Drunks Sober Up - Cold Turkey and Fish for Lunch

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Mon 6 Dec 2010 16:24
----- Original Message -----
From: Mina2
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 10:44 AM
Subject: Drunks Sober Up - Cold Turkey and Fish for Lunch

Date: 6 December 2010

Position: South Atlantic 29:00.0S 048:47.0W


After the deluge, we set sail at first light yesterday morning for the long 450 mile passage south to Rio Grande. This isn’t just because we like a long passage, but down this stretch of coast there are no safe havens at all, so if you get caught out in thick weather – probably blowing you onto the inhospitable shore – you’re stuffed. The four day forecast was that for the first 18 hours we would be beating into a moderate wind, and thereafter we would have the wind directly behind us – not the perfect point of sail. But whilst not ideal, it wasn’t threatening.


After six hours of motoring, the wind filled in from the SSE as promised and we had to sail at right angles to our destination, out to sea. We were expecting around 20 knots of wind. We got it and it was quite pleasant. The wind picked up to 25 knots and it started getting a little wet and lumpy. The sky all around us turned grey, then black. The wind continued to strengthen and the sea to get higher. By this time we were more than 30 miles offshore. We reefed right down until a full gale was shrieking through the rigging, spray whipping horizontally across the deck. The wind speed over the deck was 50 miles per hour. One thing that Mina2 is good at is shouldering her way into strong winds and big seas, but for all of us it was distinctly uncomfortable. I was becoming a tad nervous. This hadn’t been forecast at all. What if it stayed like this? What if it got even worse? But we toughed it out and after a few hours the wind began to abate slowly.


A consequence of the unexpected conditions is that none of the Drunks has felt inclined to drink any alcohol for 24 hours and they are now showing signs of withdrawal symptoms -  crashing headaches, vomiting, and the shakes. It’s a pathetic sight, but they are paying the price for their sins. The vomiting was actually suffered by only one of the Drunks, and that may have had more to do with the sea conditions. But no names, no pack drill, not least because I’ve been paid quite a lot of money by Richard not to expose the sufferer’s identity in the blog.


This morning, conditions could not be more different. The wind has eased, the waves subdued, the sun is shining and the wind has backed round to the east allowing us to romp merrily along on a beam reach. Perfect conditions – for the moment.


The cherry on the cake was that 20 minutes ago we caught a large plump dorado (I think) which will probably do us for about three meals, starting at lunch time. We’ve also seen three sharks’ fins slicing through the water. Lawrence wants to catch one. Bless.



Lunch for four and more


I’ve appointed Richard as Entertainments Officer. Due to a deep-seated insecurity he likes titles and has taken his responsibilities seriously. At home he’s very keen on Am Dram (or, in his case, Ham Dram) and he’s brought along the score and libretto of HMS Pinafore. I was lucky enough to be given the role of the Captain of the ship, Captain Corcoran. At rehearsals all the crew sing jolly songs about what a good captain I am, and giving me three cheers and stuff. It’s brilliant It’s the only time I’m treated with any respect on board. Shame it’s all play-acting.


The problem is that just because, between them, the Drunks have more than 100 years offshore experience and over 60 years of yacht ownership, they think they can sail. They strut around like they own the boat, helping themselves to my booze and when they’re not completely ignoring me they’re countermanding my every decision. Richard is particularly bad. He’s already Entertainments Officer and Shitmeister (he’s responsible for opening and closing the holding tank), but he objected to the title of Watch Keeper and insisted everyone called him Watch Leader (despite the fact that with a one-man watch system there’s no one to lead). Two days into the cruise and he’d promoted himself to Watch Captain and today he’s throwing his not inconsiderable weight around, taken to wearing my smart naval cap with “Cape Horn & Patagonia” in gold letters on it, and calling himself Admiral of The Watch for God’s sake.



The Admiral of The Watch


One of the things that really irritates me are the constant inane questions from the Drunks, always delivered in a pathetic whine.

“Ti-im, where’s the corkscrew?”

“Ti-im, how do I open this bottle of cachaça?”

“Ti-im, there don’t appear to be any cans of beer in the fridge.”

“Ti-im, I’ve forgotten how to tie my shoelaces”

I mean, do I have to do EVERY bloody thing on this boat. So I’ve taken to locking myself in my cabin and ignoring them. However, even with their befuddled brains they’ve worked out a way of tricking me. All they do is stand in the cockpit and in a stage whisper say something like “Holy Shit – what’s that?” or “That’s big – and it’s coming straight for us.” Within a nanosecond I pop up through the companionway like a Jack-In A-Box. Bastards.