Day 5 in the Cruinneag Brother Household...and the housemates are getting to grips with life at sea...

Thu 24 Nov 2011 16:27
21:59:86N 23:21:78W Thursday 24th November 2011

It's a beautiful warm sunny day. The wind is light (by Cruinneag Standards) 10-14 knots from the East and we're headed South West under full sail. We've just had a very healthy lunch of carrot sticks and salad wraps to compensate for this mornings full Scottish brekkie (and to use the veg that was about to turn after I ordered a full veggie audit this morning after catching a whiff of something funny overnight...of course that could have been Steve's feet as he was asleep in the saloon at the time).

Trevor is getting to grips with trimming the mainsail and controlling the flappy boom in the light winds...Steve is in full british seaside attire going for the 'best suntan' award and challenging for the orange peel skimming championship with a 3 bouncer equalling my record from yesterday! (who would have thought Orange peels would skim the water like pebbles!?! hours of fun) Raman is on Happy Hour duty this evening so is designing cocktails and working out appropriate props no doubt (more on this little tradition later!) Susan, determined not to let any more clementines go off is tucking into her twelfth of the day and Nick the Skipper is having a lazy day after a bit of a long night, Dandy the dog is asleep, again and I'm on blog duty!

Since our last update we've been making respectable progress in the right direction. We've stuck to Nicks tactics and avoided the temptation to head west early despite the wind urging us to do just that...we're hoping it will pay off but it's been a bit of a slog getting south with plenty of engine hours to compensate for our inability to go dead down wind. And we've paid for it with some very sloppy seas and the inevitable seasickness, flying coffee cups, flying fruit and flying crews (out of bunks mostly...we had to throw an emergency 'lee cloths 101' class yesterday after a 'bumpy' night!!) Oh and a small egg disaster...thus the urgent need to have a full Scottish this morning...scrambled eggs all round! Our only injury amazingly was *(typically!) our chief medical officer, pharmacist Susan, who took the contents of a flying coffee cup on the hand and has a nasty but not serious scald thankfully...key learning: clever 'thermos' mugs with lids are too light and fly...said mug was made walk the plank shortly after and we're back using the old cornish crockery mugs that have been used on Cruinneag for over 30 years...if they haven't broken yet...

Despite the difficult conditions we have actually had a ridiculous amount of fun, eaten like we're on a cruise ship enjoyed a few tipples and managed to successfully navigate our way around the rest of the fleet...all who seemed to be going west...we've seen co-fleet members daily in their numbers, but today only one so far...are we the only ones this far south????...oh and we've been catching fish, plenty of fish...:-)

Without a doubt the highlight of each day so far has been Happy Hour. This is a tradition we introduced aboard Cruinneag on the early days heading south from Scotland and have taken to a whole new extreme already...and we're only 4 days in!!

Nick, had to set a precedent with all his 'happy hour' experience and didn't disappoint when promptly at 6pm the ships horn blew to call the crew to the cockpit and the 'The Baywatch Bar' where champagne, gin and orange cocktails were served by the Hoff himself accompanied by an inflatable shark!! and all the crew were also turned into Hoffs! We were very disappointed none of the German flagged yachts were nearby to lend us some suitable tunes. Shortly
before that we had caught two small Tuna fish which Trevor duly killed, gutted and marinated in lime. This was served pan fried with Karens special red pepper and raisin couscous and a nice glass of white wine.


Day 3 and the Happy hour duties fell to Steve who, on his debut as bartender, had us almost falling overboard with laughter when he popped out of the engine room hatch for the inaugural opening of the 'Paris Hilton Bar' ... dressed in drag as the IT girl herself steve looked rather fetching in his wifes lipstick and showed his resourceful side sporting a bit of veggie hammock in place of a blonde wig. The piece de resistance was the fake breasts which popped out to be the apples with with the scottish apple gin we were about to be served were accompanied!!

Dinner that night was down to Nick assisted by Raman who was struggling a little with the pitching and rolling...but the outcome of a difficult galley was delicious venison steaks accompanied by mashed potatoes (real not smash!)and fresh salad and a glass of Bandol Bastide Blanch - perfect with game.

And then into yesterday...and happy hour was my I decided to up the game once again and opened my own version of the Champagne Bar in Barcelona...complete with full leg of Jamon, a magnum of Cava, some traditional tapas, Freddy mercury blasting 'Barcelona' on the stereo and the mandatory rude hairy moustached (rather Dali like, thanks Nick) bartender. Sneaking it all into the engine room in the rolly sea was interesting and pouring the Cava was even more challenging, I think more of it ended up on the dog than in us - we have it on video but you'll have to wait till later to see it...bit much for the creaky satphone!

And so to today. The pitching and rolling has stopped. The engine is off and staying off and we're all starting to get excited about tonights happy hour...can Raman find his sea legs in time to produce a bar that will live up to his reputation as the Party animal aboard...??? and as for tonights menu...I'm in the Galley with Trevor and it's Fish again...this time freshly caught Dorado...I'm thinking a nice risotto with a glass of albarino on the side.

We held a minutes silence yesterday evening for all our friends out there on the big blue eating pot noodles and thank the gods for the continued working of our generator and freezers....because I have a secret stash of Fray Bentos and Pot Noodles just in case...

Big hugs to all our friends and families back home...we're hanging in there :-)