Simon Ridley
Tue 8 Jul 2008 21:36
50:22.N 3:34W
As the rest of the crew have now departed for destinations north I have been promoted to chief blogger.
Sunday brought with it families galore as one by one they assembled on Gertha to collect their loved ones. Once the farewells were over and done with it was back to work for us (or mostly for Simon) and a further 10 buckets of water were emptied from the bilge as the drying mission continued. Otto, who was such a valid companion across the Atlantic as he helped ensure that the crew's hectic sunbaking rotation schedule was rarely compromised was given open heart surgery after he went quiet as we approached England at the weekend. Unfortunately for him it was not a case of depression having seen England in the distance, but a rather more sad and serious problem: death. Yes, Otto has kicked the bucket. Apparently he was unable to cope as well as the rest of us with having copious quantities of water thrown at him and so a replacement has been arranged. Hopefully Otto the second will come aboard in Southampton this weekend.
Today we left Falmouth for Dartmouth, arriving conveniently in time for Gran's birthday tomorrow. I wonder who will be the favourite son and granddaughter this year?! Despite some early rain it was a most pleasant day and now it is dark I am beginning to recognise a strange sensation of the face. Sunburn. Several hours of sunshine have been welcome, although at no point was it warm enough to remove the thermals and Dad did find it quite exciting when he decided he was warm enough to take off one jumper. En route we found ourselves in the middle of the Royal Navy's midweek large scale game of battleships. It was slightly intimidating being surrounded by warships but not nearly as scary as it was when a fighter jet decided to play mast skimming with Gertha. You could almost see the glint in the pilot's eye as he flew within feet of us after appearing from nowhere. I screamed.
Sadly, I must report another death on board. One of the galley lights that had previously been such a committed and reliable member of the crew decided enough was enough. As I was playing the part of a Michelin star chef, carefully preparing a meal of heated tinned M&S chicken curry with rice (I'll have you one day Nigella) it decided to jump straight into the cooking pot for a reason only it will know. He may be resuscitated in the morning.
Tomorrow is supposed to be crap again so it's a good job we will mostly be sitting inside eating somewhere entertaining elderly relatives.