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Date: 22 May 2011 20:11:52
Title: a Word from the wannabe nipper

39:06.95N 54:15.20W
We are now over half way from Newport to the Azores and we all thought ( I did anyway) that this would be a good opportunity for someone other than Rory to review the trip so far: a sort of half-term report!

Look call me stupid but I hadn't realised how big the Atlantic was. Empty rather than big I suppose is what I mean. For here we are on Akarana and there has been no proof of any kind over the last four days of the six we have been going that we aren't the only humans on the planet. No ships or boats, no vapour trails in the sky ( mainly due to cloud) and no seen rubbish in the water. I keep expecting to see something .......but there isnt anyrthing apart from the small world of this boat and the other five increasingly smelly old men. ( I can say that...turns out I'm the youngets). Not fair about smelly however. We have all had hot showers today and to give you a sense of the degree of comfort on board both sets of heads have really good showers and mechanical extracts to get rid of both steam and smell. The resultant mix exits the boat at the stern so downwind sailing, should we ever get any, coud be damp and smelly.
We have definately settled into a routine now; sailing, eating cooking ( Anthony) eating ( The rest of us) and reading. I'm reading about Bess of Hardwike, Andy, Ruyard Kipling Short Stories and Piers The Number One Ladies Detective Agency. Graham seems to have a complete set of somthing called the 'Owners Manual" which he reads feverishly in bursts before disappearing , usually under the florboards and usually with Anthony, to try and fix something. Occasionally he disappears into the 'engine room' donning first a very smart set of ships ear defenders. This yacht is so big we are thinking of making deck quoites for playing around on the foredeck. Graham seems less than gruntled at the idea of us cutting up one of his ropes for the purpose! Returning to the reading front the other two dont seem to but Piers is also trying, via an APP to identify some of the sea birds out here; ' well I dont know', 'maybe it could be', 'well I'm not sure'; we have to hope for the sake of the Island's children that his diagnostic skills are a little more surefooted.
Damp clothing ( I brought the wrong oil skins and might just as well not have them; they look nice but do not keep out the water), 30+ knot squalls and the location of a drill driven bilge pump to get out some of the rain water that courses down the mast at regular intervals continue to be the big concerns in an existence where concerns have become rather parochial. From the warmth of my bunk, during a howling horizontal rain squall last night, I distinctly heard Rory, who was on the wheel, complaining that he could not see where he was going ! Rory THERE IS NOTHING THERE! THIS IS NOT THE M 25!!He's old; one has to make allowances. I'm doing some measuring so that I can draw up locations for grab rails, a Stennah stair lift and a ramp. I'm also considering a planning application for a small house on the foredeck........wonder how big I could get away with?

Jo

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