So, we didn’t really see much of the harbour as we left. The crew took in the ropes and spent quite a bit of time storing them. the ropes were dirty and soaking wet and heavy and thick…I could go on.

We finally got on deck but there was nothing to see! We were well out to sea and the ship, being empty, was beginning to roll. Ron and I had one more job. The Frenchman signaled he needed some help. He was holding a rope which was wrapped twice around a railing. The rest of it was dangling down into¬† a dark hatch. So we held the rope and waited…”Take loose” he yelled. Take loose? what did that mean? We loosened our hold on the rope and it slowly slid through the Frenchman’s fingers.¬† “Jesus Christ” he yelled. (Knew some English and it came out some times) We figured it out. He was hauling something up from the bottom of the hatch and he wanted us to take the slack as he pulled. There was only room for one person to do what he was doing so we pulled and held the rope as he lifted. Up came this heavy water pump. We managed to get the thing onto the deck.

Dinner time then we had a couple of beer in my cabin. Ron and my roommate was there. A couple of others I think. Everybody showed what they’d bought in Yokohama. I put on the blouse I’d bought for Midge. (a little tight so got a hilarious clap). My roommate ,the ship’s carpenter, said “Maybe you come into my bunk tonight?” He was just kidding…really!

Sleep time. Got into the bunk and noticed the roll. An empty ship rolls on the first hint of waves. It was ok but I noticed my head would roll from side to side following the actions of the boat. I was able to jam a pillow against the edge of the bunk and quietened the action down. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a harrowing experience which began the next morning…

-to be continued…

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