At Sea - Week Two
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 2 Jun 2013 12:00
Week Two at Sea en Route to the Gambier Islands
Day Eight. Monday the 27th of May.
Midday Position: 10:41.01 South and 107:17.80 West.
Miles covered: 119
As Bear predicted, I put the bockers on the wind which instantly dropped as soon as I loaded last weeks blog. The skipper spent quite a bit of his six till ten duty adjusting Happy Hydrovane – such a chore performed whilst in a semi-recumbent position, listening to Dan Brown’s Inferno, gently tweaking Happy’s guide string........... Did you have to be so honest.......you could have bigged that up, used words like slaving and struggling. Yes dear.
Bandage necessary to stop clonking of kicker strap against boom rod. No, to prevent First Mate detaching and casting into the deep.
We ate tuna steak, scalloped potatoes, whole baby corn, mushrooms and diced tomatoes. Producing empty tins has become a delight to Bear. Out comes the can crusher and with great gusto and a cheesy grin, success and the rinsed and flattened results enter the bin. I made a bold decision with this in mind - if the skipper worked in McDonald’s he would have one star for being the captain, one for his new role as dedicated second chef and a third for being the SSSCC (Ships Supervisory Special Can Crusher - very Criminal Minds). I feel three stars is quite sufficient as more would stop him striving for the other two.....Standards high, needs hungry. Huh.
Midday Position: 12:01.87 South and 109:06.30 West.
Miles covered: 133
I leapt up to a feeling of domesticity, Oh Heavens. By mid day I had cut the captains hair and beard, prepped for roast chicken dinner and done a bit of washing, not bad for two hours. Not to be outdone, I did my chafe round, made some water, charged everything up and felt the need to beat the DG (domestic goddess) at backgammon. Huh. The home made spirit level and padding to ensure the men and die don’t abandon ship. A lively game, in more than one way.
One o’clock we had our first proper squall, forty minutes later it passed and took ALL the wind with it. We motored for an hour and a half and soon found some more, at sunset the main came down, the genoa out on port tack and we were zipping along once more.
Midday Position: 12:32.17 South and 110:49.37 West.
Miles covered: 103
At three this morning I saw the genoa hooked on the upper spreader. Once free I saw a little tear on the sacrificial strip, Hmmmm. Wound in, motor on, not happy to continue with it until I get the skipper to inspect in daylight. Later Bear said it would be fine in normal winds but we would have to keep an eye out in light stuff. Curried tuna on savoury noodles. Our least miles covered so far but we have always held to anything over a hundred miles is a winner.
Bear went very unique this afternoon. He filled his rack, couldn’t lay the starting thirty points and carried on until he had four full rows, meanwhile all I had left was a pair of red thirteens and a smiley face (joker), Huh.
Midday Position: 13:26.42 South and 113:01.92 West.
Miles covered: 141
Bear woke me for my shift with the happy words HALF WAY THERE, (According to his IPad plug-in Bad Elf GPS dongle) Yeeeeeha.
My 02:00 to 06:00 duty was the best fun, my favourite means of bowling along, just the genoa out (front thingy) and virtually downwind sailing. I stand holding on to the pram hood, one ear listening to all my favourite songs, feeling the big waves behind scoop us up on the surf, break beyond and to the right of Beez, then watch the white horse disappear only to begin again a few seconds later. Six o’clock was dark so today we once again put the clock back an hour at mid day.
Backgammon late morning was called only just, with a few occasions when men had to be held in place.
Question from the Captain. Are you OK for the next ten days or so ??
Options: Get me airlifted off under some false emergency. No.
Turn back to retrace the eleven days we have just done – against the wind. No.
Spend a few months driving round in circles for the heck of it. No.
Words like pillock and others muttered under breath.
See the warning signs.
Have you ever seen anyone beat a person with a dead flying fish before (and boy, the smell is awesome).
Run Smelly Bear, Run. Oh
Instead of quitting at this point he next pipes up - Oh look, there’s an albatross. Just as well I didn’t break my neck getting the big camera out – for a brown booby. Oh.
