14 April 2007

Horse Racing?

When they told me that there would be horse racing at the party tonight, I
thought to myself WTF? but sure enough it was there. A piece of plywood covered
one of the tables in the crew mess, cut as an oval, with 6 lanes drawn in
marker; it looked like an oval dart board. 6 wooden horses, like chess pieces,
were at the starting line, and there were two dice, on tinted red.

In the center of the oval, where the football field would be at the high school
track, was a lidless box, for the throw of the dice. The red die selected the
horse, and the other gave the spaces forward. Different bets were made: first
to cross the finish, last to cross the finish, and all sorts of combinations in

The Captain had photocopied dollar bills for the betting, but it was real money,
he had a draw list with him. It was like chips at the casino. Roll after roll
of the dice, and the guys were going crazy. The C/M took control of the stereo,
which was a good thing for two reasons: 1) he has similar taste in music to
mine and 2) when he was manning the stereo, he wasn't talking, which is a rarity
(e.g. the boat drill and oil spill response "chalk talk" this afternoon).

The barbeque was also a first for me. Usually I've seen a charcoal fire on the
stern, in a half barrel, but they don't go for that with this company, so it was
more like a Korean barbeque restaurant, using the griddle in the galley for
stirfry and the burners for grilling, plates of raw meats and shrimp, marinated,
and everyone helping themselves, cooking, drinking, unwinding. A welcome change
from the previous Captain who didn't permit parties (he thought it makes the
guys drink too much [ed. -- he's got a point]).

But the Karaoke was my limit. Fortunately I'm the duty engineer once again, and
I need to be in a space that has a remote alarm, and the crew lounge doesn't
qualify. But since everyone is awake and up and about, I can crank a few tunes
of my own without waking up a sleeping watchstander. BB King it is tonight.


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