Bloggagios from Madeira

Mariposa Blog
Robert Newman
Sun 3 Oct 2010 14:01

N 32 38.6 W 16 54.4

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.
However, the 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 away.....thankfully!
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.