Ships log Earth date Sunday 20 May 07
Sun 20 May 2007 09:40
The time is seven twenty on Sunday morning, it is clear and sunny but
chilly, we are at the North East end of the Thames sand banks South East of
Harwich about 10 miles. On board are myself, "El Kapitano Tim", Trevor and
his daughter Larina and Mike Counter. 4 in total. breeze is 9 knots from
the North East and all crew seem to be happy. Especially Larina as she is
still in bed! Trevor is on the wheel, Mike is beavering away and has been
since 04.15 engaged in any task that requires him to utilise any of his
numberless little gadgets and tools.
For those readers not intimate with Mike's little ways such commonplace
items as leatherman and head torch are strictly work-a-day, Mike has all
manner of technical and downright clever exotica secreted about his clothing
and person at all times, and indeed as skipper and main beneficiary of his
industry, I say ."Good on Him"
Rebel was of course commissioned fully prior to departure and so really we
are all sitting around drinking gin and eating olives, having said that Mike
thus far has already fashioned a guard cover for the freezer fan so as to
stop unwanted items falling into the freezers gubbins,.. such as most of the
food. This has been achieved by cutting up a plastic pond pot that was
originally purchased to contain the roots of a lily plant that we own at
home, however it has been recruited to the project and has been pressed into
service in the most cunning manner. He has installed a danbouy launcher
contrived using the most mundane components, fitted a new clock and
barometer set to replace the previous set. I must say that on that subject I
fear that this set will ultimately go the same way: they will fall foul of
the fact that although they are properly priced for the rigours of the
marine environment, they are actually made of 50p's worth of recycled coke
bottle, still...they look nice for the moment and their rims do match the
satin finish of the ships kettle.
We are about to fit the fenders with their new black fender socks. There was
a time, when as a younger man I would have sniggered at such folly, but now
in the summer of my days I can see the wisdom in matching fender socks and
so on they go.
Life on board is filled with these minor but important achievements.
Why are we here? why am I writing this? Because in November 06 it came to
me that it might be fun to sail across the Atlantic as part of the ARC (
Atlantic Rally for Cruisers )It is an annual event that leaves from Las
Palmas each November bound for St Lucia. OK said I, let's do it. Then of
course one thing leads to another, one is slowly drawn into a bigger idea.
If one is to leave from Las Palmas, then one has to get to Las
Palmas....Understanding this, the organisers run a feeder rally called
,"Rally Portugal". It is a cruising/fun race event that starts in Plymouth
and finishes in Lagos in Portugal. It thereby places one in a good location
to sail out to the Canaries and so to the Las Palmas start in November.
"Rebel.T" the fine vessel that I write this from lives on the Blackwater
estuary and so one needs to travel South and West in order to join the
That is why we four are here on a Sunday morning in May. I am writing this
so that you , kind readers have an idea of the circumstances that have lead
to this curious missive.
Rebel.T. is a 38' sailing catamaran built by Fountaine Pajot in La Rochelle
France, when she was first purchased there was a definite promise to take
her somewhere "proper", this coupled with my recent diagnosis of FRP
syndrome, ( Fear of Receding Potency) has ultimately compelled me to act.
Yesterday was my 49th Birthday, something had to be done. This is what I
did!! To all those who know me, I ask for no sympathy, just a quiet place,
as safe place. A little understanding. All I have ever really wanted is to
be loved, to be like other boys, maybe after this, the 4th year boys won't
steal my tuck any more. I will be free to fade into middle age with grace,
who knows, it may even make a man of me!!
OK back to some semblence of reality. The aim of this log is to keep
interested parties up to date with our whereabouts and to provide a little
info hidden amid the silliness. I hope to send a log each day with position
and engaging monologue.
My favourite singer at the moment is Amy Winehouse and Mike and I had
Sainsbury's muesli at 4.30am this morning for breakfast. Trevor didn't as he
felt that unusually his tummy was a little queasy. This is strange, as
Trevor is not a man to flinch from his appetite. I found the meusli a
little too chewy for the hour and needed two cups of coffee to get it all
down. All of us hope it stays down, which of course is always a problem when
engaged on a sailing adventure.
In the interests of fairness I just asked Trevor his favourite plant,
feeling readers may well be interested in such maters. Trevor says, "
anything I can eat", then he giggled a bit.
His most favourite song of all time is Meatloaf's, " I will do anything for
Mike has collapsed in a tired heap in the forward starb'd cabin and is
making grizzly bear noises.
Larina is still happy ..and still asleep.
Before I sign off I want to make a public statement:
Although in this particular log I have been in bemused mood, it is because
all in all the boat is in fine condition, a million jobs have been completed
and we have a freezer filled to the brim wth delicious homemade cooking.
None of this would have happened, (and thereby my own hapless nature may
have been revealed) if not for the efforts of a number of friends, staff and
craftsmen who have laboured intensively since Christmas so that the crew can
be here now.
In particular, the delicous Colette, the lovely Lorraine, Anthony, all at
Foxs Chandlery, Rigging and Marina.
and the Holy Trinity at Oyster.
Since this little plan got out untold numbers of people have shown
unexpected interest. All of us have only the one life and this project means
a lot to me and will mean even more to me in years to come. You are all part
of it and I thank you now for your part in making it happen. Thanks and
kisses to all those who would like one. even some who say they don't,..but
they do really.
Thankyou to you all sincerely.
I feel the need to go on deck now as the gentle roll of the blue sea is
creating a beautiful but disturbing green feeling deep within me.
Don't go far from this site.. theres more coming up soon.....
Yours in valiant mood
Tim ( now off North Foreland)