Wed 10 Dec 2008 12:03
I am writing this Email on my morning watch. I'm on my own on this watch and
the senior crew are snoring away, so I thought I'd open the hatches and try
and divert that energy into the spinnaker to create additional forward
momentum. And the young guns are having their early morning slumber...
Anyway, I have mentioned previously that I am lucky to have such diversity
of talent amongst my crew. This was proved again yesterday when Stuey put
his modeling skills to good use (mathematical modeling that is, not the
Fashion TV/Cannes variety). During the course of the day he beavered away on
his little computer to develop a spreadsheet that imports the daily
positions given by ARC in Cowes, sorts them by Lat and Long, goes to a
look-up table to find each yacht's name and then identifies those within our
horizon. Sound complicated? Well not really. This is how I as skipper,
benefit from it in practice and applied the results last night.....
At around sundown (that time in the afternoon when we venture into the
liquor cabinet to find a bottle of rum to colour our Coke with) I asked a
question along the following lines ... "Hey XO (navy term for Exec officer
or 2-I-C) have we got any bogies (airforce term for enemy - I learnt that
one from watching Top Gun) in our backyard (a term I made up for that area
around the yacht to our visible horizon)???" To which Stuey responded along
the following lines "Eh Eh Skipper, I've identified 3 bogies in our backyard
and one of them is that Irish Yacht, Mollihawks Shadow.. about 9 NM off our
starboard quarter based on my computer model Sir!." Shit!!....I thought as I
recalled a hazy bet exchanged over a few red wines, Irish Whiskies and
rumbos at the bar in Las Palmas at one of the pre-ARC functions...I've got a
bottle of liquor running on this one...Irish Whiskey I think!!!
I then decided to make contact with our Irish foe over the VHF.....it took a
while for them to respond and then a while for the widget to drop who we
were (They were enjoying their sundowners of Guinness cans at the time). It
was nice to hear that Irish accent again ... "Hey thar Mikado, are yee guys
heffin foon out ere...".....After updating each other on the latest rugby
scores, comparing fish hauls and commenting on how much both countries like
to beat the English in any sport etc... we reconfirm the wager and encourage
each other to sail a bit faster.... These were the guys right next to us at
the marina in Las Palmas.. 2 1/2 weeks later they are still in "our
space"...Amazing isn't it??
Other than that, the day nearly brought a tuna to our tables....Belly worked
the game rod with a 10kg tuna on it to within 2 feet of the yacht when the
lure gave way....it was hard work with the yacht travelling around 9 knots
at the time.... We settled for the remainder of the Wahoo in the freezer for
364 NM to go to St Lucia....I better start getting my party clothes out and
get thinking about having a shave again...
Till next time...