4-12-07 Jeff Guest Blog

Rebel T
Tim Walsh
Tue 4 Dec 2007 21:04
Dear reader,
I joined Rebel in Lanzarote as a new boy, as it were .While having done
quite a bit of coastal sailing, I have never done anything like this before.
I really enjoyed getting to know everyone while getting Rebel ready for the
off, during which we had her craned out of the water then antifouled her and
also did a host of other jobs before taking her over to Gran Canaria.

When we arrived, the place had a great buzz to it with so many boats’
getting ready to make the crossing, everyone was really friendly and we had
a great five or so days getting ready, socializing, and eating out.
Twenty fifth November finally came round and we were off for an adventure of
a lifetime, there were 260 other boat’s at the start, so as you can imagine
it was a bit hairy but very exciting and emotional. The wind soon picked up
to a force five to six and we had Maximus our big spinnaker with a kind of
parachute inside it making it a parasail and Rebel was flying, Tim asked me
if I wanted to steer and I jumped at the chance to take the helm, it was
quite a struggle to hold the course as we were now surfing down the large
waves with wonderful dolphins ether side of us, just surfing with us, and
every now and then looking up at us. I was in my element and found myself
bursting out in song with Tim and I’s old favorite, Shoals of Herring!!.
The first night was a tough one, trying to function with sea sickness and
tiredness, which continued to be a problem for the first few days. I found I
was fine on deck, and lying down on my bunk but doing anything inside made
me queazy. As the days went by I gradually found my sea-legs but a big
problem for me was developing, Betty!. Betty is our pet name for a complete
dried pig leg the dear Michael had bought in a restaurant on a drunken night
back in Gran Canaria ,now Mike and I share a cabin (at different times I’m
quick to add)and he had decided to hang up Betty at the bottom of our bunk
bless him! After a day or so, well quite frankly Betty was beginning to
stink badly and dripped fat! But as Mike had been well and truly ripped off
(paying 300 Euros) I was reluctant to tell him, but I did anyway, I CANT
STAND THE STINK OF YOUR BETTY ANY MORE!!! It’s her or me! As it happened
Mike was very good about it, and said he had noticed a bit of a pong, and
agreed to move it, and after a time delay (too long) moved dear Betty to the
chain locker out side where she stinks alone, thank God! But some how her
scent still remains in our bunk and reminds me of those horrible sea
sickness days.
As with the Betty problem, we overcome all obstacles that come our way. We
are nearly halfway across the Atlantic Ocean now, and after ten day’s of
constant movement, broken sleep, and seemingly endless ocean,we have to
muster every ounce of determination to drag ourselves out of our bunks in
the dead of night and do a four hour shift twice a night, but I can most
truly say I could never want to sail with a nicer bunch of blokes, than
those of the good ship Rebel. We all treat each other with the greatest of
respect, while always having a great sense of humor, and razor sharp whit,
in fact we are laughing and cracking jokes non stop day and night and keep
each other going though sometimes difficult and challenging times. We all
have our different skills and weak point’s and help each other out, and I
would like to say, our skipper Tim is simply the best, any one of us would
follow him anywhere, he is always aware of every slight change in Rebel
(even when he’s asleep) he is always thinking of the safety of the crew
above all else, which is very reassuring. Cheers Tim, we love you!! We all
miss our family and loved ones, and friends, but know we will appreciate
them all the more when our adventure is over. When I rang my eldest daughter
Mandy I found myself almost unable to talk, for welling up inside, which
really surprised me as I did not see it coming, I guess we are all carrying
pent up emotions. Inspite of all our joking around, we also have had some
intimate conversations about our lives, now we have time to reflect on them.
I feel none of us will ever be quite the same after, and we will always
remember our shipmates on our Great little ship Rebel, as she takes us
bravely over the ocean to our Eldarado of St Lucia and the Caribbean.
Much Love to all my family and friends back home. Jeff Ball