Whales and Sails
First of all a look back to yesterdays inter-watch “It's A Knockout” competition, which you may have read about in some of the other watch blogs. Congratulations to White watch for coming out as overall winners by beating us by a mere one point, but we still want to give ourselves a pat on the back for some of our individual achievements. The competition kicked off with a quiz about our Challenge 67 yacht, Adventure, however due to a great deal of indecisiveness about the answers, the less said about our result in this event, the better. Things then picked up when Andy did exceptionally well by laying down the gauntlet in the strength competition, which consisted of holding up two full 3 litre juice bottles with extended arms. He achieved a very cheeky time of 1 minute 38 seconds. Next up were the ladies and Linda did a time of 1 minute 14 seconds thus earning the accolade of strongest chick on board (below).
The next event was “Pegged Out”, as advertised in the “Family sports days” photo in yesterdays blog. The aim of the event was to attach as many clothes pegs as possible to the face of each team member. At any time the contestant can cry out the phrase “Pegged Out”, in order to indicate that they can't take any more pegs. The constraints of the event are, how much pain can the individual endure, and how quickly can you attach and detach the pegs from each person, in order to achieve the maximum number of pegs in the minimum time. Greg did us proud by taking 60 pegs, and our overall score scooped first place in this event. Below is Andy getting “Pegged Out”.
Due to the need for the off watch to get some sleep the last two events were combined into a relay race/knot tying event. Phase one of the event involved a race around the deck, while clipped on, and carrying a ladel full of sea water. Phase two involved tying the second relay team member to the guard and mesh around the helm, using as many knots as possible from the Competent Crew syllabus. Byrne and Linda went for Red Watch, and Byrne went above and beyond by transporting the sea water in his mouth. Consequently we were the only team to deliver more than a couple of drops of liquid to the jug at the end of the relay phase. On the knot tying phase we managed to produce all six different knots and 14 knots in total. Unfortunately we were pipped by White watch with a total of 17 knots, however it has to be said that many of these were simple stopper knots and there was no sign of the Sheet Bend.
For the past few days our progress to our destination has slowed considerably. At the start of the journey the daily average was approximately 170 miles which lasted until Sunday 3 August. Thereafter our mileage has steadily dropped to 159 on Monday, 139 on Tuesday and 127 on Wednesday. At 0545 this morning we put up the Goose Winged rig (below) and started back on 7 to 8 miles per hour and were currently doing so on a Dead Run. This has given everyone a chance to practise helming while sailing downwind, a very different skill, and as ever our mate Windy was on hand to give expert tuition.
Shortly thereafter a whale was spotted to our front, and before we knew it we had whizzed past several of them on our starboard bow. The pod then followed in our wake for about 20 minutes, coming as close as 30 metres at times and giving some excellent photo opportunities.
The watch was rounded off by Windy giving us a brief on the do's and don'ts of menu planning for ocean sailing.
Yours Red Watch (Andy, Byrne, Greg and Linda)