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Posted by James Grande
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Life At Sea #1: What goes bump in the night…

I wake up to a crashing sound in my room. I’m not sure if it’s morning or night because well… there’s no windows in my cabin. I look frantically to see what time it is. Where the hell did I put my alarm clock? My middle of the night vision hasn’t been all that great lately. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. 4:17am. Excellent. Note to self: Move clock closer to bed.

I pull off my covers and ignore how cold it is in my room. Considering the AC wasn’t working in my cabin on my last ship I overdid it by turning it up to full blast when I got here. I plant my feet on the ground and start feeling the walls to find my way to the light switch. I’ve been pretty vigilant when it comes to keeping things from unexpectedly falling off flat surfaces at sea. Clearly there’s a first time for everything.

I’d say I’m tiptoeing across the floor but I’m really not that gracious. I probably look like a 90-year-old woman searching for a burglar because I still don’t know my way around my room at night (it’s only been three days since I signed on this ship). I’m surprised to find that my room isn’t swaying as much as I expect it to.

Luckily I left the light on in my bathroom. The stocky Indian guy who gave me environmental training would probably write me up for that if he knew. To be fair, I really couldn’t understand a word he said during his presentation even though I tried. At least he smiled a lot.

I open the door halfway to my bathroom and see the culprit. My guitar case. Thank God I invested $130 for a hard-shell case. It’s like the Otterbox for guitars. Now I know I can’t leave my guitar propped up the way it was anymore. I readjust it to a spot where I know it wouldn’t fall and gave it a few pushes to test it out. Not budging. Perfect.

I flip the light on in my room and take three steps from the bathroom to my bed. Ok maybe it was like two and a half… I reach up to the ceiling and adjust the AC. All I did was complain about not having AC on my last ship and here I am now turning it off. I grab my alarm clock off the desk and strategically place it on my headboard. 4:20am. Not bad. I really should put something on the wall near my bed. It’s so blank and boring. Wait a second…

What is that on the wall next to my headboard? Sweet Jesus! It’s another light switch! This is almost as exciting as when I found out I had a black light in my room on my last ship (four months into my contract). I flip the switch and crawl into bed.

Ah life at sea.

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