On the Subject of Virginity.

Fri 30 May 2008 10:37

  From my last entry  you will note that in the past 250 years little has changed. The Royal Navy would

Recruit their seamen from the bars around the  ports, Large amounts of alcohol was used to get them on the 

Boats and by the time anyone had sobered up they would be out of site of land. It seems that trick still works.

 Back to the story, it was a dark and stormy night, and the skipper said to the mate ,”tell us a yarn and the tale

Begain. It was a dark and stormy night and Rob said to Niamh we have 40 miles to Santiago and 160miles to

Sal our destination in Cape Verde we have 40 litres of fuel and 36 hours before Phil and Alison arrive in Sal.

So far we have been barley managing to sail a hundred miles a day we are going to be very lucky if we get their on time to meet them.  So a plan was hatched we would motorsail the last 160 miles, to do this we would have to do a pit stop in Santiago fill our gerry  cans with another 40litres of diesel which would just

Get us there hopefully on time. The Pit stop worked like a dream, Niamh Circled the boat in  the bay I hitched a ride ashore, the fuel station would not take my credit card so a quick visit to town to trade some

US dollars for local money back to the fuel dock and then back to the boat with 40 litres of fuel, all done

Within half an hour and we were on our way, 115 miles to go and 28 hrs before they fly in. By the way

Santiago looks a great place to visit, we had planned to spend a few days there and was sad that we were

Not able to enjoy this colourful place.

  And so it was Penguin motorsailed the last 115 miles we docked at 4 o clock  the exact time they were due

To land. We had taken 21days sailed over2650 miles and used 430 litres of diesel, the original passage plan

Had us sailing a direct course of 1950 miles in a period of 14 days, we had barley a cup full of diesel left in

The whole boat. The  last 700miles had been the toughest long stretch of sailing that we had had to deal with

Since leaving UK.

 Niamh and I were frantically sorting things out on the boat as Phil and Alison arrived at the dock and hailed

Over to attract our attention. Half an hour later I had the dinghy inflated and the petrol engine running and went ashore to get them. Niamh was very proudly doing her best to make Penguin fit to receive Guest’s. A

Very hard tough task which she completed with amazing success. On arriving ashore I was greeted with a big

Hug from home sent through Alison. Great choice as a messenger, don`t fancy Phil half as much. I needed to

Sit at the bar and have a beer and Niamh wanted a little longer to perform her miracle with Penguin. Whilst

Enjoying the beer I told them of our ordeal to achieve this rendezvous, Hopefully giving them a little hint of

What they might be letting themselves in for. And then it was all bundle into the dinghy and out to Penguin.

Niamh and Penguin looked great and the evening past with a little G&T and some dinner, and a great deal of

Of chat and laughter.

 On Saturday we had to move the boat to allow a small ship to enter the harbour and Moore up to the dock to

Be unloaded. We spent the day getting things sorted for our intended departure on Monday. As we had no diesel that was our first priority followed by water then food, with four sets of willing workers we achieved

It all very quickly. We arrived back at the boat at lunch time fully loaded with food water and gerry cans full

Of diesel. After filling the fuel tanks we started the engine to get the fridge cold again and recharge the boat

Batteries, little did we know that that was the last time we would hear the sound of a Perkins marine engine.

We ran the engine for a while at low revs and after about 10 minutes it began to splutter then stopped, not for

The first time in its history. At first I thought we maybe had some air in the feed pipes due to the fuel levels

Dropping down so low it had sucked anything it could into the system the other possibility was maybe water

Had been sucked through and into the cylinders. After five minutes clearing everything through we were ready to restart but I am afraid it was not to be,  It would not start after a short period of trying I realised that

It was totally seized and the realization followed that from now onwards we would be unlikely to get it working without a great deal of time and most likely also include removing the engine from the boat to get

It rebuilt.   Oh Shit! I really had stuffed things up this time. We were also not in the best possible of situations, In Cape Verde the people mainly speak Portugues it would also not be the best place in the world

To get the work done and spare parts would be difficult to get hold of. All of this meant only one thing, we

Would have to continue on without an engine, not for the first time, But on this occasion it was likely that

We would be sailing back to UK  a distance of 4000 miles we would also be without are main source of electric charging and the most critical of all we would have no fridge to keep the tonic cold for our customary

G&T on arrival at our various destinations.

