Sun 9 Dec 2007 21:05

I have to say the most valuable, and oft forgotten, member of the crew to
date has been, without a shadow of doubt, George, our autohelmsman. He is
always there, ready and willing, never complaining, at the flick of a
switch to step into the fray, to steer a course straight and true. On top
of this he doesn't take tea or meal breaks, so is very cost effective. On
the down side he never makes the tea or does the washing up. There is a
but, however, a very big BUT..... it was the dead of night, some call it
the witching hour, George was at his favourite spot, wind whistling past
his ears, eye to the compass making the odd adjustment to the rudder.
Unfortunately, one of Georges weaknesses is that he doesn't have eyes in
the back of his head.

You know that feeling you sometimes get. On a dark path, when you think
there is someone there, a shiver runs up your spine, the hairs on the back
of your neck stand up, a shiver runs down your spine. Well so it was on
this particular occasion, so I glanced round to check and was somewhat
relieved to see fairly inoxuous fluffy cloud drifting towards us. In an
instant, it changed into an ominous hunched, wizzened figure with
outstretched hands and fingers
making angry gestures.

And where was George .... he was nowhere ....AWOL, ....out to lunch,
....... gone fishing, ....thats where he was!!!!!
I thought he was practising for the Olympic Games Pelvic Floor Exercises
Gold Medal, I certainly wished I was.
I have to say, despite all his attributes, at this time George was about
as much use as a one-legged man at a bum kicking competition.

The squall hit us with everything. Wind everywhere, water everywhere, boat
everywhere, sails everywhere, George ...... nowhere. The cry went out,
"All hands on deck" - no chance. " But its cold and wet and blowy ", came
the reply. It certainly was but I took to the helm.. 30, 40, 45 kts - I
closed my eyes and kept them firmly shut. My knuckles were white clinging
to the wheel - it was like the ' Plunge of Death ' at Alton Towers. What
colour is Adrenalin? Then it was over, tranquility restored as if nothing
had happened.

On a lighter note, how many people, in the world, have eaten an Astronaut
Vacuum Packed Dehydrated Ice-cream Sandwich in mid-Atlantic, at least 1000
miles from nearest landfall. The answer is 4 - all members of the scurvy
crew of LL - and very nice it was too!!!

Previously, I have been known to carp on ( is that a type of dog fish )
about the fantastic cuisine we have enjoyed on board. Well, not any more -
hot dogs and beer for lunch. We've fallen of the wagon big time. I think
Capt Bobs losing his grip.