I wake up in my sleeping bag on my bunk. I can see my breath, and beyond that I can see the early morning light coming in through the hatch above me. Some people do everything they can to avoid morning light, but I actually selected this bunk specifically for its proximity to the hatch. I hate waking up in the dark -- when it's morning I want to know!
It's still an hour to reveille, but I have one thing on my mind. It pertains to having drank three pitchers of india pale ale in town with the captain the night before. Though it's always disappointing to have to climb out of a nice warm sleeping bag before you have to so you can relieve yourself, it's not all bad news -- there's a wonderful thing that happens to be nearby called SHORE HEADS! (ie bathrooms that aren't on a ship!!)
I climb up the ladder out the hatch and find myself slipping on the deck -- it's covered in frost! But it is a beautiful crisp morning with the sun just barely rising over the horizon (and frost on all the ground). The shoreheads are just a short walk away in the marina office, but I decide while I'm up to walk a little further.
To get to the town of Kalama one must walk all the way around the marina, up a pedestrian overpass over the train tracks, and then under the freeway. Once there one will find two bars and three antique stores, and a 24 hour laundromat/espresso bar with free wifi. But most noteworthy, on the freeway underpass there is a mural of the Colombia river with from one side to another: indians in canoes; trappers in longboats; the original of the boat I am on (the Lady Washington); and two or three progressivly more modern ships.
We have a crew of 12-14 (every few days we lose or gain someone), nearly all of whom are either 26 or 27. The youngest is 25, the captain himself is 27 I believe, the first mate is 30, and then there's maybe two people who are older. One of the other crewmembers is i_id and posted a faq about life aboard.
When not handling sails, standing bow watch or doing other chores we're usually kept busy the entire time from 8-5 with ship maintenance or other projects. They keep us busy and it's wet and it's cold, but it's altogether damn fun. (:
Our cook is great, the food has all been delicious, and almost every day she bakes fresh bread.
After Kalama we pulled into a quaint little fishing town called Cathlamet, where we didn't even get cell phone reception. When I finally got a chance to walk downtown that evening and find cell phone reception I found I had a text from a friend back home, whom we'll call friend X -- friend X wanted me to confront friend Y about something friend Z had said friend Y had said. Ugh. I informed them I probably wouldn't have reception for several more days and turned my phone off.
Was going to wake up early the next morning to see the sunrise but when I awoke, cacoooned in my sleeping bag, and rustled around to stick my face out, I found it far far too cold to consider venturing out and withdrew back inside the protective cacoon.
Clearly I should have planned ahead and tried the three pitchers of beer trick the night before :D
Nevermind apparently that's just not in the cards. Here's one that would be better if it was cropped and possibly had the curves adjusted to brighten it (and of course borders added...
My current home
The Lady Washington
At Kalama, Washington
In Astoria now, where the harbour office not only has shoreheads for our use, but shore SHOWERS! A shower has never felt so much like heaven!