Nyaminyami II Blog Thursday 28.11.13 - 1800hrs

Nyaminyami 2 Diary
Francis Williams
Sun 1 Dec 2013 19:26


By Chris Haworth.


Now it is a funny thing this competitive spirit and I have often contemplated whether it is ultimately a force for good or bad? We have all observed it’s manifestations in many situations sport, business, working life, personal life. You often hear people say things like...”Life is a big competition” and there is no doubt that it has driven humans to all sorts of achievement and good outcomes. However, it seems to me it can also be the source of bad things stress, destructive pride, feelings of failure when unsuccessful etc. And perhaps even wars!


So here we are on the adventure of a life time enjoying the Ocean, time to think about who we really are – maybe to listen and get to know our inner self better ! – And yet Graham Francis and I cannot help ourselves from constantly talking about how we can make the boat go quicker, constantly reviewing sail trim, the weather, grib files and our relative position with our other competitors – distracting us from the higher virtues of our existence? ...Can you imagine the three of us? - Jane amused in the background observing of it all – and knowing that men are really just big boys! Is it in our DNA? Does it do us any good deep down? A fault or blessing? from our parents? Upbringing? Environment? Or an antidote to our own insecurities? – Discuss!

(Answers on a post card not required!)


Last night was difficult – Nyaminyami was not feeling very passionate as the wind died to nothing! – Cloudy night with glimpses of the stars, a little tuition from Fra on the constellations, then crew to bed for rest – I was on watch on my own from 1100hrs to about 0300hrs - finally gave up ‘sailing’ at 0330hrs when I completed a 360 under the influence of the waves and wind going round in a circle, whilst trying to tack! Jane came and relieved me from getting even hotter and more frustrated! Had I gone backwards over the last hour or was it my imagination? My naturally competitive spirit made me feel slightly embarrassed with my crew mates and fed up we were going so slow! Fra, being a good skipper, had spotted that from his bunk and sent the gentle Jane to my rescue. The three of us then  sat in the cockpit at the change of the watch and saw a perfectly upside down crescent moon, glowing orange white, rise gently from the horizon – first looking like two bright eyes as each tip emerged first and then seeming to appear as a smile as all became clear – the beauty and stunning magnificence of the moon! – We smiled back!


Today has been spent relaxing and bobbing around  – sea like a mirror, not a breath... or even a zephyr! But sunny and warm time for some reading and thinking (how did you know?).


I forgot to mention we caught two fish yesterday great celebration and joviality! One was so small we through it back the other we had freshly cooked with salad for lunch today! For those following the menu, Dinner last night was Bolognaise and fresh vegetables followed by fruit!


As I write we are trying to sail again 3.2Kts –  we have just passed a open 85 (Sterna), within 100m, which having taken a different route arrived from the south  – the Spanish skipper slightly perplexed to find us still in his company after 4 days – but we consoled him over the radio by advising him we weren’t really trying! Life is relaxed on board but at this rate Graham and I are going to have to reschedule our flights home! However, from looking at the Grib files, confident of some decent breeze in 24 hrs time. Until then we’ll try to pretend we are not racing!




P.S. For those of you interested this ‘sign off call’, coined by Nigel Appleton and I in Merlin days of old, it originates from the river Yeo in Somerset (it has ‘fishing’ overtones and seems appropriate today!).