Weds 3rd June

Wed 3 Jun 2020 04:48
26:58N 48:14W 3rd June at 0130 local= UTC-3 Sog5-6 Cog80. Anna and the Sensible Captain ashore both support going direct to Lanzarote, so we point that way under motor and mainsail in F1(moderating) and glassy seas. Horta remains an option, but isn't Plan A.
Concerns from the crew as the nav lights failed last night. Arg! We've got plenty of outside lighting, but this is the navigation red+green light at the front of the boat, to show other boats/ships which way we're going. See, at night, all sea-going boats (and all ships too) have a bright green light mounted so it shines out to the right hand side, and a bright red light to shine out towards the left (apart from Mojo last night, ahem). This helps all the boats/ships know in which direction the others are going - a red light means the vessel is coming at you from right to left, and you have to stop or give way, kinda like a road traffic light. A green light means the other boat/ship is going from left to right and THEY have to stop or give way while you carry on as normal through the green light, or that's the general idea anyway. Yes okay, the front of the boat is the "bows", the right hand side is the "starboard" side and the left hand side is "port" side, although using these special boaty words don't actually help explain anything very much, so I don't much fret about it and turning right or left is all fine on Mojo.
So anyway, last night we're gallivanting around the middle of the North Atlantic without the correct lights, and it's surely even MORE dangerous than it was before! Or is it? Do we really need the nav lights way out here that much? Is it a matter of dire urgency? Not really. We can illuminate the boat, we're very visible on radar, we have AIS, and no other ship or boat has yet been within 2 miles of us at night, which as far as I know is the range from which the nav lights strictly ought to be visible. Anyway I had a spare bulb, so tonight we'll have nav lights again. Another crisis averted, phew.
Anna decided to launch a message in a bottle in the afternoon. Very special message in a bottle from Mojo of course - she wrote an essay (in English) about the boat and the trip, contact info and even packed in some dollars for some beers for the Lucky Finder. Sauvignon Blanc bottle in case you want to look out for it, with blue tape and OPEN ME on the side. Yeah, no chance. Or maybe?
We might have played the appropriate bottle-messaging rock tune earlier, on the cockpit music which plays often and fairly LOUD on Mojo, provided that nobody is sleeping. Actually it's faded to play only in the cockpit, so hardly audible in sleeping cabins. I SAID, IT'S oh never mind.
A fab mate left a load of CDs on Mojo a while back, obviously bought from the REDUCED section, all of which include the words "Twenty" or "Golden" or "Greats" so the Stones bang out, Sam Cooke, Fleetwod Mac, Michael Jackson and all the rest.
Sam offered to give Ampi a break and cook his Special Chilli last night. Uh-oh. We normally eat evening meal at 6pm but Sam only started in the galley at 7pm. We'd moved the clocks forward and hour, so Fair Enough I suppose? On the other hand though, we had lunch on time at 1230, so yerknow, hum. Sam is new to the galley. Where's the onions? Is this how you turn the gas on? Oh heck. Tins tins and more tins appear.
After five minutes of this I called in the Emergency Services - Ampi helped him (i.e. cooked it) with Sam offering guidance, and Ampi doubtfully mixed a huge pan of multi-coloured stuff.
As we ate after sunset, Sam enthusiastically explained how he does this sort of cooking at His Place - makes a massive amount of (say) chilli and then no more cooking needed for the rest of the week, just heat up a bit as you go along, see? Sam is genuinely puzzled that the rest of us don't think this is a fabulous idea.
Ampi says she Knew Anyway about Sam's Dubious Cooking even before she got on the boat - his Whatsapp pic shows him sieving pasta through a tennis racket, which isn't a good sign. Actually, it's quite a bad sign, cooking-wise. Nor was it a good sign when Ampi said "3 cups of rice" and Sam asked - what size cup? Jeez! Ampi later said that it was at this point that she decided it would be best if she didn't leave Sam alone in the galley, ever.
But ultimately, Sam's Special was very tasty, and colourful too. But it's still a very good job that Ampi came along on this trip, else we'd probably still be eating our way through Sam's Massive Chilli for the next two weeks.
Calm weather at the moment. But how calm does it feel? It's calm enough to be like a house. We use glasses, normal crockery and nothing breaks. Or at least, no more than in a house. You don't get thrown around in the shower, and you hardly have to brace yourself in the galley, which isn't gimballed, because it's not needed. There are no cup-holders at the helm or anywhere. Even in 2metre swells you can walk around, albeit a touch wobbly and inaccurate at times. Put down a wine glass and it'll be there the next morning.
Catamarans (especially 60 ft catamarans I suppose) are stable and flat in this regard where monohull boats aren't so much, and sometimes aren't so much AT ALL. They kinda lurch all over the place (even that 57footer I has a while back) but are more Proper Boaty and more fun to sail in the Right Winds. But monohulls are not so easy to live with, and the Right Sea for a mono is not always This Sea, This Wind or This Anchorage where a passing speedboat can easily launch your drink or dinner on to the deck. So I reckon that if you plan to go sailing, get a monohull boat. But if you plan to live on a boat long term, perhaps get a catamaran. I've sailed the Atlantic once on a mono (that 57footer) and will try avoid doing it ever again; even though the wind was gentle, the boat lurched and leaned over thirty degrees over every downwind wave. By contrast, every time I sail an ocean on a catamaran I always find myself planning the next voyage, and usually quite soon.
Back over from Canaries to the Caribbean since you ask, later in 2020, probably before Christmas. I might go with the ARC, or maybe set off five minutes earlier with the big black pirate spinnaker to make the Double-Page Press Pic of the ARC Start (which they take from way up on the hillside above Las Palmas, Gran Canaria) look like a Dramatic Fleet Chasing The Pirate!
Sam says the Third Rule of Boating is You Gotta Get Video or at least Get Pix. The first and second rules of boating are of course Keep The Water Out and Don't Fall In.
In other news, Anna is now Reigning Champion of Nurdle Drurdle - stole it from Ampi ("I'm on fire!") who was on Set Point/Hand - then Anna won 5 out of the next 7 hands with her usual casual brilliance, dammit.