Stop feeding Zanax to the Cat 36:32.36N 009:32.46W

The Return of Irene III - 2018
Louis Goor
Mon 11 Jun 2018 17:46

Monday 11 June 2018 (Johnny Frey, Smothered in Locum Honey)

Every Offshore Passage is a flawless routine of Deck Watches, Systems
Checks, Eating and Sleeping with occasional bouts of Jesting. The routine is
important as it gives individuals structure onboard and ensures a greater
attention to detail and ownership of responsibility. However, we often
encounter little things that elevates the mood of the entire crew. Those
special occasions which are out of "mundane". Those remarkable little
moments, individuals file-away in the back of their brain only to be
resurrected when sharing our most special pleasures. So, below I have
collated a few of the "moments", that we can recall from previous trips and
a number of those shared by my colleagues on this trip. I have no doubt that
you too could add to them .

Occasional Encounters at Sea (Donald)
It is not unusual to travel across the Atlantic, thousands of miles and not
encounter any other vessel. So, on those rare occasions when you do stumble
upon another vessel (particularly another sailing yacht), we instigate a
conversation over the VHF. Topics discussed are departure and destination
locations, weather, time at sea, nationality etc. etc. Last December we
encountered the "MV Symphony", a 330-foot luxury motor yacht headed to
Falmouth Harbour in Antigua. She gently cruised by us doing 20 knots. Louis
was having a friendly chat with the Captain over the VHF when Louis politely
requested a Table for Six, any time around 8pm would be good? Laughter
all-around. Unfortunately, the MV Symphony was fully booked. Next time

That Special Morning Breakfast (Sean)
As I have previously outlined, offshore sailing can be a programme of
monotonous routine. Then occasionally, Louis or John raises their head from
the Saloon, big smiling grin and knocks out a blinding "surprise" breakfast
of either Poached Eggs on Toast or Scrambled Eggs on Buttered Muffins.
Perfectly cooked with lots of salt and pepper - yummm! It's not just the
runny eggs or melted butter, it's the aroma of freshly made toast, the taste
of the pepper, it's that familiar warmth of being at home. It's a simple
treat, but one that we all embrace and remember fondly. I will recount these
simple pleasures every time I sit down to this modest fare on land. "Did I
tell you the time that I ." Yeeesssss. Not Again. It's an Egg!

Violin Playing (Johnny)
Last December, I was lucky enough to crew with Sabine on a trip from the
Canary Islands to Antigua. I will always remember those warm, heady
evenings; while I prepared dinner, Sabine would break-out the "Fiddle". The
scene was tranquil. Pre-prepared dinners (Sabine & myself) were being warmed
in the Galley, schoolboy giggling and laughing from the guys on watch in the
cockpit, JohnH at the desk writing-up his personal log and Sabine laying
down that "Blanket of Serenity in the Saloon". To me it is one of those very
special "snapshots of my mental gallery" that I will always remember and I
will always be happy to share. Note that there is a superb photograph
available by JohnE to accompany my mental image.

Morning Solace (John Goor)
We all have our special moments. Moments which are personal and meaningful.
When asked, John's special moment is when he relieves the Night Watch and
takes control of the helm at seven each morning. John loves those early
morning solitary, meditative moments. Irene III, is on a broad-reach
travelling around 8/9 knots, slicing through the waves and very much at her
best. Irene III loves it, John loves it. For John, it is the simple harmony
of a balanced sailing boat cutting through the seas, an ascending, warming
sun and the opportunity to deliberate life's wonders in contemplative
solitude. Profound. Very profound!

Saude, Cheers, Slaunte, Salud! (Sean)
One of Sean's special moments are those which are centred around the Ching
Ching of crystal. When completing transatlantic passages, certain milestones
are often marked by the "Pop of Champaign" and duly recorded in full
spectrum of digital data (pictures). Typically, key markers would include
setting-off, our journey's halfway point, crossing an important tropical
latitude or most significantly our safe arrival at our chosen destination;
anchored and that warm satisfied sense of achievement. Pop . there's another
bottle of bubbly! Anyone for a top-up?

Virgin Tuna (Johnny)
For years and years I have wanted to catch a Tuna Fish. I have always
related this to friends and family. For many years I have been fumbling
around with fishing tackle and oversized lures. Most of which I have lost
overboard throughout my years on Irene II. Unfortunately, I was unable to
get an opportunity to fish on my outward leg to Antigua in December. But
that all changed last Friday morning when I finally caught my first Tuna.
Albeit small, it was my Tuna - don't take it away from me! I was elated and
horrified as I watched John unceremoniously hack-the-life out of the days
dinner. He broke the little guy into two bags of steaks and large piece
which included the tail. Job done. I have "tasted" the kill and now I want
to hook a second! Is any man ever happy with simply achieving his initial

Navigation (Tony)
Tony is the latest member of our crew and thankfully joined us at the last
minute. This is his first ocean voyage and when asked what he loves about
his experience thus far, he can readily real-off a litany of topics, (sorry
I asked). However, the one subject that captivates him is learning the
various aspects of navigation and the deciphering of our onboard Plotter and
AIS systems. He spends more time analysing, plotting and planning our
progress across the oceans. Angle of wind, boat speed, course over ground
and mileage achieved. A regular mathematician! His mum would be proud of
him and ask the obvious, "why has he hidden his talents for so long?"

Ocean Wildlife (Sean)
I remember as children we were drawn to our local zoo and looked in awe and
delight at the wildlife not prevalent to our everyday environment. The polar
bears, Rhinos, lions, crocodiles; everyone with an enchantment of their own.
Sean reminded us of the joy he experiences when sailing blue waters; those
regular pods of dolphins who visit us each morning. Dancing on our bow
waves, dodging the prow of our hull and leaping along the edges of our
gunnels. Our admiration for those handsome, solitary Storm Petrels; riding
the waves with all the comfort of a warm bed. Very much at home in the
elements, carefree. The embodiment of an independent soul. On the singular
occasion we encountered Pilot Whales, effortlessly gliding alongside our
small yacht. Majestic in form and movement. When man perceives these natural
wonders, he cannot help but to feel humbled and grasp the enormity of our
meagre existence in something so wondrous.

The Morning Sunrise (Donald)
When you read descriptive books or see the default photographs on your
laptops, we invariably encounter the imposing panorama of a sunrise. To be a
participant of any of those scenes is to experience the awakening of the
world. Blue-water sailing affords any sailor a unique "grand-stand" position
to not only observe one of the most exquisite sunrises to be ever seen, but
to participate in the birth of a new day. Often dramatic, mostly inspiring,
an ocean sunrise is never mundane. For Donald, this is the zenith of his
offshore sailing. To watch the light, slowly break the horizon with a
clarity of aura, giving meaning to his wanderlust. Touching the powerful
image of a new dawn provides an inner tranquillity only experienced when at
sea. Donald is at peace!

Anybody reading this chronicle will have their own take on what are the
highpoints of a cross-Atlantic journey. These are just some of the
highlights that have enthused and excited the crew of Irene III on her
return journey to her home port of Palma, Mallorca. I hope that in some
small way, you too can share in our voyage and draw from our experiences.
Until the next journey I wish you fare winds and calm seas.

Cheers Johnny