11 June 2011

Mary's Effing Hot Land

(I cheated on this post. It was originally an email to my parents, and I decided to repost it here.)

I've been cook on Lady Maryland for about three weeks now, and it's going beautifully. Stressful, amazing, back aches, sunburn, wind on my face (on good days), getting into the swing of things, mastering new skills, feeling inadequate, feeling totally up to the task, an emotional roller coaster. The crew likes my food and Michael, our captain, says I'm doing a good job. (YAY!) And this is my first day off since Memorial Day, so I'm really wringing all the relaxation I can out of it. I'm going to take a nap and see a movie. It's crazy awesome. I have determined that for my next boat job I'd rather not live aboard, because it's hard to turn my brain off of work mode, since I live at work and it's very hard to get private time. (Nearly impossible to get private time with air conditioning.)

Speaking of air conditioning: The heat in Baltimore is fucking ridiculous. There is no need for this much humidity unless it is actively raining -- and we've had two really awesome rainstorms the last two nights that did little to drop the humidity, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The South is weird.* The last couple of days were just crazy hot -- around 100 degrees -- and we actually took all the kids out of lifejackets on the water, because they were in more danger of heatstroke wearing the jackets than they were of falling off the boat without them. A girl threw up, and we took to misting the kids with cold water at regular intervals, like house plants. (I also learned how to douse the jib, but that's not really related.)

I have spent my entire life disparaging air conditioning and preferring a strategy of opening windows and encouraging circulation. I now understand air conditioning. I've become an A/C rat, scurrying from one air conditioned building to the next as soon as I get off work. I slept in the lighthouse last night because it was air conditioned, even though I was the only one left on the boat for the weekend. I understand how so many people have died in heat waves in cooler regions because they don't habitually have air conditioning. The South understands air conditioning. I'd like to find historical statistics for the number of deaths in the South from heatstroke and other diseases in which your body just fucking broils to death. Why do people live here? My excuse is that I'm only here another couple of weeks before we head north, to normal summer heat, where 80 is never considered "normal" or fucking "cool."

Crazy fucking temperatures. Crazy fucking Southerners. Beautiful fucking pink schooner.

*Yes, there is much debate about whether Maryland really counts as part of the South, and that debate is as hot as the recent record highs. I don't care. It's south of the Mason-Dixon and it topped 90 degrees before June 1st; I am a Yankee and that's South enough for me.