Arc Day 11 - Welcome back Parasailor

Dick and Irene Craig
Wed 2 Dec 2009 21:59
This is just amazing, mid afternoon yesterday, the sea state had reduced
from moderate to slight, the sun was shining and Enya was playing over the
speakers as I sat, on the fly-bridge, interviewing the skipper, during his

The moon that was a white circular shadow in the east at 17.30 yesterday
was, at 7am, a rich, clotted cream coloured globe in the west, having shone
brightly throughout the night.

The full moon was possibly the reason that no flying fish had committed
suicide last night, perhaps because they could see the boat.

There are still flying fish around but on their own or just a couple of them
at any one time. We haven't seen a glide or a squadron for ages.

The sun at 7am, an orange and red globe, rose brilliantly on the horizon.

The waves which had climbed high up the steps on the sugar scoops, were now
encroaching with less vigor.

The S/Y Raylah, which had been behind us when we spoke to them on the VHF
yesterday afternoon, had been ahead of us before midnight and by 11am today
were out of VHF contact.

We raised the parasailor at 10am, 61 hours since taking her down. Hopefully
this will improve our speed so that we might arrive in Rodney bay on the 8th
December, rather than what is currently looking as though it will be the

Austin, who spent hours mending the snuffer bag yesterday, doesn't believe
that giant moths had done the damage, he is convinced that the bears,
otherwise referred to as "babies", are responsible. That it was their claws
that damaged the fabric as they climbed to the top of the sail, while

Danny has spent 24 hours in the galley recuperating from the after-shock of
the fall, as well as the ravages of the wind. Connie has also spent a couple
of days in the galley. She had been wilting badly, located just above the
navigation station. She hadn't fared any better when she played "palm tree"
for the "babies", even though we protected her from the sun by closing a

We have now put all our eggs in one basket, so to speak. Sorry, that was
incorrect. We have now put all the basil plants in one basket. We will give
them 24 hours and then review the situation.

Cook became fractious yesterday as the wind, blowing in through the open
doorway, blew the flour that was being used to make the rock cakes, all
across the galley, coating all the surfaces it touched with a fine film of
flour. Later, when the salad leaves started to blow off the plates, while
lunch was being prepared, we almost had tears of frustration.

We are not making the best of any opportunity to rest during the day when we
are not busy about the boat, on watch or doing other tasks. This is lowering
our reserves and making us more prone to irritability.

Yesterday the skipper and the cook, as one team, the medic and
communications guy as the other, competed against each other in a trivial
pursuits contest. We had been unable to raise a crew from any other boat, to
invite them to take part. They were probably too busy looking after their
boat, as the sea was high and a bit unfriendly. Perhaps Neptune had a

A few days ago, the communications man and the cook played trivial pursuits
against the skipper and the medic. The cook has been in the winning team on
both occasions.

Lunch today is penne with what remains of the ham from yesterday, in a
garlic/tomato sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Yum,yum!

The plan for supper is BBQ'd steak with jacket potatoes unless we catch a
fish, in which case we will have BBQ'd fish of the day, with oven chips.

Today we have a profile of what is a typical day for the skipper.

There is no typical day although there are various routines and checks which
have to be made on a regular basis.

He makes the bed and does his first rig check of the day.

He has to make or arrange to be made, any mechanical repairs or
modifications required, as reported by the crew. There is also a need to
check out regularly the engine compartment and effect any necessary repairs.

He has already had to replace the faulty heating element in the hot water
tank, which kept tripping out the electrics.

He takes the weather reports from the communications guy as well as
attempting to make the weatherfax work. Does anyone in the world have one
that has ever worked?

The responsibility is his for any course changes deemed necessary, using
GRIB weather files, synoptic charts and the daily, ARC weather report.

Emails have to be sent to suppliers concerning items required and work
needed once we arrive in St. Lucia. He also ensures that safety checks and
watches are carried out in accordance with the schedules.

Using a sextant (see photo), there is a need to take the noon sun-sight and
then work out the latitude, plot the position on the electronic chart and
complete three separate log sheets. i.e. The hourly log, the daily log and
the fuel consumption log combined with the maintenance schedule.

The generator has to be run to maintain battery charge status and the water
maker to maintain the water supply.

After lunch he always makes each of us a mug of filter coffee and
occasionally does the washing up, though he is not included in the washing
up rota.

He is involved in the conversion of the files on his laptop, currently under
a Vista operating system, to a Windows 7 operating system.

Every time the Victron equipment is irritatingly, turned off by the HF
transmissions, this needs to be reset, as does the re-input of the course on
the E120 plotters, when that is dumped. The Victron equipment has to be
reset using the laptop as the wall-mounted panel has ceased to function.

The E120 plotter problem is a new fault which manifested itself, following
the software update by Raymarine staff, while we were in Las Palmas.

He tries out the fishing, with guidance from Austin and generally tries to
maintain a happy ship.

Having been taught how to splice rope by his cousin, he was able to pass on
this knowledge and skill to Austin, who is now very proficient (see "Austin
does splicing").


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