Day 7/8

Fri 14 Jan 2011 13:53
17:28.735N 48:08.948W
Distance so far  1449nm
Bruise count 14 
After the last blog, as forecast, we got wet, very wet. Not wet enough to clean Captain Syds' shirt, but then again he has been wearing it for what looks like 25years and I'm pretty sure it's never seen the inside of a washing machine.
So Wednesday was a day of mixed emotions. We made it to the half way mark by 1800 and in great time too-weather has been excellent for us, still the trade winds propel us along nicely and the days are mostly hot and sunny. The rain soon followed, and we realised that the Captain had taken a tactical duck downstairs to let Paul and Lisa get nicely soaked. As soon as the rain stopped Syd appeared from downstairs covered in oil and grease, looking more like a minor than a sailor, bringing us the latest news from the deepest darkest bowels of the boat: "We've got a small problem" he says...."what's that?" we ask. "The engine doesn't work!" Hmm, now i'm not sure, but I reckon we may just need to use the engine at some point, particularly during the docking at marinas bit. So watch this space, and take bets to see if Captain Syd can save the day or if we'll need to embarassingly call out someone to tow us into the harbour when we arrive.
Last 24 hours has seen some spectacular surfing. Managed to helm the boat up to 12.7 knots on the wave using wind created by growing squalls and we also matched Gaviotas previous record of 191nm. We're now into the second of 3 time changes, and as we approach the warmer seas the squalls will be getting wetter and windier, so the fun really starts here!
Now that we're in the middle of the Atlantic, and the squalls are starting to grow, I'm trying to find the words to describe what it is actually like on Gaviota. It feels like i'm the ball in a pinball machine. If people who had crossed the Atlantic before had been totally honest with me when I asked what kit to take, I think an industrial size tube of Arnaca and a sumo suit would be all I ever need. To prove my point I've been searching in the glove box and found Gaviotas handbook, so i'll copy an interesting section on how to go about using the toilets...ahem... Heads....sorry Captain.
1. Open door to Heads, stub toe on wooden door surround.
2. Close door, pulling it into face as boat heels
3. Open toilet seat. Let toilet seat slam back down on fingers when boat heels
4. Open valve from toilet to sea/tank squashing previously damaged finger between valve handle and boat
5. Do your toilet business. This opens up a whole other chapter, but believe me, once you've mastered this art, the cirque de Soleil may come knocking at your door after they've witnessed your acrobatic skills.
6. When boat violently moves port, then starboard, attempt to grab handrail, but failing that, smash face into cupboard, mirror and finally ceiling
7. Pump out toilet using the most complex system of dry/wet pump combination**
8.Clean up the horrific mess and dry yourself down
9. To use sink open sink valve (repeating process in 4) and crush skull repetedly on the horrifically placed cupboard.
10. Repeat steps 1&2 in reverse.
**this section requires the most able bodied seamen, as for prolonged periods your head will be below your knees inducing a stomach wrenching sickness that no fun fair on this planet can recreate.
So there we are, all summed up. In my next blog I may even copy the section entitled "How to make 3 cups of tea without dying."