Storm a brewin’ (Nov 21)

Storm a brewin’

The storm gathers all around us. It moved in under the cover of night. The flight deck is covered in the leftover pools of rain water and the growing collection of sea water splashed across the bow as we break the increasing swells. In the distance, in any direction, the darkened sky gets only darker and the streamers of rain, lots of rain, can be seen. Today might make for a good deal of time spent inside. A quick check on the helicopter tiedowns and blade covers and then it’s best to not loiter on the heli-deck – no rails.

I was a bit disappointed this morning when I woke up and went outside to see, not only the storm but, that we were still underway at full steam. We had made a diligent effort last night to sail to the location of one of their “payow” locations on the gps, hoping to find a bunch of tuna. If that had happened when I walked out on the deck this morning the boat would have been in the end of setting its net and waiting for the school to rise would start. But, if the sonar operator didn’t see a big enough school the captain would just pass the floating raft up and keep searching for more Tuna.

I’m still not sure if I’m saying or spelling it right, and can’t recall if I described it yet, but a “Payow” is a GPS buoy the crew has attached to some sort of floating debris. The floating debris actually works as a safe zone for what we call “bait fish” from predators – such as Tuna. The Tuna know this as well as we do, so the school will follow floating debris and feed on the bait fish until there are no more bait fish or until a bigger predator – us – scoops the Tuna up as catch. Some crews modify the floating debris to make it bigger, and brighter, to encourage more and more bait fish to take up residence, the more bait fish, the bigger the tuna school feeding on the “payow”. That’s the theory anyways, as it has been explained to me.

And the GPS buoy is fair game. When we happened across a floating log by pure chance there was already a buoy tethered to it. We all took stabs at speculating who it belonged to but it didn’t have a ship name on it so nobody really knew, and the one clue we would normally get wasn’t there. Anyways – it wasn’t attached long, as the crew of this boat scooped it up and out of the water and switched it off, then attached our own buoy to the log. Apparently this is an accepted practice in the world of fishing. All’s fair in money and tuna.

The rain is really coming down now, it is almost fun to stand up toward the front of the ship and face the storm. The freshwater is great for the helicopter, it’s going to rinse all the hard to reach spots that maybe we can’t get perfectly with our very low pressure hose. She’ll be glistening by morning. I can see why having some sort of distraction, a good distraction, is a must out here. I feel as though I’ve been up all day, can’t figure why I haven’t had lunch yet and then I look at the clock and it is only 10am. Wow. I already watched the original Alien movie.

Interesting thing about that movie, I watched it once before, maybe a decade and a half ago – I was pretty young. I don’t recall much of the film, while better – I didn’t recall much of it. I’ve come to the conclusion that a better synopsis would have been “Crazy cat lady battles alien to protect her only friend – a cat.” Think about it, everyone on the ship straight up disrespected Ripley the entire movie, and when they started dying off her one concern was finding the cat and putting it into a safe carrier. The last scene of the movie is Ripley WITH HER CAT. I mean, this is the cat movie of the decade, back, you know, when it was made.

A ton of the movies I brought with me on this hard drive are corrupt though, I still have almost 300 movies that are good to go, and I’m trying to save a few of the ones that are corrupt, every now and then I find one that just needs to be converted to a different format to work, but most of them have source errors from how they were copied. I’m sure I’ll be fine with the assortment I have, but a lot of my favorites are on the corrupt list. Damn.

It’ll be interesting to see, when we are in port again, what other movies other pilots have. I hope to grow this database as best I can. I think back to the time spent in Bali as a child, and all the bootleg shops with VCD rips of movies – and I can’t help but hope that one of these ports has a bit of a black market like that too. Perhaps they sell a USB full of all the modern releases. That’d be nice, since I never got a chance to see Fury before I left, in spite of how much everyone said it was awesome. I know in the Philippines they sell DVD/Bluray players that come preloaded with a hard-drive full of hundreds of movies so this 5TB drive I have isn’t coming back empty.

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