May 01, 1996

All Hands on Deck

There’s a pounding of feet up the companionways and across the windswept decks. Rain is lashing at the masts, the rigging, the wooden decks and the crew. It’s the early hours of the morning on the Bay of Biscay. Only minutes before, each member of Sedov’s off duty crew had been fast asleep in their berths. A stentorian voice bellowing through the ship’s public address system changed all that.

“Parusnj avral! Parusnj avral! All hands on deck! All hands on deck!”

The order, in Russian and in English, spurs officers, regular crew, cadets and trainees, to action. From the bridge deck the commands are passed to the bosuns [petty officer in charge of riggings, boats and anchors], they pass them onto the men.

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