Weathering the storm

Paul Huntley
Wed 17 Jun 2009 10:29

47:39N 11:42W

09:00 Thursday 17th June 2009

Hi to you all,

It’s raining drizzle, with poor visibility. The mist clings to everything, making the boat feel damp. The wind has remained in the south west quadrant overnight with 20/30 knots of wind bringing a very rough cross sea making it impossible to sleep, everyone is tired and in need if a good night in port to recover. The flip side is that we have been making excellent progress towards Falmouth at 6/7 kts bringing the average up to 6:6 kts since leaving Horta, Faial.Our navigation systems tell us that we now have just 300nm to run to the tip of the Lizard peninsular, if the wind keeps us going, it’s a two day run giving us an arrival of sometime Friday morning.

Guy cooked dinner last night; Fray Bentos cook in the can meat pies, with vegetables and Smash. He deserves a medal, the sea conditions are so unpredictable he had just as he removed them from the oven when a big roller sent them flying across the boat .In a valiant effort to save them, he burned his leg with the oven tray. I don't think it is serious; he won't let me have a look. I suspect he may have branded his right buttock with "Force 10 Gas oven" as engraved on the door.

The barometer has fallen again overnight but, only one point, I think we maybe still in for some more bad weather. I have often claimed that anyone who keeps a boat for pleasure in northern Europe must be mad. I have seen so many yachtsman, myself included, eagerly looking forward to their summer holiday afloat, travelling to the boat with family and friends carefully worked passage plans under the arm, taking them too far off exotic locations, only to have these dreams dashed by the dulcet tones of the shipping forecaster calmly, stating:-" Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth S to SE 4/5 veering SW 6/7 possibly gale 8 later, moderate becoming rough, poor."The Musto clad family can be spotted from Land End to North Foreland bright yellow and squeaking as they walk, they boost the income of every Virgin cinema and theme park along the south coast. Children at an early age can be heard asking, “Dad why can't the go to Spain like other kids2? These yacht orphans are fast learners, unlike dad, they decline future offers of a trip on the boat, by early teens they are far too absorbed in Nintendo and Face Book. The offer of a sunny cruise on a charter boat in the Med or Caribbean falls on deaf ears unless you can guarantee endless Iridium minutes to maintain 24/7 communications. It finally dawns on Dad that he and he alone is the only member of the crew with any enthusiasm left for that long promised cruise. Mum never really liked sailing; she finds it difficult to come to terms with galley rather than kitchen and the Head! That unspeakable contraption with pumps and valves with the skipper’s dire warning ringing in her ears that a valve left open will lead to the contents of the bowl being soaked up by the saloon (lounge) carpet or possibly something of Titanic proportions that will lead to imminent disaster and ultimate sinking. The temptation is always to slip and go to sea, only to find out the hard way that the winter maintenance on engine, sea cock or pump was lacking, leading inevitably to a call to the coast guard for assistance. I think it would be appropriate now for me to get some shares in Sunsail or Moorings , give them a plug and follow my own advice! I hope Libertad can't read.

The wind is now veering to the south (trimmer on deck) that Drew, he's very good. These blogs are getting more like War and Peace every day!

Well, I must get on with other things, from a soggy, tired, but stoical crew of Libertad; remember worst things happen at sea! 

See you soon. Paul.