“Hey, Nic: don’t lean on that safety line!” I flinched back. “Why not?” The answer was short: “We cut the lashings.”
Nic Gardner’s Proust Questionnaire
Since the 1800s, writers, interviewers, and others use the Proust Questionnaire to get to know people. Do the answers provide insight into the answerer’s personality, or are they just for fun? Whatever you believe, here are my answers.
Death: A Slow Voyage of Acceptance
“I don’t know how to tell you this… [your brother] passed away this morning.” I had to read the message several times before I processed it. Then my legs stopped holding me up.
Writing is terrifying
Some writers fear the blank page, the pressure to find words; I’m just afraid of the consequences. It’s not the social stigma, it’s the threat of being sued for defamation. The threat of violence.
What do fishing boats have to do with #metoo?
“I hate this,” he said. “I know most of them are just fishing boats, but because I know at least a few of them are pirates, I have to treat them all as if they’re going to attack us. And I can’t stay away from all of them or we’ll never get home.”
What can sailors teach us about lockdown?
There’s a strange phenomenon that happens on ships; it’s called “Channel Fever.”
“Girls Don’t Belong at Sea”
How to motivate someone to prove you wrong Photo of a professional man looking at paperwork, from LifeofPix The examiner stared at his papers, silently rearranging them, avoiding my eyes. I forced a slow, deep breath, determined not to let him see how tense I was. The clock behind me ticked, meting out the seconds. A... Continue Reading →
Seasickness: the Best Feeling in the World
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash The best thing about seasickness is that it leads to one of the best feelings in the world: that moment when, several days into a voyage, I wake up and realise that I feel hungry. I get up to find something to eat, then realise with a sense of joy... Continue Reading →
Sometimes you’ll never be ready
At maritime college, they teach us what to do in emergencies, how to prepare for flooding, fire, man-over-board. Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash They don’t teach us how to deal with the aftermath. It’s possible to put on a facade of calm, to exude confidence, but no-one ever teaches us how to deal with the... Continue Reading →
Don’t ask, “Why?” ask, “Why not?”
They sold my ship in February. It was Friday, in mid-Pacific. The captain read us the email just before dinner. Most of the crew were somewhere between upset and angry, but I just felt relieved, as if I’d been freed from a prison I hadn’t realised I was in. The company offered me a transfer... Continue Reading →