20 May

Sat 20 May 2006 20:41
Mick Again
Last night was a strange affair the wind picked up from the north east and
blew with incredible ferocity. We had just recovered from the shock I
suppose of finding out that our boat had been holed by the shark. We were
creeping along with the wind howling arouind our ears. I knew from the way
the boat was moving that any extra water we were carrying in the bilges
though the lack of speed was puzzling. move on 1.5 hours and the same boat
in the same wind is creaming along at up to 2.3kn. Its something in the
water that's all I can say.

We have about 50nm miles to go and we have refined our approach to ensure
land fall. A waypoint has been selected on the southern tip of Antigua. This
will give us a track of 255 true. This is our finish point and effectively
deliniates the start of the Carribean. After reaching there we will travel
on 270 true for about 5nm before moving north to enter the harbour.

Tim and I have discussed how we wish to finish. We have decided that if all
possible we want to row unassisted into English Harbour and onto our
mooring. With family and friends meeting us at sea for the finish there is a
danger that we could loose our resolve and accept a tow. We have explained
this to Liz and Pat. I understand that Jonathan from the coast guard may
well provide his services to meet us therefore it is only fair to him that
he is aware in advance of our wishes.

Anyway there we were rowing along minding our own business when Cetlic
Challenger, an Irish oceanographic survey boat hove into view. They spotted
us from afar and came over to have a look at us. 'How you doing then.' 'Can
we give you anything?' Now believe or not the thing we were really short of
was coffee and sugar.' 'OK, thanks some coffee and sugar would be great.'
'Right we will put a pack to gether for you.'
The next thing we know we are hauling another fantasy hamper on board. Oh,
no fresh yoghurt, cold real milk, brie, fruit, biscuits, soup, fish, fresh
bread,coffee, sugar, etc, etc.

Lying there tucking into our ill gotten gains we were reminishing over some
of the incidents we would like to forget like the problems with the
watermaker. Tim commented that you must be really pleased, Mick that you
were able to sort the problems and keep it running. Yes, I agreed its
running like a train. No more than 5 minutes later it stopped unannounced.
Tim and I looked at each other blankly, as if to say 'oh no, what have we
done.' I've just checked it out, a broken wire in a terminal box, OK now,
phew, no more talk of watermakers please Tim.

Hi Tim here,
We can see land and we both think we saw it first. I saw it and mike
verified it but he then said he had already seen it when i was asleep.
Anyone who plays i saw the sea first as kids driving to a holiday will not
be fooled by that one. There were some in our car who could see the sea at
the end of our street. I wonder who?
I was just sitting at the back of the boat feeling a touch melancoly. How
can that be? The megraine is coming to an end. Its so surprising how
infectious a megraine can become. Probably our last night shift, the call
"Tim, 5 minutes" and out of the cosy sleeping bag and back to the rowing.
How can i miss that - but i will. I suppose because its because its a life
never lived before and probably never again. Is it going to leave a hole or
has it met a need.? Probably both. I have my new slippers bought but I'm not
yet convinced I'm ready yet to wear them.

Arrangements are being made for our finish as we estimate our ETA at the
finish line. It will be so good to see Liz, it has been such a long time.
The amazing thing is that we have spoken nearly every day and sent each
other emails. That has been so helpful to me. I would have really struggled
without these good communications. (Thanks Les!!!)

The sky line is growing in
size and the trip will soon be over. I hope that all the effort, pain,
hardwork and commitment has been worth it. I think thats where the melancoly
comes from. It has to be made .to have ben worthwhile.