Good Morrow All,
i trust everyone is well, not too tired of
Christmas jingles yet? What a fascinating 24
hours we have had!
On monday evening, as the sun was going down, i
thought i could make out some alto sirrus clouds way away in the western sky:
"we might have a change of weather tomorrow,
"What makes you think that?"
"Those sirrus clouds tend to indicate a change for
the worse i'm afraid."
"Stop talking rubbish."
And we thought no more of it, at least James
didn't, i went to bed thinking there might be change afoot....
James wrote to you yesterday from a millpond sea,
he'd been over to re-clean the hull in beautiful conditions and we'd been able
to walk around on deck for the first time since leaving La Gomera. There was a
light, if noticable headwind though, which slowed progress to an agonizing rate.
It has not escaped our attention that we have
slammed on the breaks this past week, but neither of us have any reasonable
explanation for it! We were flying a week ago, but since then our mileage has
seriously deteriorated, without any cause making itself obvious; we don't have
much of a beard under the boat; we are both rowing hard still; our trim is
better if anything; we just don't know what has happened, we presume that we
have just been unlucky with the weather. So be it!
Anyway, back to yesterday! We spent the early
afternoon on the phone to our electrician, multimeter in hand, trying to figure
out why we're unable to charge our batteries at a sensible rate. His conclusion,
after testing every last option, is that we aren't actually having problems and
that our meter is mistakenly telling us we're down to 10% battery! So, safe (or
ignorant) for now, we're going to see what happens as we return to normal
And there they were. On the western horizon,
looming large, was the vanguard to a hostile batallion of clouds, great dark
masses of moisture, some pouring with rain away to the west, and they were
evidently approaching. The wind picked up to the extent that we couldn't row at
all, so out came the sea anchor. At about 4pm the anchor caught in the waves and
we spun round to face the onrushing clouds that soon enveloped us in their
saturating embrace. The winds picked up to 25 knots or so and we hunkered down
in the cabin to sit it out.
As night fell things hadn't improved, so we
adjusted ourselves into our sleeping positions and turned in. Through the night
i managed to subject James to the Niall Spread, where i slowly usurp each and
every inch of mattress, forcing this 6ft4, 16.5stone monster into a small corner
or the cabin so surruptitiously that he only noticed what had happened when his
knees and his forehead met at about 3 in the morning!
Ths morning we rose at 8, having forgotten to turn
our phone on to speak to Original Bristol (sorry Jed!), the weather wes still
rough and blowing in the wrong direction, but James would have lost his mind if
we didn't get on the oars so he pulled in the anchor and set off, beam on to a
huge sea, and we began to make progress again.
Today's rowing has been sensational, huge waves
mounting each rolling swell like an escalator climbing ever up until we reach
the zenith, whereupon we are afforded the most expansive view around, horizon to
horizon, before we tumble down the other side and watch the swell roll on into
the South Atlantic.
We have had our first dorado around the boat, so
the lures and line are ready, i'm going to make a reel to make things easier for
us, shouldn't be too hard with some whittling wood and paracord!
I have been reliably informed that the term-in-use
for those salt-encrusted hairs we were suffering is 'men in the rigging'; this
was uncovered in the wonderful profanosaurus, the dictionary of profanity (not,
as i had to explain to a highly disappointed James, a big naughty
Right all, i must dash, i still don't believe that
our power is sorted, i'm sure the electrician's covering his back, rather like:
"well i've done all the sums correctly, the only thing that it could be is that
the calculator's working things out wrong, like." How reassuring!
Until friday, enjoy the late night shopping!