I didn’t return to Tokyo. I was happy enough to visit Yokohama here and there and then, only for day & evening excursions. The decision to spend however many remaining nights we had in Japan on board the ship, I knew would be the right call.
Reiterating here, I wasn’t going to miss the boat. Under normal conditions, we’d always begin our next leg of the trip in the early morning hours and so, this way there would be no unpleasant surprises for me!
While I was waking up in my cabin every morning, Skipper and most of the officers and crew were still spending their nights somewhere out there.
Myself and a few of the other crew members (foolish enough to be aboard when we should’ve been out painting the town!) under Phil’s directive authority had been assigned to put away the last of the freshly received food and some other supplies.
This entailed going below decks. Needless to say, I’d done this before but never would I be one to state taking a fancy to it. This is where I label myself as claustrophobic.
Deep freeze and the main storehouse were of course, down there, in the underbelly of the ship as far as I was concerned and so to go there, I must. I will clearly state, 40 minutes was way too long!
Notice of the next departure schedule is always posted 24 hours in advance via the bulletin boards around the ship. This of course offers the chance to collect absent crew members and make final preparations, among many other important & obvious reasons.
In this instance it was in the form of direct notification from the ship repair company.
The Trans Western’s endorsement was posted to its immediate left.
TAKE NOTICE: ALL REPAIRS WILL BE COMPLETE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS
The late afternoon, early evening hours would bring in the remaining crew. I thought to myself, someone had to have gone out and sent word across the land about the Trans Western’s anticipated departure.
I had a last moment’s thought to go out and off the ship for the final time before leaving our Japanese dry dock. I wanted to experience the staggering scope of this ship I’d been traveling the Pacific on, for one last time.
Down the gangplank I walked. Once again I moved several yards away from the ship herself and then turned around to look upon the magnitude of this, soon to be floating again, steel vessel.
Awestruck at its massiveness to be sure! I thought to myself this must be at least as high as a 5 or 6 storied building. If only I’d taken some pictures.
The last of the crew was returning to the ship.
Back aboard the ship, I saw the Skip at dinner in the saloon. With a grin upon his face he asked me, “Well Fiji, did you have a good time here in Japan?” Just as a smile was escaping my lips and before I could give reply, he answered for me, “Awe, I know you did!”
Shortly after enjoying my own dinner and clearing the saloon, I saw the bulletin which announced, all repairs had been completed. We were heading home by way of San Francisco.
The Trans Western would depart first thing in the morning.
I almost completely forgot about the postcards which I picked up in Tokyo! I really wanted them to be mailed from Japan and so, I hurried off to write them out. There was a bittersweet feeling as I wrote them.
I guess Phil just knew it would be like this; he told us there’d be a final mail pick-up this evening. Turns out, this wasn’t the only thing going on this evening.