Sunday, April 08, 2007

Crew quarters, crew dimes, crew nickles...

If there was enough room for a running head start, I could slide into my bunk like a batter sliding into home plate. Fortunately, the designer of the bunk beds was generous enough to create a 6 inch lip on the bottom bunk that extends out beyond the width of the top bunk so that I can lie down and jimmy myself into the roughly 18 inch high incision in the wall. Its like spelunking trying to get in there, I need a lantern attachment on my forehead so that I can find my way to the pillow!

Not much air can circulate in this slit of a bed, so immediately upon manoeuvring myself into it – I begin to feel overheated, claustrophobic and restless, but if I sleep semi-diagonally so that my head sticks out into the room, I can breath. The real problem is this, no matter how hard I remind myself that I can’t sit up, inevitably, my alarm goes off and I shoot straight up out of bed and I conk myself on my head. HARD. EVERY MORNING. Not a fun way to wake up and I think I’m beginning to see an indentation forming - in my forehead! Then, there are the nights that I flail my arms around, probably dreaming (a nightmare, really) that I’ve fallen into the works of a sardine packing machine – packed tightly into a tin, next to all those hapless fish and the machine is just about to seal the top. I flail my arms for help and knock them on the ceiling above me hard enough to wake me up. It’s like being buried alive.

The 6’, 4” inch tall engineer aboard the previous yacht that I worked says, since joining the yacht world, he has become Cro-Magnon Man – a hunched over, knuckle dragger. I’m 5’5” and a majority of the time I find crew quarters to be so extremely uncomfortable, I can’t imagine being a foot taller! Yacht designers and yacht owners should be forced, FORCED to spend a month in their crew quarters just to get a taste for what it is like – because 99.9% of the time, the quarters are designed for midgets, halflings, or Nicole Richie. To be comfortable in the quarters I am in right now, I’d have to be so thin I’d be transparent; and some considers these particular quarters ‘good’!

Perhaps they are called crew “quarters”, because they are a quarter of the size they should be. Or, perhaps it’s because a quarter is all the owner would spend on the space the crew would be living in. Maybe they should be called crew “dimes”. Crew quarters, uggg.

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