19 May - See Stop Press Shark Attack at end of Blog

Fri 19 May 2006 23:28
Hi Mick Again

We have had a very productive night and an excellent morning the forecast
east winds has materialised and is producing some impressive speeds. At one
point I was hurtling along at a wind driven 2.7 kn. Probably as fast as we
have ever gone. A more modest 1.6kn is being maintained. I'II say no more in
case something changes. We are heading in a direction directly south of
Antigua. We are adopting this approach in order to ensure that any adverse
shift in the wind direction to the dreaded south is unlikely to affect a
direct landfall in Antigua.

Hi Tim again.

This was sent to me by my big brother as he said it reminded him of someone.
What do you think? Its a good job I'not musical - well not yet antway!!!!!!!

This month, conservationists were clearing debris and misleading cairns
from the top of Ben Nevis, and beneath one pile of stones they found a
piano. They wondered whether it had come from a helicopter, or been
dropped by a tornado, but yesterday it emerged that it had been carried
there by one man as a charity stunt 35 years ago.

Kenneth Campbell, a wood cutter from Ardgay and now aged 64, was possessed
by the idea of carrying a piano to the top of the mountain, although the
task nearly killed him. He started with a 350lb piano strapped to his
back, and climbed to 1000 feet, but it was too heavy and he fell 100 feet
from a ridge and the piano shattered. Next month he tried again with an
organ which weighed 250lb, and got to 1,400 feet before he tore a muscle
and had to give up.

One month later he strapped another piano to his back, weighing 226lb, and
this time he made the summit whereupon he sat down and played Scotland the
Brave. He said, "I'm not much of a pianist, but I can manage that one."
Exhausted from the feat, he stumbled back down the mountain, and was able
to present a cheque to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

Apparently he was criticised for littering the summit, so he went back up
and buried the piano with stones. It was right beside the footpath, and
120,000 visitors every year must have walked past and not seen the hidden
piano. Strange but true.

When I started the trip I had met Mick for about a weekend in total and the
time we had together in La Gomera. That was taken up it the mad rush to get
everything in place, fixed and ready for sea. There was no chance to
evaluate our relationship and how that would be tested in all the challenges
during the voyage. I remember being asked about this and said that "Randolf
Feines on all his expeditions would never have gone with a friend but with
someone with a shared goal". I didnt really know what that meant until now.
Mick and myself are completely different. Mick is methodical, practical,
kind, tough, straight, full of endurance and grit. Never shirks a row,
complains about his lot,. mentions his sore bits, or moans about me and my
performances. He is a completely fantastic bloke. Are we friends for life?
I'm not sure. We are so different, look at problems from a differnet
perspective and at time have been known to bicker. I could make a negative
list and I'm sure so could Mick. But for what benefit. Somehow we have
created success from very little - a boat and a dream. The decisions we have
made along the way, however reached were good ones and we are achieving
success. Time will tell if we become friends. Respect, understanding and a
shared "lifetime" will always be there. I hope the friendship will be there
too but but the ingedient of dry land is needed to make that happen. Thanks

Mick again

Just when we thought it was safe to go in water!

Tim saw a fin next to the boat, he called me, I missed it, but next thing
there was a wood splintering crash under my feet. Tim reckoned the fish was
4 m long

Suprisingly, we didn't imagine we were holed until we heard water slopping
about in the bilges when we having tea.

There is a hole through the outer skin of the boat below the tool box area.
There is also a further hole into the tool box area. Diam of both holes is
about 2.5cm. Water is up to level of outside water in the tool box area .
The boat is not sinking and the boat stability is not compromised. The low
level bilge area throughout the boat is flooded but there is no water in any
other area.

The coast guard has been informed as a precautionary measure but no action
has been requested. In the unlikely event that the boat should sink we have
a four man life raft. Sea conditions are not rough. We are back rowing and
hope to finish as normal.

More news tomorrow