I hear from various sources that you are suffering
a rather dreary spell back home, i hope it all picks up for christmas, who knows
some of you may even get a smattering of snow; enjoy it while you can, George
Bush and co are rapidly putting a stop to cold winters!
If any of you heard our radio interview this
morning (podcast on www.originalbristol.com) then you'll
know it's a little bit rough out here! We took a breaker over the side/my head
while i was on the sat phone to the DJ and have been hammered all day! The wind
is blowing ENE 25kts, with the swell still wanting to go South, meaning that we
have steep, high seas being whipped up by the winds that are travelling fast
across the oceanic swell, creating very lumpy conditions. Seemingly innocuous
waves suddenly join forces and grow to towering breakers that send us careering
across the water at a rate of knots! News from the Met Office is that we are
experiencing gentle 5kt winds from the North East.
I gather James has been calling himself Captain
Burge. Here is a quick example of life on the waves under his stewardship:
Yesterday evening as i was preparing for my last shift before dark i looked up
from my book (lord of the rings) and out of the hatch. We are travelling west,
with the weather, so i could see the sun wasmobscured by some large dark clouds:
"Will i need my sun glasses this shift
"Not by the looks of things, nope."
I stepped out of the cabin ready to take to the
oars and instinctively looked East, to see what nasty weather was coming towards
"James, i thought you said i wouldn't need glasses,
there isn't a cloud in the sky over there!"
James looked at me as though i were a complete
imbecile and pointed behind him:
"We're rowing that way mate."
In the night we both got hammered on by squalls,
they only last 5 minutes or so but the rain is very hard and we are thankful for
waterproof jackets. James must have misplaced his towel though, or his brain,
for when i came in off my next shift our one and only sleeping bag was soaked
through and utterly unusable for the rest of the night! Apart from that it was
actually a good night's rowing, fast and fatigue-free, and we're making good
progress toward the trade winds.
We have seen a few things floating along in the
waves over the past 17 days: buckets, shoes, buoys etc, and we think we saw
a liferaft yesterday, but neither of us could be sure so we left it. Both of us
have been hoping that a waxing kit will float on by sometime, but to no
avail. Yesterday however, what should float on by but the original copy of the
Bible! Signed by Jesus himself! I spotted it and James hauled it out, so we both
had claim to it (this one's a keeper, methinks), i decided that we'd settle the
issue with a good old manly game of paper scissor stone, knowing full-well
i couldn't lose:
(Niall's inner monologue) "Poor predictable James,
always chooses stone."
(James' inner monologue) "Good old stone, you'll
never fail me!"
We love receiving your emails, some of which are
very funny, this little piece really stood out for me in a recent
I am enjoying reading your ramblings on your blog. It should think that by
the end of it you will be really quite mad. However, take comfort my friend in
the follwing phrase lifted form the greatest book of all time (My family and
other animals). The quote simply states, that ' there is a happiness in being
mad that only madmen know'. Just think, if this phrase is true, by the end of it
you are going to be f*cking ecstatic.
Euphoria here i come!!
Right fellows, i shall leave you with a little
parable i came across in Africa:
A wise monkey never monkeys with another monkeys
Think about it.