This blog due on Day 1 got postponed due to unforeseeable circumstances.  Perhaps, it is for the best as there is so much more to write about now.

We landlubbers like to bandy about nautical terms, like we have ownership on them.  It is only when sailing the seas that the import and impact of these terms, come alive for me.

Sitting at the stern and handling the steering of the ship is quite another ball-game as is “charting” and “steering the course.”

Perhaps, it would be a good idea if our politicians and leaders could be made to captain a ship and chart and steer its course before claiming to be at the helm of affairs in their respective countries.  Citizens could perhaps vote after video broadcasts of these sailings are made public and how good these guys are at the real “helm!”

These observations aside, there is so much to marvel at whilst on a sailing expedition.  I had no idea that I had signed up for the adventure of a lifetime, when agreeing to be a part of Elizabeth C. Albert’s “Writing at Sea.”

My fellow-writers are brilliant and it is such a pleasure to share one’s feelings with them.   Elizabeth is bursting with knowledge about the Marine Environment and equally passionate about our writing assignments, so creatively and thoughtfully prepared.  Steve is never at a loss for words, which turn into magic laced with humour,  as soon as he puts pen to paper.  (On an aside to give you an idea, when I  was asked to  awaken him for his Watch this morning, to check if he is awake, I asked “How much is Nine times Six,” and pat came the reply, “One full pack and two jokers!!”).   Ally, the baby of our group, is the surprise package, with her amazing Haikus, insightful thoughts and smart repartee.   Give her any task and she will give it her best shot.  I am grateful for how she led me by the tether to safety, when my feet were wobbling last night.

The wonders of this expedition add on, with each passing day and it becomes increasingly difficult for me to do a rating from 1-10.  The star-canopied sky brings immense pleasure on Night Watch.  Yesterday, Shanley, Ally and I spoke about the constellations.  I tell them how my father taught my siblings and me, to identify the Great Bear, with its shape like a question mark.  In India, we also call it the “Saptarishi,” or the Seven Sages with the little star, next to them, symbolic of the steadfast wife of one of them, Arundhati.  At Hindu weddings, whatever the time of the day, the groom takes his bride out and points out to that star.  Perhaps, some day someone might locate a similar star for men!

The pink flamingos taking off  with their black under-wings, in majestic flight and the school of spotted dolphins, poking their heads in and out of the water, next to our ship, in impish play; both deserve to be at the top of my list as do the myriad creatures that dwell under the sea.  Will there ever come a time when mankind will learn to live with them, in harmony?

I have no words to describe the goodness of Captain Eric, First Mate Shanley the Great and the Woman for all Seasons, Megan.  They have made this trip so wonderful with their patience, involvement and caring ways.  Heartfelt thanks to them from “Writers at Sea Incorporated” and three cheers too.   Hip hip hurray!

P.P.S. Haiku:
Just found out today
In UK, Coke pays for their
Debris in the sea.

– Melanie, Writing at Sea, April 12, 2015


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