Somehow yesterday afternoon I turned a physical/mental corner around which was the promised land of "adjusted to passage." It started with an incredible urge to just go back to sleep and catch another cat nap. I lay down for a few moments, and then I was filled with the very strong urge to do something else. So I got up. Moved around. Sat down. Lay down. Got restless again. Got up.
And that was it.
I cleaned house, drank water, took a wash cloth bath in the cockpit and horrified my children with my naked boobies, and spent the rest of the afternoon on the helm. Dinner was a pleasure to cook and to eat. The low grade headache I'd had since we left del Cabo was gone. I went to bed at what I've established as my bedtime (7pm local) feeling tired but not beaten to a pulp. Getting up for my watch at 1:45am was a struggle, but it didn't feel unduly difficult. No one likes to get up to start their day. It is a typical day that we stumble out of bed, yawn, stretch, scratch and wish we could have just rolled over and slept more. A cup of caffeine and dancing some calesthetics to ABBA hits got me going and all is well.
Three hours later, and I sit at the nav table setting up the position report, and I'm tired, a bit sleepy, a tiny bit of the headache creeps back. That, frankly, is the price I feel is going to inevitably be paid every morning for taking the 2-5 shift. Someone has to suffer. I'm the martyr on this boat.
The shift watch is not an accident nor is it persecution. DrC is incapable of staying awake past 11pm. My working theory is that he used up all his capacity for being alert in the middle of the night during a grueling rotation at Harbor View hospital during his residency. This hospital had a notorious task master in charge that sent all the residents into absolute fits. Our own roommate quit medicine during his rotation through Harbor View, and there were rumors that in prior years more than one had tried to commit suicide. The guy was insane. DrC regularly worked 36 hours shifts. Now, he starts to drop off at 10:30 and there is no amount of coffee and no volume of Led Zep that can possibly stop his slide into oblivion. So DrC gets the 8-11 shift.
Jaime is a teenager. Her natural state is to stay up until 2am and then drop into a coma until 11am. Actually, she'd sleep until 2pm, but I won't let her. So Jaime has 11-2.
We do not ask Mera (12) and Aeron (10) to take full 3 hour watches. That way lies madness. Mera takes two hours and handles them increasingly well from 5-7. Aeron comes on for an hour after Mera. During their watches, DrC and I are awake but doing other things. Aeron in particular is not really very confident at the helm and requires a lot of hand holding during her watch.
And there you have it. 2-5 required someone who didn't fall asleep and wasn't under 13. By default, I was "volunteered." It's okay. Ask me two days ago and I would have said this is hell, but I'm finally getting a bit of a rhythm with a short nap after the night watch and a long sleep after dinner. It'll work, I think. What's more, it doesn't fight my biorhythm either since prior to this trip, I was frequently waking at 2am anyway from either panic or back pain. At least this way, I have something constructive to do.
Precisely NOTHING interesting happened yesterday. This morning, I almost took a spear fishing gun to a seagull that decided to use our boat as a rest stop. I don't mind them resting their wings, but they think we are a full service rest stop complete with a food court and a restroom. Get back to me if you have seagull recipes. I'm ready for action.
~ Toast (11:30 UTC April 22)
15 14.38N 116 48.66W
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