only about 8 days to go

CR and KN Williams
Mon 27 Apr 2009 19:32

7.52S 123.56W


Monda y, 27 April :Day 16


Back on-line again. If you’re with Iridium then when you make a voice call an American lady tells you how much time you have left. Unfortunately the start

of the message is so garbled that all any of us can hear is “ …..  and 20 secondes for this call” ( why they can’t say “For this call you have xx mins and yy secs remaining” is beyond me). If, as I do almost all the time, you use it for data you get no message at all. They did send a text saying I only had 37 mins remaining but I didn’t look at it for 3 days and so used its last gasp to ask Hettie to renew it all for me. [ why is it that everything only expires, runs out, breaks or gets lost at 5 past 5 o’clock before a weekend { usually a 3 or 4 day one!} ?]. I subsequently discovered I could actually do it myself using a FreePhone number; but, before you all say RTFM, the number is specific to your service provider and isn’t IN the manual. It’s usually on a long forgotten letter or A4 sheet which is miles away – moral, write it down on the inside cover of the manual!


All else is ISQ, Clare and Guy tried moving the genoa pole to PS but we flapped a lot and went slower in the wrong direction, so it’s back where it was. The only thing which doesn’t work (and isn’t on hold waiting for parts) is the SSB for voice, and then data (although I’ve only once got through in 3 years and that was to Trinidad). Todays tasks.






When you hear bespectacled Ayrshire duo, the Proclaimers, lustily sing “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more just to be the man who had walked a 1,000 miles to fall down at your door”, you take your hat off to their ability to fit so many subordinate clauses into the chorus of a popular song; but, at the same time, you have to admit to yourself that they evidently hadn’t quite thought things through. We have another 1,000 miles to go to reach the Marquesas and it’s a bloody long way I can tell you. And we’re in a boat. If you were to walk that distance you be in a bit of a state by the end of it and no Ayrshire lassie would be inviting you in for a little bit of west coast romance, no matter how long-awaited. I should know. I met my brother after he had just walked 1,000 miles and – fond as I am of him – he wasn’t even getting a manly hug from me. He absolutely reeked – and, to be fair, I should point out that he doesn’t usually have a hygiene problem.


Fortunately on Panulirus we don’t have such problems. As a rather amusing wag once jested, this boat was designed around its exceedingly capacious bathroom. We have a strict routine of one shower every three days and plenty of baby wipes for the intermediate days. If there happen to be any young ladies waiting for us when we reach Nuku Hiva (a promising name, I might add), then hopefully we shall be fragrant enough to be welcomed with open arms.


Staying in the bathroom, where I have spent many a happy hour on this voyage, today’s Tool Of The Day is elastic string, otherwise none as bungee. Whilst many people know this as the stretchy stuff connecting the ankles of daredevils to cranes and bridges, our bungees serve far greater purposes. You can find it all over the boat and it often serves as a testament to a physical injury of some kind. A bit like the bunches of flowers tied to lamp-posts in North London. We have bungee in the cockpit, commemorating the injuries inflicted by the swinging cockpit table. We have bungee at the chart-table preventing our typewriter from flying across the cabin as the boat lurches from side to side. And now we have a new piece of bungee in the bathroom: it is deeply disconcerting to be struck in the small of the back by a loo seat when you are in the middle of one of life’s more strenuous contemplations. This latest addition to the bungee throng will hopefully make such moments the stuff of fireside tales on a long winter’s night, nothing but a nostalgic, Werther’s Original-flavoured memory.




My birthday is now long gone and life on the ocean wave continues. Keith didn’t give me a Galapagos T shirt as promised but an antique amethyst pendant all the way from Borough market .I also got new books and moisturiser and Guy made a chocolate cake mix. I ate huge quantities and had a tummy ache !

I have discovered that I can’t cope with flying fish….One came hurtling down the companionway and flapped round my legs . Spiders O.K. even mice but not flying fish….they smell rather like sealion poo as well. Guy came and got rid of it for me when I started screeching in a girlie fashion.

The sea has calmed down a bit so sleeping is easier but we still have good wind and are cracking on at 6 knots. I am enjoying time to just potter.