sunday is the day of rest, even so at sea. It’s something that the officers sometimes, which really means most of the times, are prone to forget.
I remember how disappointed Dana is in Two Years Before the Mast, because they never seem to get the sunday rest that they are promised – supposed to have – not that there’s a written law, or maybe there is actually, but whatever – it’s sunday!
We agree, to load or unload cargo, weigh anchor or leave the dock on a Sunday is less then ideal. But alright, it’s only Sunday…
On the island of Texel, outside Den Helder, Holland, the fishing fleet leaves port, every Sunday – after midnight. Then the rest is over.
My interest on Sundays are primitive, indeed. I sleep, sometimes a considerable amount of time, sometimes I’m awake too, watching things blow and counting my toes.
A Sunday on the snow
Tired from shovelling snow and playing hockey, I managed to leave for a breakfast out this morning. Meat was in the plenty, some eggs and the inevitable potatoes. I had exactly four cups of coffee and watched a discussion go on, without adding anything, about fat reduction. I was out of my element. This woman is slim as a board, i thought, gnawing on a piece of bacon. 2500 dollar, it’s too much. Again, 2500 dollar, yeah that is much.
The last cup of coffee didn’t offer the same amount of taste as the first three and I tried to suck on the coffee for a longer time to sort of squeeze out more goodness, but to no avail.
I looked at a small collection of roosters in the kitchen, before departing.
Back at the farm I’d took shelter from the snow and raging cold in the basement. With me I brought a piece of Swedish oak, from Götheborg – the magnificent East Indiaman. Yea, the beautiful lady herself, who right now is laying under cover in the cold harbour of Göteborg.
I spent the afternoon down below, drinking good coffee, listening to Lee Perry and shaping two fids out of the piece i had. Wood is just a marvelous material to work with and it’s a thrill to see something take part out of the raw material. A good old little plainer helped me with just about everything. A precious tool, indeed. This one is about palm sized, out of metal with nice wooden knob handle. There is a buttload of plains out there. Everything from big wooden ones to small special ones. This one I like for it’s ability to be and feel neat, but at the same time do a strong job. When you get into it, it’s like the plain guides you and everything goes as a big smooth motion.
When the steel cut into this piece of tar covered wood, the winter frozen tar awoke and released a pungent – yet warm and calming – smell of tar and hemp, tallow and wood. It smelled as if I stood in the forepeak of Götheborg. For a moment the room was the forepeak, I was there. Looking around and all the tools had changed into spools of twine and line, blocks and tackle. The blocks hanging in the lower peak plays against each other like claves while I check the bilge pump.
I added another familiar flavour to the authentic smell impression of Ostindiefararen when I opened up a jug of linseed oil to coat the sanded and finished fids.
Quite content with the Sunday so far, I took to the ice rink to play hockey and dream elaborate daydreams about ice sailing.