PINBALL WIZARD'S Blog: 4 Feb 2012 DAY 11

Nigel North
Sat 4 Feb 2012 21:12

DAY 11

Position: 18:38.78N 31:25.42W

According to the much acclaimed ‘Atlantic Crossing Guide’, any yacht crossing south of Latitude 20 deg N in January is virtually guaranteed fair winds all the way. Well this afternoon, after a difficult night with winds gusting up to 32 knots, the wind veered round from its tradewind direction of NE to South, and then died completely. So here we are, rocking around going nowhere fast, with lightning visible about 40 miles to the south. I have just struck the sails as they were slatting around noisily doing them no good, and we have somewhat bizarrely sat in the cockpit with table out, table mats and fish pasta to enjoy, surveying the emptiness of the Atlantic Ocean.

Conversation moved to rationing if this were protracted, followed by who would eat who first and the general benefits of cannibalism. It was decided that I would probably go first as Alfie hardly eats anything anyway, and so generously bequeathed him my tasty body.

The sun has set - its takes less than a minute at this latitude - Alfie has photographed it , and we are on head torches (as usual) to conserve power. With no wind or sun to power us, the only power source is the engine (essential use only) so it’s battery power tonight and most things have been switched off. Luckily my Kindle is charged up and has its own little light which is excellent. I’ve been reading ‘In Foreign Fields’ by Dan Collins, the extraordinary and moving tales of Armed Forces personnel who have been decorated for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, told by the men themselves. It is quite excellent and has increased my admiration for our Forces tenfold, particularly the Army who operate against massively superior numbers more often than not and still get the job done. Respect. I think it should be read by everyone, and at schools too.

Alfie is out in the cockpit in his shorts looking at the moon and stars. Everyone who has done this sort of thing says the same: how amazing they are when not blotted out by urbanisation and light pollution. They’d be right.

Best wishes to our reader. He knows who he is..