beside the seaside 43:43.60N 010:32.00W

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Oh I do like to be beside the sea
Oh I do like to stroll along the prom,prom,prom
Where the brass band plays diddly om pom pom
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Oh I do like to be beside the sea
And it's Lady C for me
And the sea's the place to be beside the seaside
Beside the sea.
 
The stupid things that run through your mind in the middle of the night
 
GoodMorning, It's 11.00 am and I'm getting towards the end of my watch,it's the first of the day watches which I started @ 9 and goes on till 12 I'm sitting in the cockpit having just ravenously devoured a huge bucket full of crunchy nut cornflakes, Tristan & Gaynor are both asleep and unaware of the transformation that has just totally changed the weather.   As I look to my left I can see the ravaged surface of the water which has been whisked into a fury by the storm force winds of the last 14 hours.  It looks as though the sun, which is beating down strongly from a now clear blue sky, is trying to pacify it by floating a brilliantly sparkling platinum coating over the ruffles on it's surface.     The waves are still big but they are dropping, to my right  I can see a totally different sea which is deep indigo blue with white horses on the breaking crests, such magic can never be described.  In front of me is Lady C our beautiful ketch, 14 tons of timber formed and  held together by copper rivets into  a machine to survive in the waters we have just come through.    The weather we saw yesterday stayed ahead of us for most of the day and we had a fine day, Tristan, no longer able to stand himself rigged an impromptu shower screen up by the mast and had a complete shower, he did smell good afterwards.   We passed a very pleasant day and made slow progress.   At around 1800 the wind strengthened and we started making good speed of around 6 knots with full sails up.Gaynor took the first night watch starting @ 2100 (2 hours) and when she woke me @ 2300 she was concerned that conditions were deteriorating.
We put the 2 fore sails away and started the engine to put the boat head into the wind and I went up on deck to reduce the main. Back in the cockpit we let out a very small amount of the  inner foresail and switched the engine off,silence again.  By now we were going like a train (albeit a very slow one) and the sea was getting very lumpy.This carried on all night and made for uncomfortable conditions below. For anyone who has never tried to sleep on a small boat in a storm I could only say that it is a constant and relentless series of movements in every direction with considerable force accompanied by lots of creaking,banging and whistling noises. We rigged up the leecloths on the port bunk which we hadn't needed previously.My watches from 2300 - 0100 and 0500 - 0700 were intense but I felt comfortable with the conditions for the rig we had up and we progressed at between 6 & 7 knots.  Very large waves were coming up behind us on the port 1/4 and it felt like Lady C was almost playing with them the way a matador plays with a bull.  As they towered up towards us ,they looked huge and quite a bit higher than the boat, as they reached our stern she just lifted her posterior in a very ladylike manner and the charging monster was dispatched underneath us to emerge on the other side, bruised from a 14 ton body slam, with a frothing roar of seeming disappointment that it hadn't managed to swamp us, before striding of to seek another victim.   During my second stint below, trying desperately to get some sleep I looked up to see Tristan framed in the companionway(entrance to the cockpit at the top of the steps from the saloon) he had a grin from ear to ear and was threatening to lock Gaynor and I in the saloon so he could have all the helming, he was loving it!  We have a good ship here and we all get on so well which isn't always easy when you eat sleep and everything else in a very small space,Tristan has been great and is a real asset and Gaynor? well she's Gaynor isn't she - by the way she is threatening to write a blog, I wonder if it will be like her texts?   Sorry to report that we are down to our last 5 eggs and we're all distraught, trying to think of what we can do with the last ones, we've had them in all shapes and forms with the exception of coddled eggs and I'm not too sure we really know what they are.  My concern is if we would have to rely on Tristan catching us a cod in order to secure all the ingredients.  The boy is possessed and the day before yesterday I caught him putting Branston pickle on his hooks - desperate?!! I will try and send a picture with the latest addition to his fishing line.  Thanks for the fishing tips Robin he weighted the line yesterday - with 1/2 a kilo of my fluxed solder, Oh and for night time do you mean strips of balsa wood?  Alex you poor thing,those mojitos sounded terrible, and I totally disapprove of the consumption of any alcohol whatsoever Lady C is , on this passage at least, a totally dry ship.       Zara, Zara,Zara I can't believe it, there I am desperately trying to apologise to you for the terrible way I've treated you and spellcheck makes it seem like I don't even know your name - I 'ave shamed myself can you ever find it in your heart to forgive me? Hope you enjoy your break & your new offices on your return.  You could never have this much fun in a plane  The rest of the crew have come out to play now,Gaynor is eating a bowl of Muesli and you'll never guess what Tristans doing - fixing his line up for another totally fruitless (and fishless) day of fishing.  Today has the makings of a beautiful day and we're set to much up some distance too which will be nice!   Apparently we covered 110 miles yesterday - impressed? Lots of love from the crew of Lady C xx 

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