A Traditional Future

It’s Friday night. If you look up “Friday night” in the Gifford Family Compendium of Language and Culture (GFCLC), you’ll find:


Pizza. A complex milieu brought on simply by dough and “stuff”, enabling simple people to become uncomplicated from rigors of a complex week. Follow religiously.

It’s a terrible definition really. Our literal interpretation is to make enjoyable, good food from scratch and by the time cleanup arrives a decidedly fun time has kicked the pace and stress of last week in the arse. I’m tired; I don’t want to make it I would to whine. Behan would point to the GFCLC. I closed mouth, grabbed the flour, and… After a few thousand thin crust, cheese or not, red sauce or pesto, or no sauce, myriad of toppings and combinations, I finally understood.
The first few Fridays living onboard Totem brought no pizza night. The idea of cooking pizza on a boat oven is like surfing with a dial-up internet connection. Juvenile pressures forced a heated confrontation with our galley equipment. Turns out, our Friday pizza night does work for us sailors to.

Tradition held it that in the British Navy old, the captain would read the Articles of War to the entire ships’ company every Sunday. This legal document contained thirty-six points describing behaviors deemed punishable -mostly by death. Fortunately, the kind of drunkenness, foul language, bad steering, and general pissing off of the captain described was rarely seen amongst sailor types.

Clearly, the intention of the Articles of War was rooted in preserving the health and well being of the crew. As we settle into a new life aquatic onboard Totem, I feel a strong pull to carry on this tradition. As captain of a young crew, I may need to spin the original language a little. For example, everywhere it says “shall be punished with death”; I’ll tone it down with “shall have a time-out alone in their cabin”.

In all seriousness, we’ve been asked a lot about pirates and storms; but what Behan and I go to bed at night thinking about are kids overboard, fire, or serious mechanical failure. Our “big trip” is present tense and in every sense, safety onboard is all important. I think this Sunday we’ll work together to adapt the Articles of War into the Articles of Safety; then make a Sunday tradition of practicing them. But now, it’s Friday night and time to go flip the LPG solenoid, heat up the oven, and choose the toppings for our pizza.

2 Responses to A Traditional Future

  1. Nosualcy September 13, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    I’ll have to keep the pizza in mind.
    The oven in the Ingrid is a bit bigger than the one in the Cal 29.
    We keep safety in mind forefront also. I think some may feel that I am a little too safety minded when I have the two year old tethered in the cockpit in the marina when I am below or something. Oh, well – rather them think that than something worse.
    I think s/v Don Quixote should be pulling in tomorrow maybe.

  2. rwc September 23, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    No. 1 – No one gets off the boat alone…

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