Ships Log Earth Date 2nd June 07
Sat 2 Jun 2007 16:55
I always begin my log by reading the last log. It is clear that yesterday I
was bouyant of spirit. This morning I am a little less so. The facts are
that things have gone exceeding well on the preparation front. Thursday
morning when Ant and Rupert arrived was the start of a furious surge of
activity, at the same time Adrian the electrician turned up a day earlier
than expected because parts had arrived early. The boat was like an ants
nest with every ant carrying a tool or a wire or a cup of tea for someone
carrying a tool or a wire! The atmosphere aboard was great no cross words at
all. The work was all complete by the evening apart from some wiring. On
friday late afternoon the engines were started and the new electric system
came to life. First thing is that now hat the 80amp alternators are smart
wired they can produce up to 75amps. When they did that the twin engines
staggered at the load and we waited for the fan belts to give out. All was
fine. By now we had replaced the 4 domestic batteries with 4 bigger Gel
sealed super batteries. The original engine battery was kept and one of the
old domestic batteries was used to provide a new 3rd battery bank. The new
system is 450amphrs domestic, 85amphrs per engine. Of course the old
domestic was shot, so up to the chandlers for another battery.
Once the 5th new battery was at home all went well, we now have a very
sophisticated system and this Ardvaak thingy living in the battery locker
that senses battery needs and somehow compells the alternators to strive to
produce at maximum output when needed. It probably asks them in a civil
manner, I know my shouting never got them working. I have this image of a
long nosed anteater thing living in the battery box talking to all the
batteries just like "Babe" the pig talking to the sheep and at the same time
keeping a lookout for any ants or litle beetles. The whole thing is
comforting to dwell upon, a whole symbiotic alternative world that I was
fortunate enough to be part of creating.
Adrian didn't leave the boat till nearly 10pm having worked solidly since a
little after 7am. He has since been awarded a Crew Cap and is an honourary
crew member and officially "a Friend of Rebel". A picture was taken for this
web log dear reader but cannot be uploaded until we are in a decent WiFi
place. Mayflower is not a decent place because the internet is provided by
Square mile and they charge 20p a minute and the connection is brown and
But as soon as we get to Bayona, Trevor the, "I.T.Officer " will downput the
USB and uplift them onto the platform so that they can be seen with this
It is talking of Bayona that brings me back to my original statement and
indeed sentiment. It is this. Now that I can see further than the lists and
now that the known physical problems of preparations have been overcome, I
have realised that on Sunday morning we all set out to cross the Bay of
Biscay. I know that we aren't square rigged and I know we have two deisel
engines but all the same, it suddenely seems a bloody long way. Further, it
comes to me that this voyage is simply part of getting the boat down to the
Canaries so we can cross the Atlantic.....well, I ask you..who's idiot idea
was that?? Oh yes, I remember, it was mine!! It seems to me that sometimes
the ideal to strive and aspire can get one in a deal of deep water, and the
pun doesn't need to be forgiven. Luckily, although I am not brave, I am not
scared of being scared, in fact it comes quite naturally.
I must say that it is typical of me that no sooner have I overcome a certain
disaster than I find, ( or possibly imagine? ) the next one, the one I
didn't forsee, the one that will get me this time unless I really try hard.
It is a bit like a bisaar hamster wheel of which I am the creator and
So anyway what I mean is that I should be chuffed that the boat is ready and
the crew all friends and the weather verging on designed for us, and I
should feel like this is a fantastic holiday and a life time adventure. And
I do.....but I'm a little bit scared, but don't tell the others!!
I think that the minute we get started, we cross the start line, it will be
all adrenalin and pips and I'll be in fine form, the old, "Billy the Boy"
then when we get to Bayona I will sleep for a week, then shoot down the bar
and tell anyone who will listen what heroes we all were!!
I just love the human mind, it is more convoluted than Rebel's wiring.
So the time is 4.20pm , Ant, Rupert, Mike and Mark have gone shopping for
last minute things that are actually not really needed but would be nice.
Ant being influenced by Mike, ( remember "A knife, A BIG knife") and Rupert
"The Axe" Schofield) has gone off to buy a bigger knife!!. Trevor and I are
going to the Skippers meeting at 5pm so we can swagger around a bit and
check ourselves out among the other skippers. Our kit is by far the most
dashing and all in this years colours. Then we all meet at the Bar BQ, swill
down some grog, bed by 10pm, up by 5.30am, cast off lines at 7am and off to
the start to race across the Biscay. "Scotty, beam me up NOW!"
OK speak later once we are on passage.
Lastly a bit for the roughty toughties. I have decided on 2 watches of
three people. One person on each watch is allowed to sleep so long as they
are fully clothed with footwear on and laying in the saloon within earshot
and not in their bunk below. We are operating a 4 on 4 off system. There are
all manner of watch systems being discussed but this is the system I was
part of last time I crossed the Atlantic and it worked. It means that there
is no progression, ie Port watch never sleeps till 2am etc, but it is only 4
or 5 nights and if the sitaution changes in terms of weather, then I will
Expected weather is SW to start about F3 then going N and slowly changing NE
about F4/5. come Wednesday it is forecast to go E, which would blow us
straight to Bayona. It looks like a set of reaches which is perfect for us.
Naturally it will not go to plan but hey it looks OK .
OK 4.50pm, off to be a player at the skippers do!!