Physical and Emotional-End of First Month
Stanley Paris recaps his first month at sea.
Published: January 3, 2014
It’s almost a month now since I left St. Augustine and there are some changes. I was never a good cook, but previously, I made breakfast for both of us every morning (except Sundays, when it’s my turn to be served) and brought it back to bed while we watched the news and read the morning papers. I rarely stopped for lunch, as I thought it is a waste of time and denying it saved me some five to six hours per week. When I was forced to a business lunch, I was finished for the rest of the day, as should I return to work with the post lunch blues it was likely I could fire some good people. But cooking dinners other than operating the grill was not for me. I was spoiled.
Now however, I have no choice. Last night I pan fried some chicken, microwaved a potato and could only wish to eat half of what was in front of me. Then at breakfast today- which was a half a can of beef hash and two fried eggs, something I would not have had at home but would drive to enjoy at a Denny's or other fast food enterprise - I had to force myself to finish. Oh well. My normal best is around 175 lbs but I bulked up to 184 for this trip. We shall see on my return.
Physically I am not getting much exercise. Yes, sudden short bursts and much time hanging on, but I simply cannot go for a walk. It’s one step at a time, and always hanging on. Sitting is a fatiguing amount of work, so I lie down most of the time. However, I have one rule, and that is before cocktail hour I do twenty 80% squats and twenty 50% pushups. By an 80% squat, I do not bend my knees all the way down for fear of straining them - just 80%. Same for the pushups, not from the floor but from the steps at half my height, hence 50%.
Sleeping, I am doing a lot of. My nightly sleeping begins after the evening call from my wife, which is now 10:00pm local. The one hour long sleep lasts until about 6:30 am when its light and time to do my first inspection. I nap again during the day. Yet, I still feel tired. I believe that people who sleep the most are those on death row and supposedly because they have little to live for. By contrast, I have much to live for.
Lonely, yes, I suspect so. I missed a family Christmas and now a New Years Eve. Each year at our home in Maine, we put on a New Year’s party for the locals - not this year. I know some sailors have gone semi nuts within days of leaving family. Well it’s been 27 days now, and I am OK and will be just fine. Early days yet.
Finally procrastination. I am not normally a procrastinator. Yes, I make lists, and then at the first opportunity I do them. But out here I tend to put them off till better weather or till tomorrow. Not a good habit, but one I always experience at sea and must resist.
So basically, as they say in the land of my birth - "no worries, she'll be right." --S.P.