In the wee hours of the dark sea morning, we were already on our way to France before my necessity to be awake.
Up and at it, for Skip’s breakfast needed serving. I tidied up the Captain’s quarters after having my breakfast. Then priority duties and my cabin were the remainder of the morning.
Now while it was known that I knew the ins & outs of my job like the back of my hand, Phil must always inspect everything to cover his own Chief Stewardly butt. Did I stock the upstairs saloon with fresh everything for the normal day’s wants? Are the Captain’s quarters exactly as it should be?
Last post I mentioned the main bulletin board just outside the Bridge; there was a second board just outside the mess hall … posts were consistently on white paper and it wasn’t long [the days in & out] before black type-written words were like a sea of alphabet, just floating around an ocean of white papers.
About 9:30 that morning I got a surprise … well really, we all did. I was walking out of the mess hall towards my morning deck time when an outstanding colored piece of paper on the bb caught my attention.
I read the words. There was my surprise, a change of destination; France was scrapped. Now instead of due west, a slight adjustment due northeast was already being made by the time I finished reading the notice.
Just as this was sinking into my brain, I heard Skipper’s voice over the P.A. announcing our new destination to be …Yokohama. Japan 35.4434°N 139.7024°E 🇯🇵
Wow! Well considering I’d never been neither to Europe or Japan, an adventure was still in my forecast. I went about my stroll on deck knowing I’d have to get back inside real soon. Lunch duties were close at hand.
I noticed the waves seemed a bit busier than they had been the past couple of days but hey, isn’t that exactly what the ocean does, keep one guessing? I’ve always enjoyed anything I’d experienced on the open sea, so, bring it on!
The rest of the day went along as my usual routine always did. All of us, we were rather excited to be going to Japan, so much so that we held a little party later that evening after dinner and duties were complete.
What fun would a bunch of guys have, enclosed together on a moving ship? Well let’s see, we’re negotiating the South China & Philippine Seas, set on to yet another voyage and this time, just over 1700 nautical miles!
We were most prepared with excellent meals and lots of cold beer, exchanging plans about what we would possibly do in Japan, and most importantly thankful we safely left Vietnam behind.
I turned in a little later than usual and slept solid for about 4 hours.