There it was again. What on earth was it? A loud knock emanating from somewhere in the galley.
It sounded as if it could have been the rolling pin; rolling, as is its wont, colliding with the cupboard side as Impetuous slewed and sledded around on a near run; a southern ocean swell and strengthening southwesterly, sluicing us out of New Zealands' far south. It wasn't, I had checked.
When months earlier we left Panama to cross the Pacific, cupboards had been crammed full with provisions, there was little space for movement. Now something was moving and with sufficient mass to generate the cacophony I was currently enduring.
As our passage across the Pacific progressed anything that made a sound as the boat rolled was tracked down and silenced. The crockery cupboard would have a tea towel to quieten the plates from bickering with the bowls. The bean jars had been clothed in pieces of Ruth's unwanted jumper to arrest any irritating chatter. And the big Tabasco bottles; that contain spices and herbs; were cosy and hushed in their koozies.
Having spent the previous six weeks enjoying the spellbinding scenery and remoteness of Fjordland we had been consuming the remaining provisions Impetuous' lockers had to offer. Now there was space in our cupboards for something to move. If only I could work out what.
I poked my head in to the sparse alcohol cupboard. Perhaps an errant bottle of wine making its presence known was to blame, I thought. But no, the few bottles we had, lay still, wedged with bubble wrap at the bottom of the locker. But I now heard the knock louder and realised from where it was coming.
All boats, however well thought out, have awkward lockers; hard to get to and sometimes of dubious merit. A cavity left over after her interior has been Feng Shui-ed. Impetuous has some. One, though pleasingly voluminous, is underneath the galley cupboard that houses most of the everyday necessities: Tea, milk powder and our pestle and mortar for example. To get to it you have to remove many of these items before you gain access. For this reason we fill it with items we're trying to forget about or make last. For us that usually means a bottle of something nice.
In this case the last remaining bottle of my favorite Belizean Rum was the adversary I sought. I was saving it for our return to Impetuous and continuation of our adventures in 2016. But it was currently making its presence known with such knocks that I feared I might be sponging out the remnants of the bottle in to a glass sooner than I had intended.
Emptying the contents of the locker in to the sink so as to get to the culprit miraculously was achieved without accident. The rum was more comprehensively wrapped, wedged and finally silenced. I could once more return to my book as Impetuous merrily rolled on.