January 24, 2019
Noon Position: 45 52S 115 10E
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 6
Wind(t/tws): SSW 17 – 20
Sea(t/ft): W 8
Sky: Overcast, flat gray
10ths Cloud Cover: 10
Bar(mb): 1010, steady
Cabin Temp(f): 59
Water Temp(f): 50
Relative Humidity(%): 65
Sail: Working jib and main, broad reach on starboard
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 139
Miles since departure: 15,665
Avg. Miles/Day: 140
Days since Cape Horn: 55
Miles since Cape Horn: 8,031
Avg. Miles/Day: 146
Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 19
Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 182 28
Avg. Long./Day: 3.32
Flat gray sky and a nearly flat gray sea. The only excitement is a wind that refuses to settle, but rather meanders from just S of W to just W of S and blows at either 10 knots or 23.
Big weather is on the way. Three lows, one that arrives tonight and blends into another on Saturday that, with a small break, opens the way for the third on Sunday/Monday. It’s the second and especially the third of these lows that will carry the punch.
I have been edging N since this morning in an attempt to work into a less violent quadrant of the second and third lows, but this afternoon’s forecast shows the third has deepened and become quite powerful. In response, I’ve changed my course to a charge NE. I’d really like to get into the 30 – 35 knot region of these beasts, but that may take skating all the way up to 44S. Should be doable in the two to three days allotted.
I have been reticent to relate the following incident because I fear you will think it too fantastic to be real, the mere imaginings of a wayward sailor too long between ports. But I assure you, it all happened exactly as I have recorded here…
*Enoch Delivers a Message*
Monte and Randall breakfasting on the taffrail. Randall is eating a bowl of cereal. Monte is finishing a plate of eggs on toast with ham and sauce.
Randall: It is a wonder to me where you find these foods aboard.
Monte: A deep sense of mystery is healthy, Senior. I congratulate you. (Lifting a glass of pale claret). Salude! (Leaning back, satisfied) I don’t know much about your Benedict Arnold, but he divined a most excellent breakfast.
Randall: Pardon the correction, but I believe that dish was named for Saint Benedict, the famous 12th century monk. He had a taste for eggs and a tart sauce, especially the morning after his weekly inspections of the monastery cellar.
Monte: (crosses himself) Then may God bless and keep him.
Randall: Though I wouldn’t mind a plate of fresh eggs about now, or rack of lamb, or …
Monte: …ah, or a beautiful roasted chicken rubbed with lemon and garlic and served with broiled brussel sprouts and fingerling potatoes. (smacks lips)
Randall: What, you have those too?!
Monte: No…just Eggs Benedict. Well, and the fixings for Eggs Florentine. And the ingredients for a Denver Omelet. And ham and bacon. Some small amount of creme fraiche. A few scallions. But nothing else…
(A heavy KATHUMP on the foredeck.)
Randall: Whoa, did we hit something?
Monte: (has turned away) I think the mast has fallen. I cannot look.
Randall: (rushing to the foredeck, stammering) It’s a … it’s a … a … bird, Monte. A huge bird.
Monte: (right behind) Mi vida!, Senior. I think he is a chicken. My prayers to the virgin are answered. Do you see any potatoes in the scuppers?
Randall: I’ve never seen you pray to anyone, much less a virgin.
Monte: I will start tonight after dinner. Senior, the chicken, I think he is lost. Can you tell him where he is?
Randall: He’s right there, but that’s no chicken, Monte; it’s a Wandering Albatross.
Monte: Well, I thought he looked confused. What do you suppose he’s wandering about?
Indeed, just forward of Mo’s pilot house sat a big white bird with a long neck and a curved pink bill. His landing had been a rough one, and he was, at that moment, still recovering his composure. Slowly he picked himself up with his narrow, white wings, straightened his feathers, and then sat on his haunches, looking proud and somewhat aloof.
Randall: Monte, did you see his wings? They were as wide as Mo, each tip touched a rail. And just look how big he is. (starts to approach)
Monte: (urgently) No, Senior, if he is the albatross, he is not for eating! It will bring the curse. (to self) Though he is quite plump.
Randall: I’m not gunna eat…
Bird: I am Enoch. My name is Enoch.
Monte: (screams) Hooo! It talks, Senior. Oh, no. This is very bad. People in my village say…
Enoch: My name is Enoch, and my kind have sent me to relay a message.
Randall: You … you can talk!?
Enoch: Why of course I can talk. How else would you have me say things?
Randall: But I’ve been calling to you, well, I mean, to all the albatrosses that pass by, ever since 30S and not one has responded.
Enoch: It is why I am here.
Randall: You’ve come to answer my questions!
Enoch: Not exactly.
Randall: Well, at last! Because I have soo many questions. Like how do you soar without flapping; do you sleep in the air; how do you know where to go?
Monte: And would he taste good in a pie, I mean, if it did not bring the curse?
Randall: And where are you from? Just for starters.
Enoch: All of these questions have reasonably long answers, but before we begin, and with your kind permission, I would beg you permit me to…
Randall: Wait, you said you’d come to relay a message. How do you know about us?
Enoch: …to relay my message. (closes eyes)
Randall: Well, OK.
Enoch: (opens eyes) I will begin now. (with oratorical airs) Months ago, our elders noted a disturbance in the wind and upon the waters. They dispatched our strongest scouts to go out, to explore the nether regions of our world and to discover its source so that we could remedy the disturbance and restore order. (closes eyes. pause.)
Monte: Senior, I think the chicken is sleeping.
Enoch: (opens eyes) And when they returned, it was with grim news. They had indeed discovered the source of the disturbance in the wind and upon the waters. And so, after many deliberations, they have sent me out to relay my message to you. (closes eyes)
Randall: To us? What do you mean, to us?
Monte: I think he said, “to you.”
Enoch: (opens eyes) The message that I have been sent to deliver to you that our kind hopes will restore order and subdue the disturbance in the wind and upon the water, the message that I am to deliver to you… (pause. closes eyes.)
Monte: This is a very long message. No wonder he is tired.
Enoch: (opens eyes) …is that when you attempt to make contact with us as we pass your ship; when you call to get our attention… (pause)
Enoch: We ask with all humbleness and sincerity and the good will generated by an ancient and ever peaceful race…(pause)
Enoch: …that you not whistle.
Monte: (gasps) SENIOR!
Enoch: AND FURTHERMORE. Furthermore, and with kind regards to the muses of melody and with their blessing, we additionally request that… (pause)
Randall: I’m not sure I want to know.
Enoch: …that you not yodel. Either.
Monte: I knew I liked this chicken!
Enoch: IN FACT. In fact, I have been asked that I make this point emphatically, if you must…
Randall: Well, how do I call to you, then?
Enoch: …call to us, that you simply … wave.