ARC 2015 - Day 8 - Nov 28, Wrong kind of Knots

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Mon 30 Nov 2015 13:24
20:40.99N 28:50.91W

Day 8 | Nov 29

Wrong Kind of Knots

The day starts in similar fashion to the previous one. Little or no wind, what there was teasing and tantalising in its fickle puffs and changes. Blowing promisingly for a while, then deciding to drop and change direction.Nina picks up her skirts and starts off every time, only to pause and roll, waiting for the next slap of the sails and pull.

Peter and Mark do the familiar foredeck dance and crawl, changing the pole to the other side, only to find the wind has dropped and changed, Skipper Steve deciding to roll the sail away again, and jibe to change tack, and the pole has to go to the other side. They are joined on watch by Frank, Mike and Chris, and the deck is filled with activity, scraching of heads and lots of agreeing "it's the best decision".

At least it's hot and sunny....

The fishing tackle is out again. A Blue ensemble today. Perhaps the fish will find this bunch irrisistable? Pliers, steel traces, plugs, plastic squids, knots and 40m of line all utilised to form a track out the back full of similar hopes and aspirations of countless generations of fisherman.

Ah yes, "it's called fishing, not catching". The hand line is pulled back in as the wind drops again, only to have the vicious collection of hooks and barbs on the bottom of the lures catch the line.

It's bad luck to cut the line. Two hours later, much knot pulling and untangling of blue 300lb line (yes, we are prepared for a big one), realisation and resignation, as we sucumb to the hours of spinning and turning of the lure, to have to cut the knotty bird's nest of line in the middle of the line.Birthday boy Mike comes to the rescue, with a "Fisherman's Granny Knot". Kit is stowed ready for the next fishing-not-catching attempt. Mark is making a new lure out of an old plastic water bottle. This WILL be truly irrisistable, we are all sure...

Wait, the wind has lifted. It's just in the right direction to try the Cruising Chute.

All hands to the foredeck again. Steve shows how it goes up, and after changing the head to the starboard side of the furlers, out she rolls, Spanker, Gennaker, Cruising Chute, whatever it's called, it's a fantastic sail, of red, white and blue, Nina lifting forwards again as it fills and pulls. "A couple more Knots." Mike is adjusting and pulling the sheet, Chris optimising the heading.

For a while, anyway... eventually, like the rest of the day, the wind dies, and the chute starts to sag and flap sadly against the starboard side. Time to stow again, rolliing it away on its neat furler roller. Frank and Mike make notes to ditch the snuffing sock on La Chacharoona in favour of same.

Frank receives a call on the satellite phone. Very crisp and businesslike. It's from the flight deck of an aeroplane cruising far above us, neighbour of Frank's in Dublin. Great to get some weather information from a stratospheric eye's view overhead, on the company phone!

One success: Mike's smalls. Another washing day. A technologically flawless performance from the washing line, tied up perfectly with some sailing type knots to the back arch, under the solar panels.

No fish, no wind, no dolphins.

Where oh where did we put the coconut milk?!

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