This is the first (and only) whole day that we’ll spend in Shetland. Our captain decided to put starboard on port watch duty that day. Being on watch in port is normally not something I’d be upset about, but today is different. First, the weather here is unforeseeable, a sunny day can turn into a nightmare within only a few seconds, as showers of cold rainwater soaks all of your clothing from head to toe. The second reason that this day is a mess might be because personal reasons. I’m rarely in a bad mood, but this leg on our journey has really got me down.
The watch today was split in two so that we could get a half day exploring Lerwick. I chose to take the first half of the day off and then return to work in the evening. Some friends and I left the boat as soon as assembly was over. We all wanted to go to a graveyard that we had seen when entering port. Google maps doesn’t work that well here, so we had to use our senses to find the right way there. Honestly, I wasn’t upset at the idea of being lost in Lerwick. Walking around Lerwick you feel like you’re on the set of a gothic horror film, mixed with suburban Scotland. The graveyard felt like an ancient monument. It was set on a hill that seemed to be throwing itself at the ocean, meeting the rays of sun halfway, making the graves illuminate with white light. The rocky hillside was inhabited by fulmar. The birds seemed newly awoken, yelling and playing across the steep drops. The cliff was called the Knab, and beyond this point there were suburban housing followed by endless green hills and valleys. I felt the urge to keep on walking along the coastline forever, but I had to be back at the boat by 3 P.M to start my shift.
I did barely any work today. I mostly walked around in a daze. I screwed up all the coils and destroyed my splice. The only fun part of the watch was to guard the ship. The regular port watch ends at 6 P.M with dinner. After dinner, each member of the watch must guard the vessel in two hour shifts until the next morning. Every member goes on a round and calls up the next person in line to go on duty. I sat together with Marcus who is also in starboard. Sadly he had lost his voice so we didn’t do much talking, which was strange because normally Marcus is the loudest in the room. The starboard watch has had to resort to using sign language when we speak to him but we always misunderstand each other. By the time I’m writing this Marcus has regained his voice. His first words were as followed: din mamma!