Lawrence Is Incredibly Old Today
Date: 4 December 2010
Position: Porto Belo 27:08.692S 048:32.094W
Our visit to São Francisco do Sul was a pit-stop and after our leisurely lunch and a walk round the wet town we motored back out of the river and sailed overnight to Porto Belo 70 miles south. Just after dawn as we were motoring in windless conditions, I was awoken by the sounds of panic on deck.
“No - turn left. He’s indicating us to turn left”.
“We can’t turn left or we’ll run into his net!”
I was on deck in half a second to see a small fishing boat about 50 metres away with a man jumping up and down and frantically waving his arms. He had a long net out of the back of the boat and had been slowly motoring in a large circle, closing the net and trapping the fish. The Drunks had successfully navigated us right in to the middle of his net circle. This would be the fisherman’s biggest catch ever. Getting a fishing net caught round your prop is one of the worst nightmares of sailors. You have to spend hours diving down with a knife between your teeth to cut it all away before handing large sums of money to the fisherman as compensation for ruining his sole means of making a living. Eventually we found a small gap between the fishing boat and the end of his net and shot out to freedom, much to everyone’s relief.
We arrived in Porto Belo at 0645, a delightful bay with a number of beautiful anchorages, in one of which we anchored for a lazy day.
An anchorage in Porto Belo
Tom and Lawrence have been sharing the bunk cabin and Tom, who is fastidious in matters of personal hygiene, had his day spoilt by discovering that he and Lawrence had identical underpants and had inadvertently been sharing a pair.
Meanwhile Lawrence has been in a state of excitement. Today is his 68th birthday.
What a fuss.
We had to start last night at 2200 (midnight UK time) by singing Happy Birthday several times, followed by For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow and drinking toast after toast to his health and happiness. This morning he was up early, bouncing around like Tigger. Richard, in his usual grumpy mood after being woken prematurely said “If he’s a sixty-eight year old, why does he behave like a six-to-eight year old?”. There was great excitement when it was time to open the presents and cards that he had brought out from the UK. We were all quite impressed that he had three cards until we discovered all three were from Carrie his wife and Keely his daughter. So Lawrence not only has no friends on board, but clearly has no friends at home either.
Happy Larry with his birthday presents
We were scheduled to leave for the long three-day 450 mile leg down to Rio Grande at midday today. But late morning the skies opened and it is chucking it down in biblical proportions. Visibility is down to less than a mile and lightning and thunder crash and crackle overhead. Leaving now would be sheer misery and as it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon, we’ve decided to hunker down and leave at first light tomorrow.