0155 – Watch hand over.
0200 – Start watch on standby and am quickly removed to help set sail.
0240 – Sail is set, bracing complete, main deck closed off because it is not stable enough.
Having the main deck closed is a huge thing for us students because it means that the ship is rocking rather vigorously and the waves that crash over are too powerful that they could potentially take our feet out right out from under us. Safety rounds are discontinued.
At this point the excitement fills my body; a new rush of adrenaline. I’m slightly terrified about going overboard but I try not to think too much.
0300 – Look out.
I’m placed on lookout but I can’t stand because there isn’t enough to hold onto to. So, my watch mate and I sit outside the navigation house. With every rock of the ship I’m elevated into the air and left hanging from the hand rails. As the ship rocks to port I slam back down against the deck. It’s painful and irritating my tailbone but I don’t care because exhilaration is rushing through my veins.
Wave after wave hits me full on and the foulies that are meant to protect from the element are a mere layer of tissue in comparison. I become soaked to the bone. Bioluminescent coats my body and I glow in the darkness of the aft deck. My fingers drawing images with the production of light, it is an unfamiliar and far too likeable situation.
0400 – Watch change.
Watch is over and we’re rushed back down to the safety of the banjer. The officer does not wish to keep us on deck for any longer than necessary. I can’t fall asleep though because my head continuously replays the last two hours. It’s wonderful. I don’t think I can ever forget that one night watch.
0415 – I fall sound asleep.