Thursday, December 16, 2010

cooking day aboard the bark Wanderer

Very interesting article on the hunt for new viruses in this week's New Yorker, The Doomsday Strain - although it's behind a pay wall. Other interesting articles too. Some weeks are better than others for the New Yorker.

Speaking of which - oh Willie!

I can't believe this - for some reason Willie isn't going to steal liquor as usual - maybe the Wanderer's owner finally got wise - but since he has no money he's actually threatening to sell his ship's sail! I knew you were a rapscallion Willie, but this is too much!

The term "cooking day" is pretty much what you might expect if you know our man Willie, but I will quote from Thirty-six years of a seafaring life by Old Quarter Master:
Now as cooking, as it is called, goes round, every man in the mess has his turn, and his chance to get drunk and to get into a hobble; but there are some, though few, who do not take a cooking day, and always find a ready substitute to act in their place, and although a cook has much to do, being answerable for the time being, that every thing is clean and in order, yet many consider it a holiday. It was such a holiday as I never took, many men who might have been years in a ship, in comfort and respected, on that one day blast perhaps their comfort and character, and while in the gratification of the moment, commit deeds, at which in their sober moments they would have shuddered.

From the looks of Willie's empty pockets I will hazard a guess that "by the wind" means he's out of money.

According to the "The New American Practical Navigator", "Freshen the hawse" means to veer out or heave in a little cable, to let another part of it endure the stress of the hawse-hole.

The mystery - where did all Willie's money go?