Thu 10 Dec 2015 17:04
26:24N 17:50W seas down to 2m, sunny day, cog (=course over ground) about 250 SOG(= speed over ground) 5-6 knots

Good News! I have received dispatches from Bx today permitting direct approach towards 20N30W. Yes, twenty-thirty! Talking about “twenty-thirty” is oh, about the most serious crusing boatie thing you can say - some people even have t-shirts with “20N 30W” on them, and we’re on our way there right now.

The reason for this is that although the modern ships wham straight out of Gib and if going to Panama take the most direct route west, in ye olden days, the sailing ships had to follow the wind. Just like we do. The N Atlantic wind genrally goes clockwise, round and round, so to get to the carib and the New World you head south and then west. If you try go due west, anything might happen, possibly no wind, but you’d need a forecast. Also of course, going south was perfect if you navigated with a stick - go south till the North Star is just at the right height when you line it up with something on your galleon, and somehow allow for the galleon rolling about... and then head west till you reach the carib, all the time holding the star at that same altitude - hence same lattitude.

So anyways, passing to about 20N30W isn’t direct, but it’s usually the nicest way for relaible wind. All the sailing almanacs mention 20N 30W, and when Jimmy Cornell copied them out for yotties with a nice bit of chat on each route as though he’d thought it all up from scratch, he mentions it too. And every year the ARC gets together in LP and the final and MOST important seminar is the skipper’s briefing the day before. Not that important actually - same old notes and often the same old forecast, during which the shock announcement is made that it might be best to go to 20N 30W. Well I never. … dang, i’ve dissed them again. I will have to get someone else to book it if I want to do the ARC ever again.

Even after doing just one or two transats, Stingo and I are sniggering at the idea of going to 2030 and directing the ARC traffic, perhaps stand on the foredeck with white gloves, or set up a temporary marina stop. That would be quite nice, dyathink? I have to turn the spell checker off while I write words like “dyathink”.

So as I said that’s the route, and 2030 is likely due in 4/5 days or so, whatever. Light winds at the moment so now it’s 5 days… and now it’s 5 and a half . 6 knots but I can’t put the motor on, not really. That’s enough sailing rubbish, Sarah’s getting twitchy. I might write about C Columbus sometime, not today.

Hot news from Down Under is that Kate too the duck to the vet - where they were filming “Animal Hospita” and so she might be on TV with them repairing the duck’s leg presumably using a very small waterproof splint. So that’s exciting innit? Oh dear, another cultural misunderstanding looms - she mentioned Animal Hospital. Eek! See, nobody can mention Animal Hospital in the UK, not EVER. Cos everyone conjuring up the pic of Rolf Harris, the long-time presenter of the UK version. Since his embarrassing downfall, the BBC has determined that Rolf Harris is now a Non-Person in the UK, so you’ll never see any programs that he used to present with him saying “cute little fella”, even I suppose with a new presenter, it’s all got to go. Likewise on-screen artists painting pictures at speed, I expect that’s out as well, and any of his songs, although no great loss there. But otherwise, yes, it’s very nice that Kate and her duck might be on the TV. Also, instead of having to pay the vet the TV company paid all the bills. Hah, bills. Groan.

Still with antipodean news, Kate’s son Darcy is considering his career options. Many aussies of course work away from home, big distances to the mines etc, so they often work 7 days a week for a few weeks, and then have some time off, perhaps “3 on, 2 off” for example meaning 3 weeks work then 2 weeks off. At the moment, Darcy is on a (not very) gruelling “3 days on, 5 weeks off” rota. That’s cos he gave up his job with nothing else in the pipeline, then a month or so later in November he worked on a construction site but felt it was a bit dangerous. So after three days he packed that in as well. Hm. He’s fine about working, but nothing dangerous ok? Hm, again,- especially in Aus where there’s snakes in the garden, sharks in the water, crocs in the rivers and spiders in the loo! Darcy also does skateboarding in his spare time, and he ’s done his back in a bit. I can sort of appreciate how he doesn’t want any extra danger on top of all this. Perhaps a Non-exec Directorship of a large company might be ok, but that’s going to be some travelling and anyway, he really wants to be self-employed Right. I wondered if perhaps the job of Santa might provide a vacancy, most ot he year off? But no, there’s the dangerous chimney-crawling several billion times in one night, so that’s no good either. Hum. I was going to suggest that he wakes up and smells the coffee, but I bet he’ll say he doesn’t drink coffee, and anyway why should he make coffee if it’s not his turn? One day he might laugh about all this ….