On the Subject of Virginity.
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
It was a dark and stormy night and Rob said to Niamh we have 40 miles to
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
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
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
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
rebuilt. Oh Shit! I really
had stuffed things up this time. We were also not in the best possible of
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
would be sailing back to
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
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
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,
first 40 minutes we had some protection from the lee of the
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 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