Kuki has now been on board Osprey for a month and confidently wears the
boss's hat. Her initial move from the after cabin to the pilot house was
obviously well thought out by her as it puts her in the centre of all
activity and totally in control - nothing can pass her by. As we have also
been mostly on the port tack it has also given her the most comfortable
berth. John has only just survived being confined in 52 by 15ft with her
but is showing signs of wear and tear along with many more grey hairs.
The wind backed from West to WNW overnight and Osprey went from a dead
run to being close hauled on the port tack. The 15 knot wind is great and
Charles had us leaned right over and doing up to eight knots during the
middle watch. We have been able to continue that for most of the day and
hopefully for the next few days. The tack puts us a little further east than
we would have wanted but it will suffice. The only disadvantage of being
hauled is the angle of heel which has Kuki learning to walk on the starboard
hull (wall) rather that the cabin sole (floor). As a matter of course we
stand the boat upright for meals and any other activities that require a
little more comfort. This costs little or no distance and makes life a lot
easier. Kuki was up early with John this morning and at about 0600 a school
of ten dolphins joined us and spent half an hour providing superb
entertainment - they are wonderful creatures. Kuki was immediately up on the
bows, regardless of the speed and angle of heel of the boat and had a
wonderful time whilst giving John a heart attack in case she joined the
dolphins. Kuki as usual was perfectly dressed for the occasion wearing only
her pyjamas. We decided not to call Charles as he was in need of sleep but
were given a hard time by him afterwards for not doing so. Reverie and
Callisto, although 90 miles off our starboard quarter have finally picked up
the wind also and are now on a converging course with us because we are
turning east across their bows as we approach the Azores which are now less
than 500 miles away. For all the boats making the crossing this year it will
be one of the longest ever due to the unusual weather and lack of wind - it
is certainly the longest it has taken John to cross any Ocean.
Charles has just produced three separate meals which are a culinary delight,
Chana for Kuki, Ravioli, Spam and Potatoes for John and Spaghetti, Spam &
Potatoes topped with cheese for himself - no mean feat in a boats galley
heeled to starboard. The wind has dropped off somewhat this evening and we
will use the motor to maintain our average speed over the next few days.
"Notes from a Small Boat in the North Atlantic" - over the past 36 hrs there
has been a clear change in the weather, and the sea state/weather is more
what one might expect of the North Atlantic. Gone are the azure seas, sunny
days with minimal cloud and instead numerous squalls pass through bringing
gusting winds, showers and a lot of overcast grey cloud. During the middle
of the day we are still generally getting beautiful sunny weather, but the
temperature is lower so whilst the shorts remain the tops are getting long
sleeved and more numerous.
Charles is in open revolt, he was most displeased to learn on waking this
morning that he had missed the dolphins - all John's fault as Kuki was going
to wake him but was directed by the Skipper to let him sleep.
There have been two strange discoveries today regarding our illustrious
leader elsewhere referred to as Budda, Bwana and some other less savoury
The first is that whilst he may not have heard the term "metrosexual" until
the passage he & Charles undertook last year it is clear that he has some
secret grooming habits. Nothing too bad like Orde Wingate's rather strange
hair habits but never the less he does, to quote him "buff his fingernails."
This he maintains is because some "Aussi Cobber Doctor" (Flying Doctor
perhaps?) told him that as he had "ridges" this would stop him splitting
them. Now the remainder of the crew remain unconvinced by this story, and
think it is more likely some precious hairdresser from Melbourne told him to
The second discovery was more a confirmation of what Kuki & Charles had
already realised - he is a control freak. There was a small problem with
the Auto Pilot control panel in the cockpit today, which John duly fixed.
But in the process out came the handheld remote, well more accurately I
should say it has hung around John's neck ever since and he has been
controlling Osprey's progress from all areas whilst giving a very good
impression of Moriate's laugh - really quite scary and this in turn has
forced SC Ted to seek refuge in the redoubt in "The Middle Kingdom."
The crew is upbeat as Osprey really does seem to be finally approaching
Horta, on a deadline it is 500 nm although it will probably be closer to 600
nm by the time we get there. So until next time it is time for our evening
brew, and maybe a little chocolate - oh, but I forgot John has eaten it all!
However, all is not lost as Kuki discovered the microwave can be used whilst
at sea to make popcorn - so I sign to sounds of kernels popping.