Thursday, 25 August 2005

Beautiful day!

I've been living in the middle of the sea for a couple of weeks now but only today did I manage to spend a better part of my day actually looking out over the sea. I finally shifted out of my usual workstation in the instrument room to the gun deck. And given that all the guns chose to behave themselves and I managed to finish my scheduled training tasks in remarkably short order, there was a lot of time on my hands and not nearly enough space in the tiny gun-shack. So I decided to stroll about on the multilevel workdeck instead.
You can spend any amount of time just looking out over the sea. (At least I can :P.) Watching the waves swell up and break in an incessant rhythm. And every now and then you are rewarded with something special. A wave breaks to create a tiny mist that splits the Sun's bright rays into a miniature rainbow. Or a large pearlescent jellyfish swims up to the surface and you see the colour of the parachute like body change rapidly from a dingy gray through a very faint yellow, light green and finally into a brilliant aquamarine! Or maybe just the quite lapping of the water against the hull, and the sun turning about half the sea into a golden dream.
There is of course more that one can do with four levels of deck-space available. The topmost open deck provides a rather commanding view. Of course, one still manages to see only water, but it's all about perspective. When you peek over the guard-rail (very very carefully mind you) it's rather scary. The water seems to be far away and the sound of the waves barely reaches the ear. (For some reason I was reminded of the scene in The Matrix when Neo, trying to escape from the agents, attempts to climb out to the scaffold and misses a step.)
The next deck below I found rather less appealing, though the bright red and yellow streamers hanging out from their giant pulleys does have a festive look. The bottom most gun deck was too cluttered (and too close to to the gun-shack for comfort). So I settled on the one just above, the A level deck. By this time the Sun was low enough in the sky to spread onto the deck and high enough to drive the chill out of the breeze. I had spied a rather old and battered pair of binocs (marked 'waterproof' and 'Nitrogen filled'! I found it rather fascinating, for some reason) in the gun shack, it was time I put them to some use. For a while I'd had the feeling that the horizon on the starboard side wasn't merely a meeting of the sky and the sea, but it was impossible to say for sure without additional optical aid. Sure enough, I could make out the faint outline of hills rendered minuscule by the distance. And that's when something went flying up out of the water, much closer to me!
By the time I could refocus there was nothing to be seen. Except for a pair of bright red (actually pretty dark red, maybe just black that looked red 'cos of the light, oh whatthehell!) birds that seemed to be trying to out do each other's antics. It was almost like an arial game of hide and seek. The birds were flying so close to the water that every now and then they'd be lost behind a passing wave. It took me a while to realise that it was one of these I had seen 'flying out of the water' :(. So much for my hopes of seeing flying fish .

By this time, the light reflected off the deck floor had turned from bright yellow to a darkening red and the time had come for my daily ritual of fetching the camera. I watched the round disc of the sun gradually get eaten up by the horizon. But it didn't disappear altogether, instead, for a long time there remained a thin red line lingering on the edge of the sea.
And as if that wasn't enough, the sea gave me a parting gift as I left the deck after dark:

Fire on the high seas eh?! Nah, that's just the propeller wash under the deck night lights :).


Hemamalini said...

i was fascinated by the 'nitrogen filled' too!! did u notice that the cables were made by 'saint gobain?' another one to chuckle;)..and the photo on fire is awesome.... have to see it in real!

kray said...

No! I missed that one. And, I hate doing this but in this particular case, the pic actually looks better than the real thing :P. Still, definitely worth a look though.