Wallow, wallow, lug, glug. Why oh, why did I think this was an exciting thing to do in life? I have been back and forth between this port and the next more times now that I care to think about. Always the same, always boring. And, it never seems to worth the time. I wallow in the seas because my crew over loads my holds. I wallow into the pier without anyone to guide me. I lug all of the freight safely from port to port, and all I hear is the chugging glug of the crew toasting each other on safely making it across another perilous passage.
I wish I could show them what a perilous passage was. Maybe then, I could have a little excitement.
Is it bad when the only excitement you can have for a boring trip is to free a couple barrels of grog to slosh back and forth in your hold? Though, that was a rather funny night. Calm seas, and my sails belled full. The boiler had been allowed to cool down to idle, and the paddle wheels skimming the wave tops. The crew had been up late talking or whatever it is they do the first night we lose sight of any land. It was also our twentieth passage from my home port to elsewhere.
The navigator had dozed off in the wheelhouse, letting me have a little fun. I knew enough to keep us on course. I did not wish to harm my crew, but I did wish for something other than the same monotonous waves surging against my sides to occur. I let my bow fall off true course for a few waves, just enough to get a good roll going. Then, as I heeled to starboard, I felt the tie rope slip on the biggest barrel of grog remaining in my hold.
I am a respectable ship, so I knew coming into port stinking like grog would be a terrible thing. I started groaning from my bowsprit to my stern. Every wave I would start over. The navigator woke almost immediately, and jerked the helm back on course. That just gave me more time to moan to wake the rest of the crew. It also caused a second barrel to come loose in the mid-deck hold.
Now I not only groaned, I sounded like an out-of-tune bell. Groan, bang, clong, groan, bang, clong! It took a few times, but the captain finally roused himself to discover what the problem was. I felt his feet patter across my decks, and down my ladders until he reached the boiler room. He stopped just outside the door, and I remember some shouting back and forth in that area. All the while, in time to the waves: groan, bang, clong, groan, bang, clong!
I felt someone strike parts of the boiler with a wrench, or something else solid. Each one a small “tink” or “tonk” or “clink” or “clonk”, and it all wound up falling into rhythm with the rest. I was not a musical ship. Groan, tink, bang, tonk, clink, clong, clonk!
Not amused, at least if the impact his feet were making on my decks was any indication, the captain stomped his way into the crew quarters. Before long, there was a flurry of foot falls leading from the bunk rooms to all parts of my body. Though I had stopped groaning, now that the crew was awake, I still had the two kegs beating around below. I tried to guide the crew to the lose items with small groans, but no one listened to me. I think this crew was completely deaf to their world.
It took them a while, but after they searched my entire body from bow to stern, they finally found the two lose barrels. The smaller one was moved to the deck. I think it had sprung a leak, as I could feel a trail of cooler deck in its wake. The larger was rolled back where it belonged and tied down. I thoroughly approve of the knot used, too. I do not think that knot will be coming lose any time soon.
Once the excitement had ended, some of the crew remained top side to greet the dawn while the rest returned to their bunks. The captain relieved the navigator, and the journey took on the monotonous splash, wallow, wallow, glug of another boring passage from my home port to elsewhere.