Captain’s Log; Day
81: This morning, the winds had died down to a breezy sixty miles per
hour, a welcome relief.
This change of weather had warmed things up a bit to five below freezing.
I took the opportunity to commemorate the day with a self-portrait. After
adjusting the tripodal legs of my Hurley camera, I set the timer and
ran into position. I wanted a full frame of the ship behind me. The dark
hull and tall masts stand in sharp contrast to the white and blue ice.
It is striking. Rime crystals dangle from the rigging. The effect is
beautiful and otherworldly.
It has been eighty days since the floes merged and grasped the ship, refusing
to let go. My ship, the Terra Fortuna, floats with the ice pack. Except for a
few moments of excitement and sporadic challenges, we have been idle prisoners.
Time passes needlessly. The crew is restless and maddeningly boorish. We are
grating on each other, as loudly as the ice that is grinding the hull.
Today I asked Ensign Discipline, ”Well, shall we go?” Lying there
in his bunk, unable to lift his head, the old sot replied, “Yes. Let’s
go.” But he did not move.
The journey did not begin so listlessly…
Captain’s Log; Day 1: It was at Molly’s Bloomers, that we sang a
loud goodbye to the continent. Old Pozzo played his wheezebox and we all danced
It was there that I met the crew for the first time, the few who rose to the
challenge of my ad in the London Times. Sailors wanted for hazardous journey.
Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger.
Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. I’ve always
had a flair for drama. In truth I expect nothing but smooth seas and the warmth
of the islands. I can see to the end of a glorious horizon.
Captain’s Log; Day 2: We left port today in good spirits on a high tide.
I was so full of adventure and zeal that it wasn’t until after we had cleared
land, that I realized I had no gear to stow!
It was Yeoman Faith who I ordered to pack my duffel. She is the tall, haughty
one, the one with the purple stripe in her hair. When I confronted the lass,
she got all stately and high-minded. I stomped my foot and grabbed her by
the shoulders. She didn’t weigh more than a feather. “Where the devil
is me skivvies?” I thundered, “Where’s my toothbrush? I asked
you to plan ahead!”
The answer was in her eyes. They were like marbles dancing in a spinning
Captain’s Log; Day 4: I had aimed to make a swift passage through the still
waters of the Sea of Eternal Sorrow. It has always been a difficult strait for
me. My intention was to run the passage in order to bypass Cape Fear, the rugged
peninsula that has sunk many a ship.
The weather was fair and we sailed with the current at full sail. I asked
First Mate Hope for a reading. She reported but did not smile; the Sea
Sorrow is always rough sailing for the intuitive.
Some waters draw deep. That night a storm blew in from the cold North.
We were besieged with harsh winds and high seas. All hands served well,
The ship stood no damage except for a shredded main top and a staysail.
Captain’s Log; Day 5: At dawn, I asked Lieutenant Focus, my able navigator,
for a reading. The hurricane had blown us ninety leagues off course. Within the
hour, we would be abeam of hell.
As we rounded Cape Fear, the barometer dropped dramatically. Suddenly,
oddly, ice floes began to appear and our progress commenced to slow.
Day 5; 11:20 Hours: We are stalled.
Day 5; 13:10 Hours: I have the crew out front trying to chop a channel
through the ice. Sailors Discovery, Accuracy and Perseverance lead the
Charity was ineffective and relieved to quarters. I ordered the same
for the lads Flair, Fun and Fairness; they have no purpose at this time.
Captain’s Log; Day 6: The Terra Fortuna is locked in ice. Ensign Ingenuity
can find no recourse nor deviation. We drift with the ice floe. We are lost.
Captain’s Log; Day 15: Some say ‘Don’t waste your time or time
will waste you.’ As we float adrift, frozen at sea, frozen at heart, we
are just killing time.
Rum and other intoxicants are proving to be a dependable source of
entertainment. Extreme hangovers have also proven very reliable as
we entertain the
Captain’s Log; Day 45: We are successfully killing entire weeks watching
Seasons 1, 2 and 3 of The Wire, Lost, Entourage, The Shield,
Arrested Development, 24 and The L Word. The immersion into these ‘other worlds’ is complete.
For their duration, we no longer have the need to think, nor feel.
Captain’s Log; Day 67: Ingenuity was able to rig up a connection to the
Internet. First Mate Maturity went on-line and we did not see him for several
days. When he returned, his eyes were glazed and his manner childlike. Everyone
is angling for a turn.
Spirits are low. So is the supply of rum, as reported by Midshipman
Captain’s Log; Day 83: I was standing on the afterdeck mesmerized, stunned
and dazed by the blinding white landscape that imprisons the ship.
Ensign Progress joined me and asked what I was doing. I replied, “Waiting
for Shackleton. I am waiting for his resolve.”
She nodded in agreement. After a minute, she placed her hand
tenderly on my back and asked, “Well, shall we go?”
Yes,” I replied, “Let’s go.”
We did not move.
GORDY GRUNDY is a Los Angeles based artist. His visual and
works can be found at www.GordyGrundy.com
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