Midnight Hallucination

Lars Alfredson
Fri 12 Feb 2021 08:21
Updated 00.30 hrs Thursday 11 February 2021
Oh my goodness I'm in trouble,
been told off by the Captains wife.
She says I should watch my "Bloody" P´s and Q´s
or she´ll edit my blog with a censor´s knife.
Well I´m really sorry Caroline,
about my reporting from the sea,
but I´m a simple sort of country boy,
with a limited vocabulary.
From now on I´ll try my very best,
to please you with my literary prose.
I know well the sting of a woman´s tongue
and I wouldn´t want a "bloody" nose.
BREAKING NEWS - S/Y Dawnbreaker and crew do what the Emperor Napoleon couldn´t do and have escaped the clutches of St Helena !!!
Do you remember that bit in the previous blog about how things don´t usually go to plan - Well yesterday was no different.
Our 140 GBP worth of provisions finally arrived at about 3 pm. These included 1 x SIM card with 200Mb of data, 5 x 6 packs of beer (Happy Kenneth), 2 x 5 litres water, 4kgs potatoes, 20 Onions, 2kg carrots, 2 kg Apples, 1 kg Grapes, 1 Pumpkin, 6 post cards (very happy Kenneth) and my fridge magnet - Hmmmm and people say the cost of living in Monaco is expensive.
Anyhow - now very excited to have the opportunity to get some "internetability", we cast off from our mooring and motored to the harbour entrance in order to pick up a phone signal. Now the fun really did start - for the sake of brevity can I just leave you imagining the 4 of us using 3 different mobile phones, driving our IT guru Nikolas to the verge of insanity, many messages to and from Harbour Control and then finally after 2 hours of much patience testing, the message that the Island´s mobile phone network was down for maintenance.
Never mind, our ever positive Captain then asked about taking on the water that we needed - "Sorry, the water station will not be open until tomorrow morning" was the reply.
WE all just shrugged our shoulders and laughed - the sun was shining, we`d had a chug round to the harbour, visited the redundant Passenger Terminal and even had the chance to wave and smile to "Ferry Services". When we got back to our mooring there was more good news for us - the chugging of "Hafsorkestern`s" engine indicted that Nikolas had successfully repaired his water maker (maybe he will sell some to us if we don`t get re supplied tomorrow)
Pre sunset Gin and Tonics were enjoyed and the ever wise Kenneth reminded us that we had just successfully re moored, so another G&T was called for.
We were also treated to the natural beauty of the Long Tailed Terns who nest on the nearby cliff face. It was very soothing, after the "SIM Card Frenzy", to watch them swooping across the skyline, chasing their mates and shrieking out with a strange, but very, pleasant call.
Then as if that wasn`t enough - the Spinner Dolphins came back to do their Sunset Show - Brilliant, I even called up the newly arrived Catamaran ("Maganda") people to give them the "heads up"
In the evening, under the cover of darkness, we "Entertained" again.
With the post meal coffees and liquors I served a selection of nice stuff including After Eights (even though it was only 7.30pm), Lidl pieces of White Chocolate and as a special treat I broke into the "Sailing Survival Kit" my wonderful mother had put together for me as a Christmas Present, and shared some "Kendal Mint Cake". Now according to my mum Kendal Mint Cake was responsible for helping Scott find the Antarctic and Sir Edmund Hilary to shin up Mt. Everest - so obviously this will help us all continue with a safe passage across the Atlantic.
With all the merriment finished and the washing up done - all had retired to bed by 9 pm. Unfortunately for me and my 6 hour max sleep cycle this meant being wide awake at 3am - never mind I used the time constructively to sort, collate and file my 4,000 plus photographs from 2020.
This morning saw us all up and about by 8am. A radio call from "Maganda" to borrow some tools then a slow chug across to the "Passenger Terminal" to await taking on water. Suddenly a shout from Kenneth "Manta Ray" and sure enough a 2 metre wide beauty was tailing our dinghy which we were towing behind.
Instantly "Crocodile Kalous", oblivious to the possibility of the shark which Nikolas claims to have seen or what caused the demise of Steve Irwin in Jeremy`s homeland, had leapt into the water for a closer look. I don´t know what was more jaw dropping - the beautiful Manta or Jeremy struggling not to lose his swim shorts.
We arrived outside the harbour entrance and then set about trying to get the VERY EXPENSIVE SIM Card to work - OMG ..... all I can say is "Thank You" 100 times over to the lovely Sinaed and Penny in Customer Services - honestly 45 minutes of dealing with me, those ladies deserve medals. Anyhow I finally got some "Internetability" for Dawnbreaker and in less time than it takes to say "200Mb of data isn`t very much for 4 people who have had no internet connection for nearly 2 weeks" - It was all used up. Never mind, I managed to get the final docs email off to Sgt Cyndi and send a message to my Kendal Mint Cake supplier.
We finally got tied up and took on water at about 11 am, Harbour Control Carl issued us with our clearance papers and I even got him to check and validate the Covid 19 monitoring log I have been keeping since joining the boat.
Additional news from Carl was that `WE`, the crew of Dawnbreaker, have been included in the "St Helena 2021 Census" which was taken on Sunday night. I am not sure that the addition of 4 souls to the Island population will have any great effect but it could cause a statistical anomaly.
Woo Hoo - Mid day, engine running, course set at 313 degrees and StHelena is starting to get smaller as we head towards Ascension Island.
The wind started to pick up after about an hour and a half, so Jeremy and I raised the main and  unfurled our No.1 Genoa.
Engine off, Silence and 6.4 kts through the water. The only thing missing was Rod Stewart singing "We are Sailing" in the background.
The day has progressed well. I am doing a full night watch again and when I took over from Capt Lars at midnight I have found that we have had to trim our course to about 300 degrees in order to make best use of the wind which has dropped to about 10 kts. With the time now at 2 am, the wind has shifted very slightly and I have just taken off another couple of degrees to stop the main from backing and lift our speed to a spirit sapping 4.5 kts.
Final Update  07.10 am. Strange events tonight ....
Wind picked up at about 3  am and speed upped to a more respectable 5.5 to 6 kts.
Just after 4 am I saw a strange light low in the sky on port side. Appeared to be flashing White, Green, Red and an occasional blue hue. I dismissed my initial thoughts that it was some huge Volvo Round the World Race yacht and was left with ..... Drunk? - Absolutely not. Hallucinating? - Don`t think so. Overly tired? - Again don`t think so. Low orbit satellite? - Hmmm.
Anyhow before I could resolve that conundrum I became aware of strange noises around the boat - lots of splashing and an occasional hiss - OMG, I am going mad ! I grabbed the spot light and was amazed to see hundreds of fish leaping out of the water on both sides and I then caught a glimpse of a large dark shape, a spurt of water and that hissing noise again - Ah haa ...... a small Whale or Dolphin after an early morning breakfast methinks.
So how was that Caroline - Not a `B` word anywhere.
Happy Daze readers - Stay Safe and look out for your friends.
Deck Hand Pete.