Friday night saturday morning

Sat 12 Dec 2015 01:31
24:40N 20:38W just after midnight Sat 12th dec motoring direct at the 2030 waypoint after most of the day sailing to over 6knots, poled out genoa etc. Wind exactly in line with BxWxTx at 14 knots from NE coming down to 12knots. Bit thin on wind this weekend, he says - likely just 6 knots on Sunday...

Another cloudless blue sunny sky yesterday and the dolphins came along just before the sun went down. They’re very sociable and intelligent animals, so their visits could be a lot more than idle playfulness. A handful come along to check the speed and course, then move on. Dolphins might see themselves in a supervisory role, perhaps like a hospital doctor doing his rounds with a teaching group, leaving clipboardy messages on the hull in dolphin language every evening. Or it’s their turf so maybe they’re monitoring traffic, although that would only need one, not several. They can’t be beggars like other wild animals who make visits - they don’t particularly want anything, otherwise we’d all know that they wanted a fish. And by this time they’d have taken it further, wouldn’t they? Like bears and foxes. If they were after food I would have already found a dolphin going the through the fridge and caught them red-flippered. Hey Flipper, get the hell out! Click click clickety click click click clickety clicket says the dolphin. Yeah, yeah, Flipper - I know the square on the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares on the opposite two sides, and thanks for proving the intelligence thing I mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph, but you still gotta go…

So, what’s it like the solo sailing, eh? So far it’s rather wonderful. Altho I suppose I’m on a fab boat with wonderful weather, weather warming up a bit, albeit slowly. Busy with things and i haven’t even had time to put on any music yet.

I was talking about this to Mike back in LP. He said - this is a first for you, isn’t it? He’s done loads of solo transats. So I, said yeah, any advice? Can’t remember him giving much advice. “You’re sociable, Matt” he says in cackly Texan drawl, and putting the emphasis on sociable as though I’ve got a disease. I actually start protesting about not being THAT sociable, not really, but he points out that I did pay for dinner, see? I hadn’t expected that to work against me, but okay, I admit it, I’m fairly sociable. But that doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of doing solo transats, does it? Mike doesn’t have any follow up, just raises his eyebrows and makes more cackling wise old bird noises.

I was going to a big rant in this next paragraph but I’m having a nice time and it seems a bit pointless. Lots of “obvious” stuff just isn’t true of course, and this is more of the same. You can be sociable and do a solo transat without having a mental breakdown, same as people can be a boss without being an autocratic bully, and others can be salespeople and politicians without being sleazy liars.

However - this is only the third day. Plenty of time to go bonkers yet. OK, even more bonkers.

Now, part of the important preparation for this trip was to buy a tenor saxophone. No idea why, I just saw it in a shop in Lanza and cheap enough to be a nice ornament even if I can’t play it. Oh yes, I DO remember why of course- it’s so the godawful racket won’t annoy anyone else. I’ve got it down in one of the cabins, not had a go yet, but I might do soon. Too busy with the sailing, blogs, reading and all that so far. Anyway, it’s not as simple as I thought, unfortunately. Tenor sax-wise, the key of G is actually the key of F or summing on a sax, not sure, but it’s different - when every other instrument says “C” a tenor sax player has to think ah yes, they mean B-flat, that sort of awkwardness. Sounds like a whole load of learning scales is needed first. I daren’t read music and play - it’ll screw me up. Try reading letters of the alphabet but when you see an A you add two letters and say C, and say D when you see a B and so on. Do that for a while, then go back to normal. Heck.

Oh, that’s a swiz isn’t it - it’s gone dark! Do we still only get only about half the time in daylight? Sheesh, we ought to do something about it instead of namby pamby hand-wringing things like global warming conference. Okay okay, the climate conference not a waste of time …. or is it? The BBC website did an article pondering if eating meat might have an effect on MMGW. Well yeah, it might! They quoted the same data as in that agribusiness contributes more than transport and factories and power production put together. But they edited the 51% figure attributed to agribusiness to 15% in their article - an obvious typo that needed correcting, yes? No actually Auntie Beeb, it should have been 51% - look at the text. Oh well. Let’s not expect too much from the flippin’ conference if even the people finding the info change things cos it doesn’t sound right. Tsk! Huh! Tsk! Hey - and you can't get at me on any of the greenie/do-gooder/climate stuff now - I bought the lettuce, remember?

Martin’s been in touch, and says I’m doing lots more blogs whilst sailing solo, instead of with crew, he thinks. More efficient. He also reports that his son is doing the important M+M experiments - no news yet and now he wants a vacuum chamber to test if they’ve been in the hold of an aeroplane