16/17 Feb

Thu 16 Feb 2006 21:38
We are continuing to acquire skills in coping with wind and wave
relationships. The evening before last just after us saying in our last blog
that we both hated the nights. One of the reasons was all too obvious. That
night the wind picked up as had been usual, I called to Tim that I need help
with the steering to cope with the conditions. It soon turned into survival
rowing us hanging on until it blew itself out. I was getting more tired and
the weather not improving. In the end we took the decision to put out the
anchor and get below.That went really well, we have had lots of practice and
the weather which turned out to be a good gale was definitely not for
rowing. We awoke the next morning and attempted to continue only to find
ouit in the night that we had lost the shackle off the steering mechanism
whilst at anchor. Some repairs were carried out followed by on the move
improvements to the rudder mechanism to improve port and starboard travel.

The seats have continued to give problems and in a fit of desparation they
have all been confined to the forecabin and we are sitting comfortably on
the life raft. If it should inflate accidentally one of us will be launched
into orbit. Only danger is that we will end up as men with stick legs in
Antigua as we obviously have no sliding seat action.We will therefore have
to construct a gym in the vacant seat plot at the front of the boat to go
with our swimming pool.

Last days has been spent in effectively trying to get the best out a 'small'
confused sea.

Bad news we are using cooking gas much faster than expected therefore
tomorrow has been declared a no hot food day. you wouild think we would be
trying to make things better for ourselves.

Hi, Tim here. Sounds a bit hairy but our experience in the gale before
helped. Just a note about the lasst gale. We were rightly told the winds
would change in our favour on the Sunday. Mick and I were talking in "the
hutch" about Sunday being only a weekend away when we found out it was
Thursday not Friday. A definite low point.!!!!! If we have told you this
before sorry

Gas. Too little on board for the luxury cooking. If we run out I cant
imagine a whole week or more without a cooked meal so we have decided to
share the pain out a bit. Trouble is i am now a cup of tea fantasist, and
double d cup at that. I have an idea though. a black bag left out in the hot
sun (hoping) containing fresh water will produce a nice cup of luke warm
tea/coffee i'm sure. Something to help you on to your rowing shift. "If you
row continuously for 2 hours you can have a cup of off cold coffee at the
end. Nothing if its cloudy.

We have also given ourselves a talking toabout time wasting off rowing. 1
mile lost a day =100 miles = 3 days rowing. it could be lost through poor
change overs or too much chatting (me) or slow dressing for rowing. 2 miles
a day doesnt bear thinking about. So cleaner sharper change overs called by
the rower !! and not waiting for the one to come in.

The start of the night is rowing in the complete black as the moon hasnt yet
risen and the sea is impossiible to see, the waves just a black void
punctured by breaking waves and flashes of rogue waves at angles to the
others, their aim in life is to find a rower in a small boat and soak
him.The shadowb also make you "see" things that arent there. Yesterday I was
rowing on the edge of a wood with a aminroad clse by. These thoughts and the
fact we have 2 others on board who mess things around for us but never offer
to row (another story for another time)..

time for the post