Report 27: Scrubbing until the planks laugh
and -Encounters with the Passat 1955-1957-
The deck planks that “can laugh” are made of African teak. If they are scrubbed white and preserved in honey bright, glowing amber linseed oil they smile and radiate. I was the reason for which the planks would not glow nor smile, because that meant scrubbing, scrubbing and rubbing again, until you feel completely insane.
After the storm in the English Channel, we had replaced sails for two days like lunatics. And now, at the height of Cape Finisterre and Lisbon, we were starting to overhaul the deck.
It all started with washing the deck, even though we had done this x times in Bremen and Bremerhaven, and since then for many hours breaking waves had been thundering on deck. The ships management was not impressed: “It’s Christmas in a few days. Then we need to shine “.For whom, someone would ask? Do THEY expect Santa Claus?
First, the deck was attacked with brooms. Five to eight men in row aligned fore-and-aft, each equipped with a broom, in front of them a sailor with a water hose. And now all together: right-left, right-left, and a small step forward, then back to: right-left, right-left, another small step forward, etc, etc.