Our gallant captain has thoughtfully given the crew the opportunity to contribute to the blog. The skipper is a kindly man, of gentle temperament, a fine seaman and a dashing leader, a wonderful example to us miserable sea dogs.
The last paragraph was written with him leaning over my shoulder and grunting contentedly. He has now gone off to bed in his winceyette nightgown, clutching his teddy bear and a steaming mug of fortified low calorie decaffeinated camomile tea. Cocoa, the sailors’ traditional nightime drink ,is banned on board, since, according to Tim, (and as all aficionados of wartime naval films know), the offer of it to the skipper on a night watch is likely to end in a torpedo or artillery bombardment, or both. The mere mention of the word the other night triggered a thunderstorm of Wagnerian proportions, a timely warning to us all.
But I digress. Now he has gone to bed I can tell you what life is really like on board. With any luck I can get this off before he wakes up, and he will be none the wiser.
Conditions on board are a cross between a Trireme and a slave ship. The master, a tyrant of the old school, believes in good old fashioned naval discipline. He has given us all ranks, and insists on being addressed as sir. He has taken to spending long periods alone on deck while we play cards below and experiment with new cachaça cocktails. Frankly, he is a bit of a worry, and Tom, our resident medical man (retired dentist actually) has offered to keep an eye on him, when not perfecting new miracle cures for migraine and other ills using locally-sourced, sugar-based, distilled aqua vitae.
As entertainments officer, I have been tasked with directing the SADIST (South Atlantic Drama Institute Studio Theatre) production of HMS Pinafore. Frankly, this is not going as well as I hoped.
Tim insisted on playing the Captain , and has called for a re-write so that he dominates the plot. As as a result, we have lost Rafe Rackstraw and Little Buttercup (sorry Lawrence). Eating the cabin boy two days out (delicious, lightly roasted with a smear of French mustard, honey and an egg glaze) meant that we had no-one to play Josephine, so now we are down to the captain, the crew, and possibly Sir Joseph Porter.
Rehearsals are difficult, since the only time we are together is during happy hour, when we understandably have more important things to do. To be honest I would have thought that the Skip might do the decent thing and give us time off from our watches, but no way, the bloody tyrant. If the production suffers it won’t be my fault.
I shall report more if His Majesty falls asleep again, and I can get my hands on the computer.