Ask me sister 'cos I'm sweating.... 21:51.97N 47:37.15W

The Return of Irene III - 2018
Louis Goor
Wed 13 Dec 2017 21:43
Wednesday 13 December 2017 - Day 11 at Sea

"Alone we sail through this wide dark ocean" - Who's writing all this weird
introspective stuff?!

When Sabine emerged from her cabin shortly after sunrise, wearing a
colourful flower-power dress we should have clicked that today would be a
busy one on the social front. Sabine is the ultimate party animal - so as
she wafted around the saloon in her cloud of "Summer of Love" (remember
Woodstock?) eau de toilette, we had been duly warned.

And 12 hours later, as the sun begins to set behind a rainbow laden squall,
we are all of a fizzle at the endless excitement we've experienced today.

The ball started rolling when John HH & Louis deciding that the following
wind provided ideal conditions to set our sails in a Goose Wing formation.
Genoa to port held in position by the spinnaker pole, staysail to starboard
and the main fully extended. With all that canvas aloft - we zipped along at
10 knots on a comfortably flat sea state.

Then it was time to fish In La Gomera, Louis had purchased a high-spec
Shimano rod and reel, costing more than John E normally buys his cars for!
Over the past 11 days, despite the best efforts of our earstwhile trawlermen
(LG & JHH), at least three monster fish have slipped their hooks.

So given this poor return on investment, as a precaution, John E had asked
Irene III's fishermen to pose for a photo with a six inch flying fish, the
latest to have crash-landed on our decks.

He needn't have worried. By lunchtime, the reel burst into action - 500
metres of line was ripped off by the latest fish to be snagged. After all
their previous practice, Louis and John HH played this one cool. They slowly
wound a green gilled 10 pounder aboard. The fish looked like a cross between
a cod and pollock - but with no access to Dr. Google, a positive ID could
not be made.

With a sharp knife in hand, Louis took to the aft bathing platform to gut
his quarry. Two large fillets and six fish steaks were produced and narey a
drop of blood or an unseemly scale touched Irene III's immaculately
maintained teak decks.

The fishing shop in La Gomera had kindly included a complimentary jar of
Wasabi paste with Louis's rod and reel purchase, so lunch turned into a
buffet of Sashemi served with a sauvignon spritzer.

By now we were ready for our daily post-prandial siestas. But the Automatic
Identification System showed Motor Yacht Symphony bearing down on our stern.
At 331 feet long, this Mohammed Al Fayed style floating gin palace was the
first sign of human life we had encountered since our departure from the
Canaries 11 days ago.

Louis quickly rehearsed his best VHF chat-up lines and when she came within
two miles of us, he decided to cross the dancefloor. "MY Symphony, MY
Symphony, MY Symphony this is Sailing Yacht Irene III, SY Irene III, SY
Irene III - Come in please". There followed a pleasant parlay with a well
spoken officer, who explained that they had sailed from Gibralter and like
us were heading for Antigua.

He admitted to having experienced "some knarley weather" - which we had also
enjoyed! Louis's query if he could book a table for six at 8pm was politely
declined. "We're have quite a pressed schedule", the officer explained
before hastily signing off. So that guy won't see Sabine's party dress until
Antigua at the earliest!

We were just coming off that Cloud 9 social interaction, when a short-finned
Pilot Whale decided to check us out. Perhaps she'd heard about Sabine's
beachwear parties or sniffed her "Summer of Love" essence from afar. Either
way this wonderous Pilot toured our stern, traversed our bow at 5 metres
distance and then swam back and forth under Irene III a couple of times
before heading down into the deep.

Oh My, Oh My - I think we'll need an early night..

But hark, Sabine has just produced her violin for the very first time - and
is playing The Road to Lisdoonvarna and the Honeysuckle Hornpipe. Really and
truly there's no stopping this girl when she's ready to party.