It's 20 past midnight on Sunday morning. I volunteered to do a four-hour watch tonight in an attempt to score brownie points with the crew. The biggest advantage to doing a night watch is that you are exempt from the 7:30 wakeup call and the morning chores. Of course Sunday is the crew's day off, so there will be no wakeup calls or morning chores tomorrow. Hmm...there is a chance I may not have thought this all the way through.
Doing a watch does, in fact, involve watching. I do rounds of the ship checking for fires or anything out of the ordinary and I make sure no one boards the vessel that is not permitted. This would most likely be in the event of a gentleman that has had "one too many" - mistaking the massive icebreaker for his apartment. Essentially, for the next few hours I am responsible for the safety and security of the ship and everyone on board. I find myself drunk on Diet Coke spiked with my newfound, awesome power.
Mi Barco es su Barco
Today was my first experience participating in an Open Boat. Counting the donor reception last night, more than 100 Greenpeace supporters came onboard the Arctic Sunrise this weekend, despite the dismal New England weather. I recognized the starry eyes and gaping mouths of the Bostonians as they toured the ship, since I mirrored their expression nearly a week ago.
It was wonderful to speak with our supporters face to face. For them, it is an opportunity to experience a real-life manifestation of the organization that they have loved for so many years. For us, it is a humbling and motivating reminder that the work we do to protect the environment is only made possible because of their generosity. Our actions are on behalf of them.
Jeff - the very first donor to arrive last night - stepped onboard, presented me with a dozen red roses and a kiss on the cheek, and said, "Thank you so much for the work you do. I'm so pleased to be here." I shared the roses with the other female crewmember, Barbara (deckhand), and she was as delighted to receive them as I was.
Shortly after I met Jeff, I spoke with Ben. Ben said before the stock market crash, he donated to 100 non-profit organizations. Ever since, he has only been able to donate to five - one of them, of course, being Greenpeace.
I chatted with many others, from all walks of life, and I'd like to thank them all for coming out and for their continued support. We will host another Open Boat tomorrow, and with a little luck, the rain will stay away and someone else will bring me flowers.
P.S. With the arrival of Erkut (mechanic) today, our crew is now complete for the remainder of the East Coast tour. We set off for the Cape on Monday.