Penguins and chicken soup 42:39.78 010:50.70

Good morning and I hope this blog finds you well - Thanks for your comments on the blog we're thrilled that you're enjoying it and we're loving having you on board our mini cruise - part one of a two stage trip to the Caribbean.   Our plan is to leave Lady C in Gran Canaria until the end of November and then head for the sun on the other side of he Atlantic.  It's just gone 0300 and I have just roused Tristan from his slumbers, It always looks so warm and snug below as we have a red light over the chart table which means you can go below to plot positions and write up the log without losing your nightvision and can see into the dark when you come back into the cockpit.   Gaynor very kindly let me sleep for an extra hour as I was dog tired after the activities during the storms so I thought you might like to sample the delights of a night watch.We start off by making the person who is coming on watch a hot drink,Tristan says he hated having to get Gaynor up by saying "It;s your watch Auntie Gaynor" as she always looked so tired so it's easier to say "I've made you a cup of tea" Oh yes  Penguins and chickens, don't worry its not some sort of culinary catastrophie dreamt up by Gaynor after drinking too much sea water it's Tristans penchant for a cuppa soup at any time of the night.   In last night's particularly challenging environment I set about preparing him a steaming cup of chicken soup, the contents of the packet were eventually placed inside the cup but before I could get the hot  water in it the entire episode took off vertically from the galley and flew past my ear,I don't know but I reckon that once a chicken has reached the packet soup stage it's flying days should be well and truly over. And so to the penguins, we have a comfort box which is out in the cockpit for the lonely souls who have to endure the harsh rigors of a night watch, Wrenched from your cosy warm bunk where you have enjoyed the sweet dreams invoked by the gentle rocking of the ship together with the soporific sound of water gently running past the hull (your head is actually below the surface of the water and very close to the planking) at 3 am and pitched unceremoniously into the dark you do feel a little hard done by sometimes.   This is where the big Tupperware container comes into play as it is crammed full of all the things that you would want to eat at 3am, or at least it was - the penguins are running out and the chunky kit-kats are gone.   You can therefore understand that when Gaynor called me at 1.30 it was with a sense of dread that I struggled into my sailing togs put on my lifejacket clipped my lifeline to the secure ring just outside the companionway and entered the cockpit with the steaming mug of tea she had prepared for me and a twinge of regret.  Gaynor briefed me regarding the changed sail plan that she and Tristan had put in place,wind direction and any targets on the radar as it was quite foggy, and then she went to bed.  Imagine my delight, which was unsurpassed,when I turned around and there sitting in the corner of the cockpit adorned with lots and lots of small balls of marzipan was a huge simnel cake, thank you Vicki, your cakes have always been a feature of our holidays over the years and they have always been appreciated, but finding this one this morning truly was "The icing" Now to what is turning into a slightly sensitive issue which has cast serious doubts on my parenting skills, Apparently I ran off without giving either Duncan or Zara a forwarding address or the e-mail address for Lady C.   I know you are both convinced that I was trying to do a nautical runner but I can assure you both that it was a mere oversight on my part and in my defense I did have a lot on my mind in the run up to our departure.  I would like it put on the record that I love you both dearly and am immensely proud of how you have both turned out and what you have achieved.   It;s strange but the days before we left were incredibly stressful with so many last minute details to attend to but as soon as we untied our shore lines and got underway the problems all disappeared,it's as if they can't come on the boat, it's a stress free environment and they're not welcome.   Life on board is very different,there are no nagging issues the only thing that matters is here,now and not the future or the past,yes we need to be aware of what might come but only in as much as being prepared to cope with it, after all it hasn't happened yet so you only need to deal with it when it does.  Likewise the past seems only to be there for you to draw on the experience that it can offer you in order to be better equipped to deal with the future.      We're getting lots of e-mails and are still enjoying them immensely - so good to hear from you Duncan,wish you could have been here with us too,lots n lots of love to you and Mel, please can you make sure Christine and Vesco have  the email address and ask them to write.Vic.thanks for yours too, the bits in the brackets are for the benefit of the people who wouldn't know a beam shelf from a running back stay.  Robin you're always welcome onboard at any time ,thanks for keeping a weather watch over us and for your sage advice, I had been eyeing the end of the main boom up as a potential booming out pole.  What concerns me more is how I'm going to get the spinnaker pole into my hand luggage when we come back out in November. Amanda thanks for keeping in touch, I've sent a few more pics and Oh by the way I have a very long telescopic pole that I might need help getting to the Canaries - any ideas? Alex thanks for your sterling effort you are in line for the most emails prize. We're now sailing under a clear canopy of stars at 4 knots and Tristan is complaining that it's much nicer when it's blowing a hooley - I like them both but I'm certainly looking forward to sleeping in a bunk that stays put tonight as we glide effortlessly over the inky blue water - From somewhere off the coast of Spain Lady C wishes you all Buenas Noches y Hasta Pronto Amigos xx