Friday, May 28, 2010

The Voyage of the HMS TallyWacker

I rolled over in my bunk around 2AM and heard a low melody coming from somewhere topside. I fumbled with the hatch above my bed and stuck my head out through the floor of the main deck. Unable to get a perfect fix on the sound, I clambered through the hole in the roof, my cabin mate, Austin Britt, barely rolling over as I eased myself out onto the salt-rimed fiberglass of the 50-foot Voyage sailboat.

I stepped over Emily Jones’ sleeping, towel-swaddled form laying above the galley and made my way onto the foremost portion of the deck. I paused for a moment, hearing nothing, then from a suspiciously-lumpy portion of the mainsail cover emanated:

“Heyyyy, heyyyy, PP P P PAAUUULLAAAAA!!! I wanntt to o oo (snort, hiccup)…. maaaaaaarryyy youuuuuuu…Hey HEYYYY PAULAAAAA!!! (snooorree)”

I peeked inside the makeshift hammock and found a sodden Charlton M. Bouchemeyer clutching an empty Jack Daniels bottle and gently singing in his sleep. Upon further inspection it turns out that CMB had rigged a tiny portable hammock between the mast and the main foresail supports – effectively using the motion of the boat to gently rock himself to sleep.

Noting that all appeared to be in order, I returned to my cabin and slept.

I awakened to the sound of my hatch being opened from the outside. A pair of twinkling green eyes appeared over the lip of the square hatch, and a I heard a cheerful voice say:

"Um. Hallo. Ah. Do you want to get up and come play with me?!"


“Aaaugh. What TIME is it?!?!?” I said, burying my head in my pillow.

“Um. Hallo!! Hallo!! It’s a looovely day!!! It’s TIME FOR YOU TO GET UP AND COME PLAY WITH ME!! LETS GOO SNAAAAAARRRKLINGGGG” she warbled, avoiding the question.

“Ok ok ok ok ok. I’m up, but WHAT TIME IS IT!?!?”

“Um. It’s ALREADY 5:45”

“IN THE MORNING?!?!? You are a crazy person.”


Augh. Alright I’m up. I’m UP. I'm UP. HANG IT ALL.

I arose and donned my bathing suit, then stumbled into the galley towards the scent of frying bacon. Tyler stood before the stove and I could see Captain Ken’s feet standing at the wheel on deck.

“Well, I see you, me, and the Captain. That’s not EVERYBODY.”

“Everybody IS up….Well, except for Ashleigh, CMB, Austin, Emily, Anslee, and Eric.”

“So, its just you, me and the captain.”

“That about sums it up.”

“I’m powerless to refute that argument.”

“Oh good. Well, want a bacon and egg sammich?” she responded brightly, distracting me with food - one of her more effective tricks.

“Ok.” I grumbled. “Is it at least REAL bacon?”

“Yuppers. Sure is!”

“Well, at least there is that!” I responded, relieved.

Then, in a devious, purely evil move designed to undermine my personhood, she watched me eat half an egg sammich slathered in turkey bacon before I realized it. THEN in an even more provocative move she responded to the onslaught of my pork-imposter wrath with “I just said the bacon was REAL – not that it was made of pork!! Tee hee!”

And that’s pretty much how each morning began aboard the HMS TallyWacker. We scalloped about the British Virgin Islands for a week or so, making all sorts of new friends (a boat crewed by 4 couples in their mid-40s looking to “swing” followed us, or rather Ashleigh, for two days), we saw all kinds of ocean life, and we even managed to get a tan.

There were few casualties unless you count the time Anslee pushed CMB off the rear deck and into the lower hull – splitting his chin open to the bone; an injury which required approximately 8 stitches, but got a butterfly bandage of duct-tape instead…..Or the time CB managed to get himself snarled in a fast-moving mainsail rope; burning the meat off his right hand and left foot – effectively becoming the first sailing non-sailor in history to get footropeburn.

As a result of his burn injuries CMB felt compelled to promptly drink 8 ounces of bourbon to “numb the pain.” It seemed to help because he then wrote a political treatise on the economic fallout of evil “big business” out loud for our edification....But I guess it worked, because he seemed to have completely forgotten his hands altogether.

We experienced all the islands had to offer (except dirty swingers) and made it home alive. In short: I declare the Voyage of the HMS TallyWacker a rousing success.

Tally Ho!

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