ARC 2015 - Day 6 - Nov 27, Pootling

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Sat 28 Nov 2015 18:00
21:20.39N 26:41.76W

Day 6 - Nov 27

Today is the first really hot day we've had since leaving the harbour. To quote Howard McMullan, well-known Howth sailor and raconteur, we are pootling along at 6-7 knots. (Not to
be confused with chuntering or honking). To pootle: "make progress towards a destination, steadily without fuss."
In the cockpiit today it's t shirts and sun tan lotion in the cockpit. Little more to report except a VHF chat with Inua at 15:30, who we can see goosewinged off our starboard bow. One
of the smallest boats in the fleet, she is a Hallberg Rassy 310 with just Enno Rodegerdts and his wife aboard. They are hand steering, having damaged their tiller pilot and windvane in
the stormy start. Enno sounds cheerful, tube of Araldite in hand.

Dinner today is chile con carne. We coudn't find kidney beans in Las Palmas, just something called alubia negrita. They seem to do the trick, maybe should have soaked them first.
We pick up more confirmation that our decision to track south to avoid the worst of the weather seems to hve been well-founded. Almost a week out now, life on board has settled
into a pattern of watches sailing the boat, sleeping, eating and reading. Some chat today about how simple nautical expressions used in daily life have now beccome literal for us. We
hope to keep things 'on an even keel' while we 'batten down the hatches' in case of storm. We 'keep a wide berth' from squalls, and avoid 'sailing too close to the wind'.

Here's a good one, quoting Theo Dorgan from his book Sailing for Home. Definition of an ideal seagoing cook:
"A masochistic, fireproof contortionist with an aptitude for juggling; a fast worker, cordon blue graduate and strong-stomached saint."

Night falls with little to report except a supertanker (like the one fro Waterworld, says Steve) making way a few miles off our port bow. Mike calls home to say hi and check how his
house move went. As it's a slow news day on Nina (!) - we leave you with some other interesting nautical expressions and their origins.
"To the bitter end": the bitter end of rope is the part you have left to tie a knot with -- often too short.
"Shake a Leg": in the days of galleons, the morning call to Shake a Leg was the signal to show if the leg in a sailor's bed was that of an additional female or not
"Three Sheets to the Wind": Sheets are among some of the ropes used to control sails. When a sailor left three sheets flailing in the wind as a result of tying them incorrectly, he was
often drunk: hence the expression. (We think there's a better definition of this: any takers?).
"Son of a Gun": Women were sometimes brought on Man o' War vessels to take care of 'crew entertainment'. Any pregnancies that resulted led to indeterminate questions about
fatherhood: so the name of Son of a Gun was given based on the relevant gun crew involved.

Other well used nautical expressions well appreciated......
'note - we have kept ours clean!'