Anyone seen locusts ?
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 23 Jan 2009 15:19
Anyone seen locusts ???
The second I had pressed send on the week one blog than things changed - and boy did they change.
1. DAMAGE - Last shift of the day for Bear, a massive wave made the DVD player fly, but land badly on the cockpit floor. DEAD. Only good thing since blog sent is to reach 40 degrees west.
2. FIRE RISK - Saturday 07:25. I'm supposed to be in my best sleep - almighty noise behind my head ( I'm on the floor bed ). Took a couple of seconds to work out what the noise was. Bow thruster is thrusting its nuts off. I shout through to skipper "Bow thruster on" he looked at console - No it's not.
3. PUNCH UP RISK. Now I am up like a Leviathan from the deep. Got to get to cockpit to steer, so skipper can go find an OFF switch, on route I held the office door frame and Bear shut three fingers in the door.
I have to shove them under a cold tap, wrap them in a wet tissue and soldier on to steer. Now looking out from "stop speeding train eyes", I am dressed in pants and vest and if anyone had seen me they would have sunk or immediately been turned to stone. Now is the likely time for a punch up.
Settled feathers, I'm back to bed.
4. DROWNING RISK. The loads of suicidal flying fish can be upsetting, one was clearly alive as it bounced back to within reach Bear got a 'Christian Attitude' come upon him. As he leant out of the cockpit an almighty wave made him disappear from sight. 'Christian Attitude' left him in a split second. Sod the fish, I'm soaked from head to toe and could have been washed overboard.
5. BLINDING RISK. Sitting minding my own business drinking a cup of tea. An almighty crack, it was a flying fish come in through the back of the gazebo, smashed into the pram hood above my head and landed next to me, it could have taken my right eye out. I picked him up and chucked him back. He was fine I was left un-nerved.
Miles per 24 hours, per day. 152, 153, 151, 140, 151, 122 and 110. Total 1889 done, 310 to go, should therefore arrive Monday. After the first four days of this week it is nice to end on a quiet sea, low winds as it makes a change from living in a washing machine.
6. FLOOD RISK. The shower mat that we use sits on the floor of our bedroom, outside the bathroom door. Bear found it soaked - sea water ????? Investigation led skipper to find bow thruster leak. Everything had to come out of his potting shed, plus three foul buckets of soup-coloured, smelly water. Much cleaning to do when we get in. First time at sea I have thought "Bloody Hell what next". Couldn't face cooking so Bear did us tinned macaroni cheese, spirits lifting.
7. LOSS. My best tuna yet. four foot long with a beautiful golden body and an aquamarine top band. Bringing him in I had to steer him around the Duo-gen, he gave one look at the awaiting bill-hook and thought "NO" - snapped all his power into a sharp right and Stage Exeunt.
8. RECOVERY. DVD player has done a "Lazarus".
Sunday - squalls are always short lived. NO. I had one for my full four hour watch and got wet to my gusset. Little blob appeared on AIS and I thought "wow", signs of life form. Disappeared almost instantly - BALLS to Maria S Merien, I didn't want to see you anyway.
Monday. Things feel a little better, DVD player is temperamental to say the least. Moments of hot sun, bring a beauty to the sea, but then it rains. Took the decision to turn south for a change of course and to eat some longitude, stunning rainbow, became double then went in the next downpour.
9. FAMINE RISK. Not with our supplies, plus the readiness to throw a "bit of rooty" together.
10. SCHIZOPHRENIA RISK. Lack of sleep, disturbed sleep and a creaking cupboard has left me parting the snakes on my head and threatening anything that looks at me.
11. BROKEN LEG RISK. Bear was thrown off his perch opposite me and landed full weight on my outstretched shins ( my brace position ), higher and he would have snapped my knees backward. Instead of leaping off me, he looked me in the eye and asked, Are you OK. "I would be much better if you got off".
How many places are there to hide on a 40 foot yacht.
Pity Bear, Pity.
Now my pen won't retract, salt I suppose.
Thursday 22nd, actually saw another vessel, V.K. Eddie. My first sign of human life in two weeks.
You should see my wash pile Mrs. Woo. Everything that can be sticky is and what isn't tastes of leaked dehumidifier crystals.
On a positive note, each day the light shift hours go very quickly. The night hours go past at quite a pace. I have hair back as the snakes have left. At no point have I thought "this is grim".
The Duo-gen has proved to be an incredible bit of kit supplying 90% of the electric power we need in towed position - depending on boat speed. ( Pepe won't put up with the fans whistling on wind generation )Unfortunately day three this week, the pin connecting the propeller to the drive shaft disappeared into the deep blue. Fortunately repaired with an old-fashioned nut and bolt, was quite a straight forward operation, with the help of my beautiful assistant ( no hissing hair ) "STEADY".
Bow thruster is clearly a major hiccough as only the propeller end is supposed to be in salt water. Whether the electric motor and controls will ever recover from the immersion in sea water is distinctly dubious. However - as the leak is quite slow, I do not feel inclined to do much 'fiddling' in case I make things worse and my slight trickle becomes a torrent. Not now Pepes snakes have gone and I feel I don't have to keep hiding. I suck out about a litre or less a day from the sealed well the thruster is situated.
The seas have been kind as they have been following, the winds perfect and as predicted. However, the erratic but constant occurrence of big side-swiping waves is very tiring and produces great bruises. You should see Pepes right lower cheek, worthy of a photo, ( blog when we get in ) You can leave my arse out of it !!
Having to brace and hold on with one hand makes the simplest of chores take so much longer. A pee ten minutes. A shower half an hour. Making a cup of tea ditto. Which makes me marvel all the more at the production of full meals from my galley slave.
This time my all in all comment reflects what Jump Jet and I always say. "All things must pass" or in extreme circumstances "All things must surely come to pass"
Anyone seen any locusts.