I knew many of course. The Old Man, he was referred to out of ear shot in deferential disrespect. Fennelow was delightfully bonkers, given to droll potty observation and bouncing a tiny ball up and down deck seven. One had me 'Peggy' short of stature and Scottish as they come, on leave he fished and stalked. He had a thing for impossible blonds. I sailed once with a white bearded fish-fingerly sort. You'd think he'd been crayoned by children for a project about sailors.
I vaguely recall a Norweigian lofty handsome and pompous. His beautiful pregnant wife sat to breakfast over shiny white linen in the officers mess before a tiny silver spoon and a bowl overfull of passion fruit, oh gosh the decadence I thought. I've always suffered from the yank of an involuntary doff in the presence of anyone who assumed themselves my superior. Just resisting the urge to curtsey in the prescence of a chiped antique rocking horse and the abandon of an upper class mewl. As with Captains I never quite shook an obsequious deference to rank and circimstance.
New York in 2003 still had something of the newspaper clipping about it. Pier 88 was less than salubrious in better times even. Crew shore leave was denied. The ship emptied itself of passengers entirely and after coastguard inspection everyone advantaged themselves of their bunks for the day. Legend has it the local pizza delivery boy came to the port gates with a stack trolley. We made Margaritas in the lab and strolled around the eerily deserted decks. Restless and frustrated looking at New York Out There. We grew tired of pointing at The Intrepid and dandered forward. There midships in the empty expanse of sun deck lay the captain on a solitary sunbather. In pink and blue surf shorts. It was most perpendicular.