The bridge was fairly quiet, except for the lookouts from both port and starboard reporting contacts at regular intervals. I’ve been on duty for almost an hour, alternating between fixing and checking the radar, of which I much prefer the latter. Charts are really not my thing, especially when there is calculation involved. I’d rather scrub the deck floor. Really. But it’s 0100H and scrubbing might be hard to do in the dark.
“Midshipman, pandai buat kopi tak?” the OOW asked.
“Boleh, Tuan,” I answered, relieved it wasn’t a request for a song or teh tarik. Receiving my orders, I head down to the galley. After two days on board, I was able to find my way to most places without getting lost. Found all the stuff I needed to make the said beverage for the officers at the bridge and even scored paper cups after exploring around a bit more.
I managed to get back to the bridge without spilling any coffee on the floor, as the sea was calm at Sea State 1, unlike when we first came on board.
“Pour yourself a cup and follow me,” CORRO said and headed out to the port side. I did as I was told, glad to have some fresh air.
CORRO was one of the first officers who showed me the ropes on what to do at the bridge. He was helpful and I sensed that he wanted me to learn and experience everything I could during my short stay on board the ship. In fact, most officers were like that and I really appreciate the fact that this is a training ship where I could ask any question at any given time. Plus, it’s easier when you’re still under training and not a commissioned officer.
“Sedap kopi awak buat,” he said after a while. I mumbled my thanks, then continued to stare out at the dark vista. It felt nice out here, and there was no need for talk, just the sound of waves and the ship breaking the silence.
“You’re alright, for a reservist. But I still can’t believe you’re not in your 20’s.” I was flattered by the compliment but had to laugh at the hint of disbelief in his voice at the end. He’s only 25, sungguh muda belia.
“It’s the haircut,” I assured him, smiling into my cup.
“Amboi, seronok dating ya. Dah, masuk balik. Nak belajar steer wheel tak?” Aah OOW. Your timing is impeccable.