We would love to find somewhere else to be

Thu 9 Feb 2006 14:19
Hi ,
We are still stuck on our parachute anchor waiting for even stronger winds
to come today and then to ease and change in our favour by sunday. It may
seem odd that we
are so much dominated by the weather and especially wind direction, but it
is impossible to row against the the wind strengths that we experiencing
which cause the waves soon to build up
into real gooduns. Some of thesize of waves we saw before lights out made us
a bit humbled, towering great things. Interesting, yesterday whilst Mick was
observibg our lack of progress on the GPS we noted with the sw wind our
track at about 0.2 kn was directly into the wind. We could only deduce that
this was the effect of the Canaries current which flows sw at about 0.5kn.

The para anchor which we deploy floats just under the water, held in place
by buoys and at present is about 50m infront which is about a wave to wave
length. The aim is to have the boat
and the anchor on crests and in troughs at the same time.
We are pretty much stuck here and it seems that we get the worst of the
weather at night too which is much more stressful, hoping the boat looks
after us and rehearsing what to do if it doesnt.
Content of grab bag is as follows.
Spare radio, sat phone, hand held GPS, compass, nuts and raisins,
water,torch, spare batteries,
passport, hand held flares. We also have a life raft which carries more
water, flares and is of course shelter. The laptop would be left behind so
we cant let that happen.
We are ready to get going but know that before we can progress we have to
endure this situation a little longer. It is only temporary.
Mick is outside at the moment watching waves notta lot else to do and
waiting for a brew I
promised him before i started writing this.We are in good heart together and
even sleeping in the small space have agreed that as long as our outside hip
is against the side of the boat we cant move over anymore. At times we have
even slept. I dont do sleeping anymore just listening.
Whenever anyone in these conditions does go outside we always wear a
lifejacket and a life line so we are always fastened to the boat. Not easy
when i visited the bathroom earlier today and in the lurching boat nearly
chucked it over the oars. That would have tested tempers! I'll read this to
Mick now and see if he wants to add anything but it will be done later as he
would have to take off all his waterproofs, life jacket and i would have to
do the opposite to make room for him. Looking forward to telling you about

Mick - thanks for for all the emails that keep coming in folks, sorry we
answer them all but they provide us with lots of encouragement, particularly
things are not in our favour as at the moment.

Sorry to hear of Grahams problems with Puffin, have a red wine with us this

Can't add at lot more to what Tim has stated so here's another a Life on the
Ocean Waves for you.

The boat - this is 24 foot long about 6 ft beam it is and is painted a very
smart blue and yellow colour. Constructed of marine plywood. It weighs about
500kg unloaded and about a 1000kg when fully loaded with ballast (150 litre
water) food, and equipment.

The is small cabin at aft which can accommodate the rowers, bit limited in
space and comfort though. There is a fore cabin which is used for equipment
storage. The boat is self righting by design by the action of ballast in
the keel keel the water referred to earlier and the air space afforded by
cabin, there the rub to maintain the self righting feature it's essential to
have the hatches closed which will simulatiously roasts and suffocates the
occupants! There must be as better way.

The boat is set with two rowing positions but we are only using one of them
the aft position which give us access to the foot steering mechanism from
the rowing position. We have three sets of oars long, medium and short we
are using the medium set. The sitting positions are on sliding seats Trying
to balance on these whilst the boat is bucking around by wave action takes
most out of the old bot. Both Tim and I have taken to spreading our legs
wider than the foot steering mechanism can accommodate in order to make
staying in contact with the seat easier and less painful. Sometimes not
using the sliding action in the roughest conditions.

Try ocean rowing at home, firstly mount your concept II roing machine on the
floor of a bouncey castle. Recruit half a dozen 5 year olds. You start
rowing and they start bouncing, its easy really.