Have you ever seen anyone go banshee with a Rummikub rack.
Hide Bear, hide.
I thought he fully deserved what happened next. Bear had filled his rack and still couldn’t go – he collected another two tiles by which time I had gone out leaving Bear owing me one hundred and eighty three dollars. All too much he had to lay in his cockpit nest to get over this sorry business – and expensive. Grrrrrr. Chicken salad, tinned beetroot and the statutory dollop of mash put him back to rights. Huh.
Bear was snoring in his cockpit nest when I felt sure I saw a little glow on the horizon - off at one on the clock face. The glow continued for ages and eventually I saw a light, then more, including his port light. A quick look at the AIS (Automatic Identification System) and I could see the chap had a number but no name, shame. He was going due south and by the time I came back for my next watch Bear had seen him off. Shame.
Midday Position: 14:36.12 South and 115:08.09 West.
Miles covered: 142
All well on my two till six until at just before five a big flying fish slapped the pram hood and startled both him and me. I could smell him and could hear him flapping about, nothing for it but to put the red torch on and seek out this high seas adventurer. Picked up unceremoniously by the tail and cast back, what to do with my two stinky fingers – I know I’ll pour a little of my pineapple juice – sorted.
I come in duty at ten to find Bear slaving (there I used the word for you – thank you but does it have the same impact ??? yes dear) over his French Dictionary. How’s it going I ask. Oh I think after a year of Spanish it is going to be a messy Spanglench, rather than Spanglish. Oh that good le capitaine.
In the evening after chicken in cream sauce for me and seafood paella for the skipper, Bear and I spotted two tropicbirds complete with their lovely long white tails with quite a bit of squawking. No good offering them a bed for the night on the solar panel as they are quite bad at landing on their knee-less legs. Still it was a nice fly past while it lasted. So surprised at seeing them we had to check in the book – very highly pelagic bird, OK always a welcome sight.
Day Thirteen. Saturday the 1st of June.
Midday Position: 15:36.92 South and 117:10.84 West.
Miles covered: 134
This morning water making, showers and a quick once over our t-shirts and knickers. Bear finished listening to Dan Brown’s Inferno and I have got stuck in to Bill Bryson’s At Home, which is incredibly interesting.
Liver and Onions with yes, you guessed mash and as a treat for Bear he had mushy peas.........you know the wind has dropped.............I’ll leave it there.
Day Fourteen. Sunday the 2nd of June
Midday Position:16:36.27 South and 118:41.12 West.
Miles covered: 106
Bear tucked into beef casserole and frijoles, far too soon after my Frosties for me to join in, maybe later.
Comments on the week:
I still think it looks off to see the plough upside down at a jaunty angle, but once this week I woke Bear from his nest to point out the fifth star on the Southern Cross, such a rare occurrence.
Two thirds of the way there, now the wind has all but disappeared. Not a bad thing as this may allow the predicted storm on Thursday to pass south of us and rain itself out.
I think it makes a nice change to be going slowly – for a day or so. After five days of just the genoa (front, white, flappy thing) Bear has just said he wants to try with the main up. We could just look like real sailors. Steady Mrs.
TOTALS FOR THE WEEK:
Backgammon: BB 4 – Me 4. The Bear thinks he is fighting back.
Rummikub: BB 45 – Me 59. My $766 up from last week may look like a shining success, but, I was more than affronted when two pages (in the nasty little record book) on the trot, Bear beat me ten nine, not appropriate or seemly. Huh, seems fine to me. This weeks average winnings for me at $109 per day makes up for my chagrin, or as Del Boy would say “A nice lit-aul earner – Double Huh.
Miles: 878 – less than last week but it has still gone quickly. Bear’s dongle says 1003 miles to go.
Beez Neez is indeed Queen of the Seas.
ALL IN ALL HAPPY ON THE GOOD SHIP BEEZ
STILL SEEMED A SPEEDY WEEK