Will the Last Person to Leave, Put the Cat Out? 37:42.35N 043:01.38W

The Return of Irene III - 2018
Louis Goor
Wed 30 May 2018 11:36
Tuesday 29 May 2018 (Johnny Frey, In Locum)

The short version .
The past twenty-four hours, we sailed easterly for 168 NM's with moderate
winds to our starboard, got wet, had a nap, a laugh and we will do it all
again tomorrow!

Now the long version .
Typically, the night watches are run by Johnny, Tony and Sean (1.00 am to
8.00am). A watch is always preceded by checks of wind direction, strength,
ships course, sail trim, AIS targets etc. Once the "necessaries" are
concluded we generally settle down to a night of coffee, tea's and chat with
lots of banter.
Three men will discuss everything from points of sailing, sports, women and
food, exaggerated claims of prowess to comical images of the absurd.
Nevertheless, last night we concocted a plan to shake things-up on board by
swopping our pre-assigned chores. It was deemed that Donald would be asked
to tackle the catering for the day, enabling Tony to have a well-earned
day-off from the Galley. I was to take over Donald's Blog Recording duties
and Sean would basically just kick back.
Now we dream-up these ideas, but they never actually pan-out as planned.
Sean Boyle started his day by scrubbing out the forward head at 5.00am this
morning, followed by the cleaning/scrubbing of the cockpit and pedestals
with John, assisting our new chef in putting together lunch, along with his
general duties of weather, navigation and comm's. Finishing his day with the
cleaning of the Galley post dinner. Bless him, he's sleeping now on one of
the Saloon settees while I write this Blog.
As for Tony Frey, Murphy's Law leapt all over him today. He partially helped
Donald in the Galley to set-up and devise his dinner menu for the day.
Following that he ended-up having to remove everything from the fridge and
clean-it out in search of the "smelly French cheese" which Donald found
intensely offensive. After which, Tony was seconded into having to locate,
repair and replace the pump/pipe work for the Galley sinks. From early
lunch-time to late evening (9.00pm) he disassembled, sighed, cursed, cursed
again (in Irish) before he eventually tracked down the source of his angst.
Now you know why plumbers always take that heavy inhalation when you ask
them to quote on something!
As for myself, I stayed on watch this morning with John and thoroughly
enjoyed our early morning conditions. Auto-helm off, I returned to simpler,
less complicated days of wind, sea and boat. I loved every moment of it.
Powering through the waves with 18-20 knot winds on our starboard beam,
reasonably flat seas and a motivation to just get to our destination.
Idyllic! Needless to say, this euphoria was short lived before I got drawn
into the Galley Pump Repair Team (plumbers apprentice with dropped trouser
waist to rear - comes natural to me!). This was compounded with requests as
to "Johnny, what is this piece of rigging block I found on the deck".
"Johnny did you know that the Domestic Batteries are down to 68%?" Yes, I
did know. "Johnny is the Staysail strapped down properly?" And, "Johnny can
you help me with these dishes please - I'm swamped". Enough already! I need
to sleep for a few hours and give my head peace. Despite my protestations, I
love Irene III and will always find time for her, she's a precious, giving
lady who occasionally needs a supporting hand. I will miss her in future

The Day Watch; A combination of Chiefs looking for Indians. No Indians on
board I'm afraid. John Goor (our skipper), Donald Gordon and Tom
Fitzpatrick. All highly qualified sailors with enough years on them to
remember Columbus setting sail for the new world. "I might get it in the
neck for that one!"
John is the first to rise every morning. Supporting that big cheesy grin as
he emerges from the companionway. Just as the sun begins to warm the teak
decks, John makes those of us that are awake, a cup of coffee and a bowl of
Organic Porridge with fruit. My own body goes into shock in the first few
days of sailing with him. It's just not familiar with this "healthy
digestive" concept. As the sun rises the Night watch team steadily
disappear. Gradually, as the heart gains its rhythm and the blood begins to
warm, John gets into action. "Fix this, clean that, can we do something to
make this better" and so on... If you can't be of assistance keep out of his
way. I believe the safest place to be at these times, is to hide in the
covered tender at the rear of the boat or scale the mast in the pretence
that the pennant requires securing. For those of you who know John, his
daily pace is only interrupted by feeding and resting (but not always).
There may be something in that? This evening John finished his daily tour
and evening watch by sharing a beer with Tom, Tony and myself. Reflect on
the day's events and laugh. Tomorrow is a new day!
Now every team has a "Quiet Man" in the background. Ours is Tom Fitz. Who I
believe sees and notices everything; crew interactions, observing points of
discussion and interceding in heated debates with that calm, authoritative
voice of reason. Now, given that we have upset every body's routine today
and that things didn't necessarily work out as planned, some of our tetchier
moments were arbitrated by our Tom's graceful intercessions. We admire Tom
for his ability to supress other people's tensions while fighting his own
Demons of Sugar, Sugar and more Sugar! But he has another side. A darker
side. Power hungry! Tom spends much of the day monitoring the ailing battery
situation for me. Ensuring that we never drop below our preferred 72%. He's
like an eagle on a fish. Inverter on. Inverter off. I wonder if Tesla has
heard about him yet?
Poor Donald, I believe that he awoke this morning with a smile on his face,
safe in the knowledge that today is going to be another good day for
"Donald". Bless his innocence! The plan now devised and assigned amongst the
remainder of crew. Donald was assaulted with his new "temporary duties" for
the day; Preparing and cooking lunch and dinner for six people in a boat
with Atlantic waves crashing into it every thirty seconds. He will be
excused from his day watch duties to enable him to fully focus on his new
responsibilities. You could see the anguish in his eyes. But Donald isn't
one to back-off from a challenge. He inhaled a large breath of fresh air,
called Tony and Sean in for help and got underway. Collectively Donald and
Sean mutually decided on a Luncheon Dish of Salad Nicosia's using the
remainder of our fresh Tuna. While Tony talked him through an Almond and
Parmesan coated Chicken Breasts with Lemon Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans and
Carrots. All very good. You would think?
Donald and Sean's idea of the classic Salad Nicosia is a unique take on any
known form of food preparation . its mainly formatted around healing the
boat over off the wind as much as possible, aim the bow into the biggest
Atlantic waves available, toss for a few minutes and then open the fridge
door. What falls out ends up in the salad. While I paint a picture
representative of a Jackson Pollock, the morning after, the "Salad" was
surprisingly very tasty and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Donald really excelled himself in preparing a wonderful dinner for the crew.
Fresh and delicious. I wanted more. Sean wanted more (but that's not
unusual, he always wants more)! But given the difficulties in the galley
with inoperable sinks, Donald did a great job in creating a wonderful meal.
I wonder if he is up to doing a job-swop again?

There you have it. My interpretation of the events of Tuesday 29th May,
2018. Nothing unusual for us. Always battling the seas, our playground, for
improved speed, better angles, smoother rides. It's what we do for a laugh
and we love it!
Cheers Johnny