 My main worry was that things would now be far less predictable as we had now only the sails to get us places and parking the boat was now going to be a more challenging business. It also meant that Phil and Alison with important deals going on back home and the prospect of a really hard uncomfortable sail with

No total Guarantee of our arrival in Tenneriffe had a very tough choice put before them. Their was also the

Prospect of a great few days windsurfing in Cape verdes if they stayed.  This was a difficult time for all of us

They had made a great deal of effort to get themselves out to come sailing the dream was all going a little pear shape. I put it to them that I wanted to take them sailing but that  these were not the circumstances which

 I wished them to experience their first bit of ocean sailing. They persuaded me that the only reason they had

Come was to do the leg and they would be prepared to accept what ever the conditions. Coming from to grown adults I decided far enough we now have four crew to the Canaries. Besides which Alison had spent all day cooking food for the trip, Niamh and I would never have been able to eat it all ourselves.

 On Sunday I want it noted that I gave Niamh the whole day of to do with what she pleased, Phil and Alison had a great day windsurfing, even I managed to rig my board and have a blast across the harbour.

 Monday 21st may spent the morning finishing of stocking the boat then waited for a local guy to try and refill

Our gas cylinders, But by 5 0 clock  in the afternoon we gave up on the prospect and decided we would have to manage with what we had on board. So with a full crew of four none of whom had drunk a drop of alcohol

All day they were all there of there own free will I promise! We left the protected harbour getting a little help

Manoeuvring out from a guy with a RIB. We had a journey of 750 miles ahead of us to Tenerife, Jacky was

Flying in on the 29th And I hate to be late especially when my wife is coming out to meet me, but things would not be easy with the prospect of head winds the whole way. This was going to be a leg to remember,

For the first 40 minutes we had some protection from the lee of the Island but it soon started to get pretty rough and Alison began to get sick, Phil managed to get helming which distracted him enough for him to stay

OK. Alison first night at sea was a really grim experience and the following eight days she only had short periods when she was comfortable. She never did manage to eat any of the food she had prepared, Another

Victim to the guaranteed Penguin weight loss diet. We have never had to pay any customers any money back

All fully satisfied with the regime. Alison first night ordeal was relieved temporarily by Niamh and a needle

Which helped to settle things down after lots of pleading to be relieved from her misery. Jacky now has a sole mate as far as enduring long periods of sea sickness whilst sailing. Phil coped reasonably well never actually being sick. He joined in the watch keeping and made great efforts to catch fish for us. He did succeed in catching 2 Dorado which feed the 3 of us for a couple of meals. Alison of course being feed on porridge, water and the occasional dried biscuit for 8days. Capt Bligh was a pussycat compared to Capt York.

 Jacky  flew in on Tuesday 29th in the evening I managed to get a message to Jo by sat phone that we would

Get there until after midnight so it would be best if she sorted herself out with a hotel for the night, and we

Would meet up the following morning. We had  another hard sail covering a distance of 1100 miles in 8

Days. The highlight of the trip was being visited by house Martins most evenings looking for a place to sleep. They would fly around the boat half a dozen times finally deciding that it was their only option and how to make their approach to our moving landing station. They must have indeed been desperate and exhausted showing no fear of us monster humans. We also had a homing pigeon hitch a ride with us back to

Dry land. It should be put on record that I was banished to the helm whilst Niamh administered the needle to

Alison Bum, It was deemed that after a month at sea being witness to such a sight would have so distracted the Skipper that he would have been unable to function normally for the remainder of the voyage. So as a result you get birds as being the most exciting thing that we have to report!

  At 0700 on Wed the 30th Penguin sailed into Cristainos Jacky had walked down to the quay to see if she could find us. So a very emotional entrance was made as I recognised her whistle and saw her standing on the Wall. All very French leiutant Woman.

 So virginity lost, At the age of fifty I think I can get away with the next few lines. Be very careful when and

With whom you chose. There is only ever one first experience.  




No trick photography used in compiling this log.  Quote from Phil at the dinner table in Tenerife the night following our arrival.

The first night.  "I new that if I left the wheel and went down into the boat to look at Alison I would be sick"


 We have got up to Porto in Portugal cant imagine why that was on the list of places to stop. Niamh`s dad has jumped ship,

sounds familiar, but we have a new victim another virgin yachty Ed Hannifan.  All is running smoothly on Penguin and a computer

whizz has managed to get this thing working again, so finally things are becoming a little less hectic and I even have time to write this

up. C U  for the next gripping instalment.  Cheers  Rob