sacrifices. The sacrifice of my reproductive organs, as mention in the last
post, did certainly seem to please Neptune, and we got some splendid weather
for the next couple of days. And as the sea seemed to be in a particularly
benevolent mood, all sorts of fauna and Aquana were being showered on us. I
saw my first Turtle at sea, as it lazily gobbled at a bunch of sea weeds.
The first night at anchor we set ourselves up on the poop deck with fishing
tackles and beers. I ofcourse maintained my record of never catching
anything, but the guys got a fair amount of Red snappers and these white
fishes, the nomenclature of which we argued over the beers. A few years back
and we would have lit up a barbeque and tossed them right there on the
grill. But these days people are actually expected to follow these pesky
safety regulations. Damn them all!
I have to admit that safety regulations do help. They tune the mind to some
Zen like state, where you are able to sense danger. For example, when I
looked out of the porthole on the next glorious morning, I immediately
sensed danger as I saw the bosun running back along the deck with what was
evidently an alien object eating his arm right up to his shoulders.
Like all prudent masters, except Nelson and James Cook- who wound up dead at
sea, I immediately swung into action and prayed to god. Then I sat down at
the desk and looked at the phone for the next five minutes. At the end of
that time, as the phone had not rung, it was evident that the alien
infestation had spread among the whole crew, which in an zombie inspired
orgy of blood and trailing entrails, had hacked each other to bits. I felt
deep sympathy for my young valiant mess man as he bravely tried to warn me
on phone as the zombie oiler nibbled on his feet. Rookie mistake. Aliens
always use phone lines to spread and as he would have held the phone to his
ears, the small ant aliens would go into his ears and all that would have
remained of Eddie would have been an agonizingly silent cry of blinding pain
as his brain imploded. I sincerely grieved for Eddie. Or it was equally
possible that nothing of great importance had occurred. Either way, it
didn't look like I would be required to do anything, so I decided that it
was safe to venture out of my cabin.
As it turned out, the light and its refraction through my dual layered
porthole had played tricks on my mind. It was actually a small bosun who had
caught a big Lobster. And as big lobsters go, this was huge. Minus its
antennae, which were longer then it, this chap was about half a meter in
length. Lobsters apparently don't die when you take them out of the water.
But it certainly looks out of sort when placed on a steel platter surrounded
by the ships crew who were excitedly pointing out which part they would eat.
As I looked at its majestic sweep lying on the galley table, Eddie happily
showed me where he would cut along the back to put in the masala and let me
stew. I have honestly not seen such a big lobster in my life. There
definitely can't be too many of this size out there in the world. It seemed
crazy that a bunch of sailors eat this chap in the middle of the sea. The
guy deserved to be in some aquarium looking out at the passing gaggle of
school kids with its unblinking eyes. If this was a couple of hundred years
back, this chap would probably land up on the table of the local ruler to
get his favours. As I looked up, I saw the faces of the Excited crew staring
back at me.
With a deep sigh, mustering up all of my Captains demeanour, I pointed to
the sea creature and declared,
"I want to eat this part."