Aboard Ethan Allan

Saturday, November 23, 1929

Yesterday was the Skipper’s day. Ugly rumors hath it he imbibed too freely of fire water. Tales unfolded this morning over the pancakes and eggs had it he sent to the fo’cas’le for Johnson at 12:30 and told him to work his log (missed working hours of watches) back an hour. The latter escaped on a plea of being too tired. One claimed he ordered the ship’s bells to be rung every five minutes. Suddenly appearing in the galley clothes in pajamas, staggering and wide-eyed, he demanded Johnson, and being told this worthy was not among those present, gave vent to wrath, saying he had not asked for Johnson. He and Jimmie the mess boy agreed the galley looked like a __ ______, and at 7 AM Jimmie was called before the Old Man and bawled out for working such short hours. Thus I take it the Skipper had a bad taste in his mouth this AM. Madden is the gentleman’s name. He is thoroughly hated and roundly cussed out daily by some of the crew who prefer a tough, two-fisted son-of-a-gun captain. His nickname, Sissy Madden, goes against the grain. Those more rational members of the crew stand up for him to the extent that he is fair and square, decently thoughtful of everybody. Another sore point is the way the Skipper berates the women and scornfully cusses out the fools for getting venereal diseases. He is probably hitting a good majority on this score.
Someone threw paint brushes and chipping hammers overboard, but unfortunately did a poor job of it, leaving plenty of brushes and two hammers. Thus I fall victim as does Slim and CorkLeg. Good exercise, though—might as well be doing that as something else.

Had a fire drill at 4:30 for which I was jolly well thankful—for I was relieved at the wheel for ten minutes. All cargo is stored low down in the hold aft—copra and pineapples—probably to keep the propeller blades under water. The sea is choppy and running head-on, swells about 50° off port bow, with a wind from the same direction (approx. N.E.). The light fore end swings around like cardboard and it’s hard to steer a straight course. 202 miles today; total 1,882 miles.

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