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On the quarterdeck of HMS Ravens March, A.D. 1807

Posted by Dirck on 26 January, 2011

I have once or twice referred to my admiration for the nautical yarns of Patrick O’Brian.  I have come to realize in the long wait for the latest dawn that having a toddler in the house is very similar to serving in the Royal Navy in the early 19th century.  Observe:

  • there is almost no time in a day not filled with duties for those who are attentive to their position;
  • infrequently, the regular course of duties can reduce you to stark terror (in the modern example, consider the phrase, “How did he manage to climb up on that?”);
  • four hours of sleep starts to become the norm;
  • many unexpected diseases arise;
  • one becomes somewhat less nice about fresh food, clean clothes, and the smell of human filth (no, no– it’s the diaper pail);
  • the noise sometimes emitted by your charges is apt to make you deaf;
  • time loses some of its meaning;
  • despite the hardship, one becomes very attached to the way of living.

Since I’m not quite clear on the pacing of the nautical day, I may be incorrect in saying that I got to sleep almost the whole Middle Watch last night.  Pass the rum and never fret the weevils in the biscuit!

Today’s pen, a touchstone of modernity: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink, from the far side of the world:  Wancher Matcha (green)

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