Chug Chug

Malcolm McPherson / Rich Butterworth
Sun 26 Jun 2011 21:25
Position 38:02:09N    017:05:68W
After a good start on leaving the Azores we have been trying to motor our way clear of the Azores High for the past 36 hours and now seem to be getting the payoff with winds building as expected from the North, hopefully they should reach  a F5 or 6 as over the next couple of days before easing again once through the Gibraltar straits.
I had wanted to do the rest of the journey without anymore stops but a combination of the fueling dock in Horta only taking cash and the banks setting a limit of Eur200 per day meant that we left a little light on fuel, especially if we have to do much motoring in the Med. So a quick stop in Gib to refuel before the final leg.
Just noticed that yesterday marked 4 weeks since leaving Antigua with about a week or so left to run to Mallorca, think that w're all pretty happy with that considering the light breezes that have been the major characteristic of the voyage.
So after 4 weeks we're all still getting along, (mostly!) and I haven't found it necessary to abuse the crew (much!). All the more amazing when I have done this trip mostly tobacco free (yes intentionally this time) 
Anyone who knows me will know how unlikely this sounds but I think that the crew have enjoyed the frisson of danger that comes with being on a boat in the middle of an ocean with a nicotine free me.
James has even tried to up the risk element by adding a little sleep deprivation into the mix.
My favourite was when I was dragged up on deck at 02:30 to offer my opinion on how to avoid some shipping. This is a common enough occurance and I actually sleep a lot more soundly if I'm confident that the watchkeeper will call me as soon as they have any doubts as to the correct course of action and normally I enjoy the teaching opportunity and then go back to bed and sleep within a couple of minutes, which was exactly what I expecting the night before last when I was woken with "Rich can you come and have a look at this ship? It's getting really close but not showing up on radar." One glance told me all I needed to know and I did my best to put James' fears to rest.
Me       "Don't worry, it's not coming anywhere near us."
James  "but how can you be so sure? you've only glanced at it for a second and why isn't it showing up on radar?
Me      "Well.. it's a bit further away than you think"
James  "Are you sure? it seems very big and it's not even showing up when the radar is set to maximum range"
Me       "No it probably wouldn't, it's more than 24 miles away"
James  "It must be massive then. How can you be so sure?
Me      "Because it's the bloody moon! Night night I'm off back to bed."
Which is exactly where I'm going now.
Night night all.