N 32 38.6 W 16 54.4
The following blog entry comes from Mariposa’s Health
and Safety officer Mark Everett aka Spiller , Flipper - nautical variant and
Slipper (based on # fish lost)...
After a couple of days of
cleaning, re-organizing and some light R&R in amongst the
Gin-Palaces at Villamoura Marina (and several journeys for Spiller to
the supermarket / off licence for supplies he had forgotten on previous
trips), we set out to sea for Madeira, fully laiden and refreshed
(....well we would have been had we not gone out and got shredded again the
night before departure.....there is a worrying pattern emerging?!!), straight
into a beak-on hoolie (c.30 knots) and spent the next 24 hours being
bounced around at 45 degrees (...well probably more like 30 degrees, but, to the
novice cabin boys, it felt like more!). All available sleeping
options were tested (non-sexual), but sleep depravation generally ensued,
other than for 1st officer Willy Wilmott-Brown the Arian lovechild Klaus,
Von-Fontelroy (Nick) who can apparently sleep anywhere, anytime and
in any position.
wind gradually relented, the Skipper's sea legs improved and we
got used to life out at sea with a self-proclaimed 'Cabin Pig'
('Rainman' Chris Benbow), the wind came round and in the next couple
of days & nights at sea, a pleasant
routine of life on the ocean waves developed, oiled with regular
round of Earl-Grey Teas and Ginger-nuts. We made good progress at
around 7 knots, mostly listening to Spiller's dubious ipod selection,
fishing and playing with ropes and sails. The night watches were generally
warm, star-lit and tranquil with little other vessel action on the AIS.
Surprisingly no dolphins present, but, allegedly one turtle and a distant
whale were spotted?!
One Tuna-like and one
Dorado-like fish landed (2 ft max), duly prepped and eaten (very good), a
further similar sized fish landed and then escaped as it was being battered to
with a monkey wrench and therefore, probably provided breakfast for the many
other predators awaiting in the deep blue below. Nick and Spiller almost hooked
a 'biggy', which chewed and spat out a large treble hook, leaving the prongs
bent back flat and will go down as the first monster to have got
The Skipper's night baking
and slow casserole cookery skills are being honed, keeping morale high as
the various watch systems to be deployed on the ARC are tried and tested.
Notes to selves; Nick must be
avoided first thing in the morning until he has been plied with tea and more
gingernuts, the Skipper must try and avoid walking around naked and putting us
off our dinner! , Cabin Pigs are very smelly and Spiller is an OCD
cleaning freak and must not be allowed near the water taps, as Mariposa does
not have tank capacity for a zillion litres of fresh water!
Madeira was sighted in the
early hours of our 4th day at sea and Mariposa has come through her first
longer-haul sea trial with flying colours.