Grey Skies

Simon Ridley
Tue 10 Jun 2014 08:04
LAT 42.23 N LON 17.08 W
Last night the wind changed, as expected, and we managed to get up the asymmetric for a short burst, before she began clattering around. It’s always good for Em and I to put sails up and down though. Gradually we’re figuring out what goes where and what pulls what. Off I went to bed at midnight, leaving Simon struggling to find any wind for Gertha to play with. Spirits were high, though, as we’d been treated to a short spell of sunshine.
This morning I was up at six for my shift. Up the steps I went into a close, damp, grey sky.

“We’re definitely getting closer to England.” Emma said.
Everything is sodden. It’s cold and visibility isn’t great. But that’s nothing that some fried potatoes, buttered bread and hot coffee can’t dry out.
It feels very different, here, to the seas we’ve been sailing in before. The water is now a dull grey, and we’ve not seen dolphins (or much else, really) for quite some time. We’ve birds for company each day though. There’s one little lady who is tiny and all black but for the white V on her tail, who I love to watch swiping and ducking in the wind. It’s incredible to me how such a delicate little thing can handle such wind, being swept back and fluttering in what at first seems to be uncontrolled flits and starts in the wind, like some petal in rushing traffic. But really she has more control than us humans could ever hope to have in the wind. Our little friends live on the wind, and the wing, and don’t have a warm bunk or oven to ease their passage.
We’re so close to home now. It’s strange to think about. Emma and I are ever so grateful that we’ve been able to get back this way, by sail and wind. I think of our benefactors all the time, and wonder what they’re all doing and if they can have any idea how meaningful an experience they’ve given us. Simon, too. Without him we’d likely have had to look at flying home(not an easy or desirable option for moneyless travellers, and it wouldn’t have felt in the spirit of the adventure, nor appropriate to crowd fund). It can’t be easy skippering novices all the time, and for what he’s taught us we are just as grateful as to the others who have helped.
Mustn’t ramble on too much as I’ve left Emma sponging up the grey on deck whilst she’s supposed to be on standby, reading about permaculture in the warm saloon.
Bye for now,