A THOUSAND MILES IN EIGHT DAYS: A PLAY AT SEA IN THREE ACTS. ACT THREE.

For full list of characters and Act One visit Act One

For Act Two visit Act Two

ACT THREE

DO YOU EVEN “MOB”, BRO?

The dark cobalt ocean looks like a fishbowl from the inside, not a cloud in the sky. The boaty-boat is almost perfectly still while moving at a snail’s pace. One sail is up, trying to harness the most out of the faint sleepy breath of the breeze.

Ship’s Engineer, Shep, is making a guitar out of a cigar box (as you do), Christian and Natty hunch over some old lines splicing under the watchful eye of the First Mate Dan, Tobey (another deckhand, with a knack for all things knots), systematically re-ties all the anti-chafe gear on active lines, Captain… Well, Captain looks up, chews on some thought, and… 

NOAH (to the current watch and everyone in the vicinity): Umm…let’s put the stays’l up.

Glances ricochet around the ship. This produces more movement than that joke of a breeze.

 

Shep and his guitar made from a cigar box.

NATTY: Just because I’m new to all of this and I want to understand…what’s the rationale behind this?

NOAH: Gotta keep you occupied somehow, no? Consider it extra practice.

Crew puts the stays’l up and goes back to their pastimes. Some minutes pass before the crew’s sluggish brains latch onto something orange and round flying overboard. 

JUSTIN (pointing at the life ring in the water): …MAN OVER BOARD!!!

NATTY: Oh. I see. Drill mode. Cool.

The calm before the [drill] storm. I knew there would be some fishing on this boat!
Everyone starts to move around rather quickly and with a purpose. Natty engages the headless chicken mode until appointed to take over the pointer.

NOAH (with the intonation of ordering a takeout): Drop the stays’l. Scandalize mainsail. Dan and Shep – in the Little Red.

NATTY (muttering to herself): “Drop the stays’l”… I see you, Cap, with your “Let’s just put it up for practice”…

LINCOLN: The life ring made it safely on board.

NATTY: Oh thank god, I was worried. Does it need CPR?

NOAH (to the crew gathered around the con): Let’s have a debrief. How did it go?

NATTY (under her breath): Swimmingly?

The crew goes over each phase of the drill, Natty uncovers for herself the mystery of dropping the stays’l down and the fact that scandalizing mainsail has nothing to do with trying to publicly embarrass it.

NOAH: Well, that was that for the drill. Who wants to go swim? The pool is open!

The crew scatters around to change into swimwear, and then drop like seagull poop into the water.

NATTY (pensively, dripping water having climbed back on board): If I were seagull poop, I’d probably want to drop from somewhere high, make it worthwhile, ya know?

SHEP: Bowsprit?

NATTY: Mahvelous idea! But let’s dunk Tobey first.

They splash into the water one after another. Natty pops back up and starts climbing up the chains and cables under the bowsprit to get back up.

Did she make it into the water?

DAN: The whole “If you judge the fish by its ability to climb trees…” doesn’t seem to apply to you.

NATTY: You can pick a climber in a pool of fish. Or something like that. And, to address your hypothesis, I do feel like an idiot most of the time. The difference is that I don’t see it as a bad thing. More opportunities to learn. Speaking of, want to go over splicing again?

SHAILA (miraculously having just been in the middle of the freaking ocean with everyone, has already changed, and pokes her head from the galley): Dinner is ready!

NATTY (discovering the tasties): HOLY FISH CURRY AND OUTWORLDLY BROWNIES! Shaila you can do no wrong. That is not a challenge. Honestly, would not be even a tiniest bit surprised if you’re docking spaceships next time I run into you.

SHAILA: Who knows, but organic farms and sleep-in truck sounds nice.

NATTY: Same thing.

The ship keeps its steady walk, leaning to one side slightly more than to the other. The sun is getting ready to set. The evening breeze is gentle and salty. 

E il nave va. 

 

Postscriptum in pictures: 

Capt’n Rob

 

Capt’n Noah

 

Dan the Man

 

Tobey caught in the middle of putting holes in the boat. Tsk tsk tsk.

 

Natty teaching Dan how to patch up a sail. Just kidding. The other way around 🙂

 

 

 

You can check out Shep’s music on his soundcould: https://soundcloud.com/shepleyfrater

 

Lucky Lincoln

 

Pelican taking off.

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