Our vessel was being washed with salty waves of the Philippine Sea as she pushed herself through this part of the Pacific Ocean. I wondered how much longer till we’d reach our designated Japanese port of Yokohama.
Relief from the turbulent storm as well as from the Skip, it couldn’t come soon enough. Our Captain has been fed and even better was that I would have my breakfast and boy did I savor the feast I requested! The Officer’s saloon was empty save for this little brown man eating alone in a sea of white table linens. I had what looked like a mini-banquet laid out for at least 2 or 3 but it was all mine.
CS Phil walked in, saw me tucking-in and with a grin he addressed me, “I see you’re enjoying your breakfast? We’ve got a lot to do this morning so eat well and report to me just as soon as you’re finished in here!” He knew, as did the Captain, they could count on me to be present and attend to my duties.
A moment here and there to myself, they allowed me. Ha ha! I remember one time when I slipped onto the Captain’s chair on the Bridge. Whaat?! I went in there to ask him a question, he wasn’t in there. I had turned to walk out when I realised I was looking at his vacant chair. I so wanted to see what it felt like to sit in it! As I observed the present crew, they all had their focus out on the sea.
No further thought and I was in the chair! Oh it felt real nice! Truth? I felt like a little kid playing Captain of his own ship! I dare not stay perched too long, wouldn’t want to get caught!
I kept a little stereo in the saloon and when no one else was around, I listened mostly to my Indian music cassette tapes. I can fondly recall Captain occasionally coming down to the saloon to grab a coffee or something and if my music was playing, I’d see him enter the room bopping and groovin’ to the music’s beat.
The expression on his face was as if there wasn’t a care for him in all the world … at least in that moment. I can’t tell you how much delight this brought me. It would be one of those feel good moments amidst such situations I found myself in!
As our ship traveled her hindered pace through the ocean, it would be just after midnight of the second night/third morning, four mighty strong towboats came out to us from Japan, to bring us the rest of the way in.
I found myself going outside at least 3 times to watch these little (but very powerful) boats hauling us to safety! It was about a 20 hour tow into the Yokohama Port. Thank goodness the seas cooperated for a mainly uneventful tow.
With the patched-up holes, the busted boilers and the somewhat shakey disposition of our well-being it was good to see some excited hubbub begin to surface among a lot of the crew. 🎼 “These Boots Are Made For Walking” was once again blaring out of the father & son cabin. Cold beers and happy conversations were passed all around.
I took to my cabin fairly early that evening. Dan, my cabinmate was in and out, visiting with his friends. I just relaxed and enjoyed the calming float on the sea.
We arrived at Yokohama Harbor late that night.
The two tugboats which were to either side had left us and the two in front brought us near to our parking spot for however long we’d have to be there.
Our ship was braced and tied in to place during the night while we slept. Physical examination begins under the flood of lights so bright, one would mistake for daylight.
横浜港 The port is located at a latitude of 35.27–00°N and a longitude of 139.38–46°E