Guest Blog No.2
1200 UT Fri, 10 Feb
Here are a few observations about our life at sea over the last two weeks:
1. The Bunklifter and the Washing Machine.
People generally imagine that long distance cruising is quite peaceful.In fact the level of noise mainly of a watery nature is extremely high.On deck there is a constant washing of waves against the hull and the rush of the wake but the real fun starts when you go down to your bunk for a quick lie down.Waves break behind the boat and shoot up between the two hulls creating an impression that you are shut in a washing machine on its fastest cycle.Just when you are acclimatising to this roar you are hit with a ‘Bunklifter’ this is a wave that hits the hull more directly compressing the air against the underside of the boat and making a noise like a cannon going off, at the same time lifting the occupant of the bunk six inches into the air.As you lie in your cabin on the first night at sea you resign yourself to the fact that you are going to spend the next three weeks with no sleep at all but the body is remarkably resilient and after a couple of nights everyone is snoring away quite happily.Mark and Elizabeth resort to ear plugs so tight fitting that the cannons detonations barely penetrate,unfortunately the side effect to this is that is almost impossible to wake them when it is their turn to go on watch.
2. The Pudding Club.
I believe there is a club at Oxford called the Pudding Club comprised of those who during their school careers have become addicted to the delights of the traditional British pudding,steamed treacle sponge,spotted dick,treacle tart etc. Well let me tell you Pudding Club members that what you should be doing is signing up for a spell on Lovesail.Elizabeth recognised early on that she had on board some crew members with a decidedly sweet tooth.Since then our menu has included sticky toffee pudding,mont blanc,bread and butter pudding,apple crumble and rice pudding with pears,oh almost forgot,brownies with fudge icing! Apart from a slight twitchiness and a wild look in the eyes induced by the sugar high the results have been entirely beneficial.
3.The Reluctant Mother
As you know from previous blogs we run a watch system that includes one member who stands no watches for the day and does all the cooking and clearing up.This person is known as Mother and is generally welcomed as it means having an unbroken nights sleep.Now Mark is a very competent man, face him with Force 9 gales,broken machinery,torn sails, he is up to the task.However put a saucepan in his hand and a list of cooking instructions and he takes on the look of a rabbit in the headlights.I guess this is one of the reasons that he and Elizabeth make such a good combination.
Most yachts carry a spinnaker,around England where one seems to spend all the time going into the wind they remain in the bag for weeks on end except for a mad half hour dash down the Solent involving a lot of swearing and ending with the spinnaker inextricably entwined with the forestay.But Atlantic crossings are spinnaker time Every morning around 7 the sail goes up hoisted encased in an elongated condom called a Snuffer.Craig is main man on the spinnaker and at a word from the cockpit and the tweak of a sheet he hoists the snuffer and the sail breaks out of its chrysalis with a crack and balloons out ahead of the boat.Some people like to advertise their companies on their spinnakers or cover them in weird designs, ours is a tasteful combination of blues although it is rumoured that at one time Elizabeth was favouring a Bridget Riley print but this was vetoed.Sitting in the cockpit in a steady breeze being pulled along by this great kite is one of sailing’s great pleasures.From time to time an extra puff of wind and a bigger wave will send us surfing down the face,the boat vibrates and the speed mounts- so far 12.7knots is our record.With luck this time tomorrow the spinnaker will pull us through the gap between the North end of Anguilla and its offlying reef,shortly after that the sail will be snuffed for the final time,we will round up and drop our anchor in Road Bay our destination.