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Date: 08 Dec 2015 13:16:53
Title: 8th December 21st Day at Sea

17.37.88N 055.53.78W
12:00 -  7 Dec 2015

Distance run today: 153 miles
Total distance run:    2908 miles
Distance to go       :   189 miles

Breaking news!!! did did did da da da.... The Captain caught a fish!!

It was a hot and balmy afternoon. I could see Grandad down below on deck, frying in the tropical sun. I had warned him that Heinz don't make factor 50, but he seemed content to smear mayonnaise all over his face and arms. Suddenly the familiar shout went up - "thar she blows!". Quick as a flash and without hesitation, I raced below to complete the Risk Assessment Form. Not being one for red tape and bureaucracy, I must admit to only taking 3 copies instead of the obligatory 4, before filing the forms in their appropriate ring binders. I climbed back on deck and took control of the situation. Reeling in the 40lb line, muscle and sinew stretched beyond what was natural or humane. Then I saw it, gleaming in the sunlight, golden yellow, green, shimmering rainbow colours, as it skidded along the waves, pulled in against its will towards the speeding vessel. It was the famous fish of these waters - roughly translated the "Oh my, oh my" . I hauled it up to the transom and it looked at me with an intelligence that I was not accustomed to, having spent so long at sea with only the crew for company. I hestitated, I could smell the crew standing behind me - presumably ready to catch me should I fall in - I heard one mutter - "big girls blouse"; then another - "wimp". It was true, I could not bear to kill this beautiful creature - at that moment - sensing my doubt, the fish gave a last ditch slap of its tail and manged to jump off the hook and back into the deep - free again. Grandad, who managed to get a photo of the event, was laughing so much he did in fact wet himself - he says it was a wave - but.

I was proud that we had complied with EU fisheries policy. I am well on my way now to catching and releasing 5 more fish to die a slow death, while qualifying to land the 6th which will be fit for human consumption, should it comply with the Orthogonal Shapes Directive 1963. We all support the work of the Orthogonal Working Party on Shapes, Sizes and Dispositions of Natural Products Committee. After all it was the OWPSSDNP that put a stop to the abhorrent trade in curved bananas, and oval tomatoes. I shudder when I think of the standards of fresh fruit and veg that my parents had to put up with - while we get to feast on perfect produce being sprayed gently by wafts of morning dew under the soft glow of neon lights with hint of sunshine.

The cruising chute - warp factor 1 at last for the last run to Martinique, we hope. But not without the usual trials and tribulations. First we discovered that we had bent a large shackle on the spinnaker pole with the tension on the furling drum the last time we used the chute. Then on launching the working sheet managed to blow up the Selden block on the toe rail and we had to create a spiders web of ropes and winches to winch the sheet out of the bust block. Finally we are away, and the engine room can sit back and just watch the crystals to their magic.

We are down to two curries - and Chef has promised us both one each instead of sharing as per usual. A real red letter day.

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