Skipper returns to Mina2 - Worst Fears Confirmed

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Wed 3 Feb 2010 23:11

Today I returned to Mina2. The temperature as I left London was hovering around freezing point – warm compared with the average since I had arrived there just before Christmas. Everyone had been walking around wearing three sweaters and a scarf – and that was in my house.


In contrast, having arrived at the boat in Salvador, Brazil, I looked at the thermometer when I climbed down below. 39°C!


Getting on board was an adventure in itself. The Downstairs Skipper had asked  Jean from Havanita to check the lines when she departed. He had considerately trebled them up and he told me that he had taken the boat back away from the pontoon a bit. “You may have to swim out to her when you get back!” he quipped. He wasn’t kidding. The bloody thing was five feet away from the pontoon, with bar taut lines holding it firmly in position. Having lost a bit of my honed fitness after six weeks of land-lubbering, and without the benefit of our B&Q step ladder to ease my passage onto the anchor the embarkation was, shall we say, challenging.


Having left the boat in the hopelessly inexperienced hands of my crew in December, I had given firm instructions that on no account were they to even think of moving the boat anywhere. But these instructions were, as are most of my instructions, completely ignored. I thought it was odd that every time I tried to call any of them, the line mysteriously went dead. It would appear that the moment I left my precious boat in their inept hands they were off – recklessly gallivanting not only around the Bahia of Salvador but venturing long distances offshore as well.


But reading the blogs which were being posted, it appeared that not only were they having an absolutely splendid time, they were also handling the boat with, if anything, greater care and skill than I would. Much to my amazement, this was endorsed by emails I received from our friends on the other Rallye boats. Surely no one other than me, least of all this bunch of incompetents, could possibly be entrusted with my beloved Mina2 and bring her back to her mooring unscathed? But apparently they can – and they did.


So, whilst feeling considerable relief, once again my worst fears have been confirmed.  I was wrong and they were right. I owe my very considerable thanks to Neil, the Acting Temporary Skipper; the Mate, Peter “Golden Boy” Barker, and the Downstairs Skipper - the DS (now also known, variously, as Meercat Mary and, by me, as the AW (Absentee Wife) – we’ve seen each other for just four days since September). They did a fantastic job.


I would also like to thank the DS and all others who were responsible for decommissioning the boat a month ago. I arrived back today to find her spicker and spanner than I have ever left her.


And this ablution of compliments would not be complete without mentioning the blogs posted by my daughter, Selina, in my absence. I thought they were brilliant, and I hope you did too.


The DS rejoins me at the end of the week and after a few days of getting to know each other again in Salvador, we will be heading south to complete our journey to Rio and Angra Dos Reis.