I went in the boatyard office today to get more laundry tokens. Official apology to the Cap for the upcoming laundry bill. It’s just been so handy. I’ve never washed the duvets on Quest before. I don’t think I’ve washed the duvets at home. Hold on. I must have. Hmm. No, maybe not. The machines here are industrial. You can put half your family in them. I’m starting to look around for more things to wash. Though the sign says I’m not allowed to put shoes or cushions in the machine. How about families?
We’ve been here a month today. A month! I know I’ll remember Peakes for a lot of things. Where we got gassed by Freon-22. Where Lu had her office shower. Where Delph disappeared for a month watching Jessie. And where I fell in love with air-con. I’ll never forget today either – but for different reasons.
The air-conditioning technician, Keet, came round. He looked worried and set immediately to work. This meant extracting the saloon table, the girls’ beds and opening up our units. The girls and I took our departure into the boatyard. Used the laundry, had showers. Slunk up to the Zanzibar restaurant to find somewhere to do school. This means spending a tenner. You can’t go to the Zanzibar without spending a tenner.
Lu attempted to do her physics homework: change in momentum and its resultant force. I had zero idea. I mean, I can follow a formula, but first you have to do a formula before you get to the actual formula. It wasn’t going well. I wrote a quick email to Joe the tutor back home. Joe the tutor is the best. He was just coming out from a physics lecture from Aber Uni. We called him via Skype and opened One Note where he and Lu can see each other’s work.
As Joe and Lu began to work, the weather turned – again. Actually, it’s been nice the last couple of days, which means it’s been pretty foul.. but we’ll take foul in Trinidad. Foul in Trini is 25 degrees and breezy. With Joe in virtual tow, we came back to Quest. Lu and Joe continued in the cockpit. Haven’t sat in Quest’s cockpit since we’ve been here, and on anchor we live in the cockpit. It was nice to return to this space. Down below, Keet and Jack re-gassed, changed condensers, changed gasses again. Up above, Lu and Joe did momentum formulas. Me and Delph finished her English homework. The weather was getting worse – foul was becoming downright stormy. The dock-master, Oliver came down and decided to put some more springers on Quest. We sailed in situ. Then suddenly Lulu began to cry. Really cry.
We rushed up. What happened? She cried that her boyfriend had just finished with her – by text. Now, I’m not judging. Trying to run a long-distance relationship is tough. Being fourteen and doing it is like fashioning gold from dust… but still. Lots of things are hard. In the meantime, we could only console Lulu. She commented how it was lucky it had happened after she’d said good-bye to Joe. Otherwise Joe might have been concerned that change in momentum really had sent her over the edge.
Eventually, Lulu came downstairs. Keet took one look at her tear-stained face. He’s definitely the age of a grandpa. Lu went into Delph’s room and closed the door. Delph’s room is where we all go to be consoled. It’s that kind of space. Plus, you can walk through the bathroom to get there.
Keet turned to us. ‘Leave her to cry,’ he said solemnly, ‘it’s better this happens now instead of later. It would have been harder to deal with then. Let her cry, but support her if she needs it.’
We nodded, speechless. Like I said, an unforgettable day.