Ocean College

From the Blog

The most horrendous of days – a dramatic retelling of true events

Date: 28th of November 2019
Author: Anson, Chief Engineer
Position: Atlantic Ocean, in the middle of nowhere
Geografical Position: 14°56.3 N/34°14.5 W
Etmal: 112 nm

Rat tat tat at the door, rat tat tat once again, I consciously acknowledged the sound. I glanced at my watch; five in the morning, stirred from a nightmare and awoken by one.

I opened the door after taking a moment to make myself decent, awaiting in trepidation for the problem that might unfold. The joy of being a marine engineer, things always break at the least considerate times.

Outside my door stood the First mate, her cheeks rosy and hair sea wind wild, she has command of the Pelican through the hours of 4 to 8 and clearly had already been awake for a while as the unwelcome news left her lips fast and devastating.

The galley urn (Large hot water maker) was broken. The night watch was coming apart at the seams, the chaos was stirring and there was no way the vessel could be safely navigated with blood tea levels dropping so low.

My initial reaction was one of disbelief, shock and horror. Such critical equipment failing.

Why me? I retorted in a flash, perhaps an emotional reaction to the traumatic news. “Can I not fix it at 8am?” was my reply. To which she responded an utterance to justify my awakening.

That 32 young teenagers would soon be tea making and our back up kettle was not up to the challenge without breaking.

I arose fast, straight out of my pajamas and into my zone where the world disappears and only machines whirl and groan.

The engineer was on the case, personality left behind and tools in its place.
I went well equipped with spanners and a purpose, the Urn now the enemy and me in my fortress. I started with the fuse and then it came undone.
With the urn under arm I headed out for morning sun, only to be slapped in the face with a flying fish that came on a hurtling from over the side.

Stunned and taken aback, the laughter a chorus all sung perfectly in time.
The fish quickly flung back into the ocean with great consideration for its life. The engineer now with wounded ego continued with his toil and strife.

The urn taken down to pieces, each component tested with no resolution.
The ship was now a stirring, students awaking and emerging from every corner, no coffee in my bloodstream, no coffee to be had.
The masses were marauding and chaos rallied the band.

My mood began to sour, as the questions were abound, what are you busy with? became my most pro-vacating sound.
three hours now had passed, three hours more or less. No breaks were had, no tea was drank and the sun came baking down.

My ginger skin and the world i was in burned up in great despair.
As the urn was mended electrically, all was safe intrinsically.
Only the scale that caked the boiler, that hard white scale in the boiler was all that remained for me there.

I scrubbed it with a sponge, baking soda as well .
I progressed on to the white spirit vinegar and a metal scourer to.
I cleaned that boiler as best I could, until all that should remain.
Was a hole in the bottom of my boiler, a small rusty hole in the boiler.
And I cursed to the sky in vain.

My ship mates were all gathered, gathered around the show.
Watching me now cursing at my boiler with a hole.

There’s a hole in your boiler, dear Anson dear Anson
There’s a hole in your boiler dear Anson a hole.
was sung bold and loud.
Oh what refrain when the only resolution was to use the old boiler for its parts that remained.
and so began the second wave, good work undone only to begin it all again.
The hour approached noon, the work was finally done.
aside from a bruised ego the battle had been won.

The water at a rolling boil,the ship a rolling on.
Somewhere in the world an engineer is toiling and cursing at the sun.

But all is well in this great big world, all is well in deed
With a cup of tea and the wind at our backs,
what else could a man possibly need?

With love -The Pelicans chief engineer.


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