Saturday, February 23, 2002

South Georgia Island IV

I stand at the door trying to shoot the heaving seas in its fading light, but finally I'm struggling simply to hang on and stay upright. I fight waves of nausea and fear, and I'm soon standing eyes wide, dry-mouthed, sweating and trembling. When Jerome lights up another smoke I edge toward the door for a precious gulp of fresh air, and a quick escape route as the evening's pizza fights its way back upstream.

The cold wind and seawater on my hands gives me something else to focus on, and during a miraculous lull I stumble down below and lurch into my bunk.

I slap on headphones and try very hard to be somewhere else for a while. I doze fitfully as darkness falls, and I wake to the sight of the Southern Cross in the tiny portal above my bunk, the familiar stars pitching wildly past, dancing again but to an altogether different tune.

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