Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Flat Chested Mermaids and the sun

There is simply no question about it. Sunrise and sunsets are meant to be seen at sea. I always find it truly remarkable. I mean, you have the same bloody sun. Agreed, depending on the orbit of the earth, its size might increase or decrease a bit. But for all practical purposes, it is a circle the width of your thumb.
And this circle sets on the sea’s horizon. Which for all practical purposes is simply flat water. Sure there are some waves now and again, that with some constructive wishful thinking, can be converted into topless mermaids. Depending on the distance of the waves, they either turn out to be very flatchested Mermaids seen up close, or very un-flatchested mermaids seen from very far. So essentially it’s just a flat horizon over which the sun sets.
And yet, the sheer tireless beauty that the sunset consistently provides you with, never fails to surprise me. Now the sunrise at Tungnath was stunning. But you have to agree, that even a snap of someone like me naked, in that setting, would look halfway decent. I mean the snow would have to be really fluffy, the birds would have to swoop and loop and do those things that they seem to keep doing and the wind would have to do that rustling and all that, but on the whole, I think we could just about pull it off.
The disadvantage of being a chief officer is that you keep the four to eight watches. But the good part is of course that unless you are in the Polar Regions, the sun crosses the horizon in your watch. My second Officer, Pawan Duggirala, flatly refused to take pictures of the sunsets. Apparently he had taken so many pictures of the sunsets that he had strict instructions to desist from any such further actions. Apparently his family preferred to have his snaps over the sun.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Let her roll

So I am finally back. The good thing as far as the blog is concerned is that I can finally put in some snaps out here. This was after all intended to be a travel based blog and what use is that if I don’t put in some snaps?

The first thing I did do was to put in a snap of a ship that is sort of the ship that I was on. The sad part is that it doesn’t give a reference size to us sitting out in the open sea. But it is a size of a ship called a “suezmax” and should suffice.
One of the things that people ask me constantly is if these ships roll. The answer is yes. In seas like the ones here, they do. And my ship particularly liked to do so in a ballast condition. Would have explained the concept of GM and GZ curves to you in greater detail, but I flunked Ship Stability – 3.
This particular sea state is about beaufort wind scale 9, which is pretty bad, or as Captain Haddock would say, a bracing Breeze.