All the People

For me, places are about people. And sure, nature and weather and sunsets. But mostly people.

In this vein, Falco, the mechanic came back to Quest. He and his apprentice have been on Quest a few times now. They’ve been bringing Quest’s engine and gennie out of winterisation. On Monday morning, the staircase was removed to get into the engine compartment. Then Falco had to climb through Delph’s wardrobe to change the shaft seal to the propellor. Urgh. Poor Falco. 

The girls and I were doing school when they arrived today. They noticed us too when they came in.. and I felt the hairs on my arms tingle. I couldn’t help it. This is because Jack’s been telling me for ages I’m naturally institutionalised… and I finally believe him. It just makes me a little uncomfortable when people come aboard and see our life. I mean, Thursday school for us was sitting around the saloon table. Lu was doing a geography worksheet on mangroves and Delph was drawing a squirrel for science. I can’t help but wonder if the phrase, ‘slight weirdos’ goes through our visitors’ heads. I haven’t got any control of their opinions of course. Breathe, Hannah. It’s all good. They’re probably right. 

Falco said, ‘Skip, do you remember that guy who used to work with me? He still talks about you.’ 

‘He does?’ 

Falco grinned. ‘Oh yeah. We had to tell him you were joking. He still laughs about it now.’

We all stopped our work. Even the apprentice was trying not to giggle. 

‘What’d you say to this guy?’ I asked Jack. 

Jack shrugged and looked jovial. Ok. This meant he couldn’t remember either. 

Falco leaned down then to tinker with the gennie. I automatically went and got him pillows. We learned about using pillows from the amount of hours Jack has spent chest-planted with his head slightly under the floor.

Once Jack did it for so long trying to fix the gennie, he clutched his chest the next day and said, ‘I think I might be having a heart attack.’

‘Are you sure that’s not from lying on your chest for three hours with your head under the floor?’

He sighed in relief. ‘Oh yeah.’ 

Today, I’m thinking about all the people who have worked on this boat. It gets me too – makes me a bit emotional. This is because Quest has been so many places in the world now – and all the mechanics, engineers and craftsmen who have come aboard have been the ones who’ve helped her get there. I love this. It’s part of the fun of having her. Falco’s apprentice, by the way, told us later on he never liked school. 

‘How come?’ we asked him. 

He smiled. ‘Too many rules. Even though I was good at it. I just didn’t like the rules.’ 

Huh. We nodded at the table. Fair play. 

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