Helm Hogging & Lace

Fri 1 Aug 2008 19:28

Since our last blog, we were treated to a great meal by the White Water Café.  Admittedly, their preparation for the meal was somewhat unusual (below).



Red watch were back on shift at 2000.  The evening was pleasant with the worst of the rain behind us.  We were treated to a picturesque sunset with a rainbow in the heavy clouds behind us and the occasional dolphin breaching the water. Our team has recovered from the sea sickness and morale is high with much banter keeping us amused.



The wind picked up so the donkey (engine) was turned off, we raised the foresail and staysail and put the first reef in. As usual, our “Wheel Wench” (she prefers “Helm Hogger”) had taken the helm (below).  We were on a starboard tack following a course of around 260 degrees which was taking us away from our planned course and so a complicated tack was in order.  This was Greg’s first time at tacking and as we had the foresail and staysail up it meant that there was a lot to be thinking about.  The tack was executed faultlessly under the direction of WW/HH.  Flushed with our successful completion of this tack we were in the midst of congratulating ourselves when WW/HH felt it was time to practice the heaving-to.  For the less jargon savvy, this means the yacht was stalled and the only course of action was to tack back, build up some speed and then tack again, completing the original manoeuvre. Unfortunately the lack of momentum had been noticed by the skipper.  The result – our drills are really slick now and we spend less time congratulating ourselves.



The remainder of that watch was completed without any further incident and thanks to WW/HH we were on course and maintained excellent speed over ground.


On our dawn watch, starting at 0400, a lone lump of Irish rock was just distinguishable in the morning mist on the horizon.  In itself this was possibly not the most exciting of events but it was significant to Greg.  He has always wanted to visit Ireland (and would have been doing so if he weren’t here sailing with us) so this was the next best thing.  Further, this was the last sighting of land we will have for about the next 10 days.  The remainder of the watch was again uneventful but the enjoyment and sense of freedom is enormous.


The next watch, from 1200 to 1430, was a little more exciting.  Greg showed us his black lace and Windy got his tackle out. There was also a little speed over ground competition between WW/HH and the other two helmsmen (Byrne & Greg), which sadly (from Byrne & Greg’s point of view anyway), WW/HH has maintained her “top dog” status as she won by 0.2 knots over the hour.  It is worth pointing out she even sacrificed her hand to win - she lost feeling in her hand (probably a muscle spasm) and had to have it revived by our watch leader, Andy.


Below – Windy preparing his fishing tackle in the hope of catching some future dinner and Greg showing off his black lace.




Thanks for the emails that have been coming in, it’s great to hear from the outside world.  Keep them coming. By the way – what’s the cricket score?


The Red Team (Andy, Byrne, Greg and Linda)