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Date: 06 Jun 2015 00:26:13
Title: Bora Bora to Tonga

17:27:1S 158:03:9W
 
Friday 5th June 2015
 
Tantalising Tang / A Word on Drink
No alcohol is consumed on passage: However, in our incessant search for something to titivate the taste buds and enliven our potable water, we have discovered Tang. Originally developed for US astronauts, if it’s good enough for them... Our situation is not dissimilar to theirs. A spoonful of orange crystals from the pack has become part of our daily diet, NB. we do drink it from beer glasses (plastics). David even remembers it from his days in Yemen.
 
Another regular liquid treat we’ve been driven to is, hot fresh Marquesan lemon tea, which we drink mid-afternoon. This we have discovered is really refreshing and so much better than UHT milk in the tea.
 
Memorable Meetings
One of the pleasures of this adventure is the meeting of people along the way. I think of these people as part of my voyage, I sail up to them, sail along together for a bit and then leave them in my wake. With what impression am I left? From time to time I will describe some of the more memorable characters.
 
The Belgian Drifter
Looking uncannily like tennis ace Marat Safin or Rhett Butler with a well trimmed beard, tall, broad, smiling, friendly open face. Mid-thirties: we first met him in a the pizza restaurant in Nuku Hiva, where he was introduced to us by a young American lady we had previously met. It transpired that he was hoping to part finance his sailing trip by making a documentary entitled: “Around The World in 80 Dates.” A good chat up line or genuine scheme? She confessed  without blushing, she was to be number 30! We later learned the camera battery and conversation both died and the evening was cut short and a total disaster.
 
In Tahiti we met him again and were fascinated by his story. As a child he was taken by his father to a boat show and was particularly moved by a long distance rowing boat. It became his obsession to row the Atlantic. In his twenties he still pursued the same dream and began writing to celebrities to ask if they would join him in the attempt, this would help finance the scheme. No one showed much interest, until one letter hit the target. He had written to a famous Belgian sailor who edited a magazine, he had a celebrity friend who wanted to row the Atlantic, but wanted to do it with someone else. Desperate not to be beaten our young adventurer decided to do it on a shoe string with a friend. They found someone to film them setting off and arriving, the rest they videoed themselves. The crossing took 150 days (on average it take 60 days). Equipment broke, things went wrong and they just survived. This epic video was offered first to the US market, but no one was interested, they like heroes and winners. But the Belgian’s loved it, their desire to see the underdog succeed against all the odds, made him and his friend minor celebrities for just over a year. At the end of the year there was much arguing about how to divide the profit from the scheme, which amounted to twenty one Euros! It did gain him a job with a TV company as an ideas man, but six months later without inspiration he was let go. So what next he thought, luckily he was contacted by a South African friend who wanted help to sail his newly acquired boat back from Turkey and that’s where the new video project came to life.
 
Next: Sleazy NZ Skipper
 
Miles travelled in the last 24hrs: 124 miles. We still have light winds, eight to twelve knots on average. 

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