So, what have the crew of Cape been up to during the deafening blog silence of the
last couple of weeks?
Laura (Lawrence’s girlfriend) joined the barmy boat
bums here in Crosshaven for 10 days of rest and relaxation (ha!).
Laura and the barmy boat bums.
David entered the spear gun
Big white hunter keeping head low so not spotted
from Royal Cork Clubhouse. Big white hunter 2: Royal mullet 0.
We discovered a good beach within walking
Church Bay – our new
We picked periwinkles – and then cooked and ate
them in true Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall style. I have to say that a simmering
pan of periwinkles, stock and mixed herbs looks suspiciously like boiling up the
contents of a rock pool. They tasted pretty good (if a little gritty), with
vinegar and a twist of black pepper.
The perils of periwinkles…yum, yum!
The boys caught the first mackerel of the season
and we BBQ’d them over a driftwood fire on the beach. Having survived the
periwinkles, we braved limpets simmered gently in their own juice. I have to
report that they tasted like fishy elastic bands, but if we are ever
The first mackerel of the
David BBQing his limpets on the
Wood (of Celtic Challenge fame) and her
fella, Mark, joined us for lots of booze, sausages, mackerel and basking shark
More mackerel on the beach with Laura,
Jennie and Mark.
Two basking sharks spent a couple of hours in the
bay, and David and Lawrence – after exchanging nervous looks and
some false bravado – snorkelled out to swim with them. After spending 10 minutes
or so bobbing around nervously looking for the trademark dorsal triangles,
humming the theme tune from Jaws to
each other (and getting even more nervous when they couldn’t see the fins), they
convinced themselves that they really were Basking Sharks and not Great Whites.
Apparently they had the “Well, it’s been nice knowing you and sailing with you,
mate…” conversation before striking out to confront the Beast of Church Bay. I think it was just
that they had an audience watching from the rocks, so they didn’t want to lose
face by coming in without have a closer look!
Was it worth it? You bet it was! They got within
1.5 metres of the shark as it swam past, and they stared down into its massive
jaws sucking in plankton! The boys then swam back nonchalantly as if this was
the sort of thing they did every time they went to the beach.
Spot the shark competition…
The boys continue to plug every suspicious hole,
nook, cranny and crack on the deck. Today they tackled the hatch that we think
was responsible for the whole ‘Bailing Incident’. We’ve been getting updates on
the Aber rowing results and activities. It sounds like the Aber mixed team (the
one with Helena coxing) had a ‘Bailing
Incident’ too. Hope you’ve found your leak…
Here in the calm waters of the Owenabue River, I have had time to reflect on our
‘Bailing Incident’. We did take on quite a lot of water from Neyland to
Crosshaven, mainly when I was on watch doing a scientific test of whether
heading directly into the waves did the damage. I could fill the bilges from
below the keel bolts to overflowing the cabin sole in 15 minutes. Once I altered
course north to take the waves just on our quarter – Helmut the Autopilot wasn't
very impressed when I told him to stop navigating to the waypoint and flashed at
me (he beeped as well apparently, but I couldn't hear 'cos of the engine noise)
– but at least the water stopped coming in. I have to say that it's the warmest
passage I have ever made. Bailing out every 15 minutes certainly keeps you warm
(dual purpose too, as I plotted our position every other bailing session while I
was down there) – I didn't have to resort to a hot water bottle down my oilies
once! It is interesting to see that our course on the blog map shows the
Sunset over the Owenabue River from our mooring at the
Jackie (of Mymax and astrology fame) says that us
being in Ireland has reminded
her of the Eurovision song contest (the link must be the lilting tones of a
pickled Terry Wogan) and has sent the results from the Mymax jury on the
performance of the Cape crew so
points to Lawrence – Mullet King of Cape (he
would have been higher in the rankings but for his recent defeat – the fishy
points have to go to Sarah – for bailing performance with the Lakeland baby bucket
(Jackie says that she could see the video footage becoming a workout DVD for
points go to Bryn and Bethany – for sleeping through the all of the
points go to Dave – for naming the Autopilot ‘Helmut’.
This brings me to the warning that we have
received for giving names to objects, and the dodgy mental state that this
exposes. Jackie and Stu (Mymax) know about this because they do it all of the
time apparently…I quote from recent e-mail from them, “Our car is called Rosie,
our dishwasher is aptly named big Bertha, and the outboard for the dinghy is
known as Mr Johnson....” Need I go on?
And our plans for the coming week or so?
Bethany and Bryn have been signed up for dinghy
sailing course – hopefully they can then teach us how to sail our dinghy. With
any luck our new sail will arrive by the end of the week, and if I can finish
off my project, we’ll be looking for a weather window to test the leaks in
On a final note for this blog entry, David and
Lawrence insisted that I include this photo so that you should all be made aware
of the dangers of blogging and what it does to you. I should explain that the
head torch is so that I can see the keyboard because the boys want ‘Alien 3’ on
and the lights off. The large vodka and Coke is needed to help the blog flow…