LGBT Times

Thu 11 Dec 2014 15:56
14:56.88N 056:03.6W

Day Eighteen at Sea - 11/12/14

A day starts with the final watchkeeper, who is usually also the first-up watchkeeper doing a double shift across the hours, being greeted by a smiley face in the companionway. Last night Doc (MA, BA, KLM, TWA, Oxon etc, etc) was first up at 2200-2400. Then two hour watches were stood by Shrimpy, Schnoogle, Nav-Man and then Skip who passed the helm back to Doc (MA, VA, FA, Oxon etc, etc) at 0800 this fine morning, the Eleventh of December, 2014. Around 0900 most people cannot stand to be in the heat of the hull any longer and so we congregate on deck and have tea and a mood meeting. This is around 0515 local time. So, you see, we get up early.

Last night had several excitements to keep tired men awake. There were three boats in view. Tanoa on our starboard quarter, about 5 miles astern. Bliss around 4 miles off the bow and Sunrise about 7 miles off our port bow. Skip had called them all up on Ch 16 to wish them a pleasant night and the cheerful conversations between strangers that ensue make one certain that world peace is going to maintained for ever. The Danes were never much for starting wars anyway. During the night our combination of twin headsails bettered all the spinnakers being flown and by the mood meeting we were the lead boat. It is not a Race, of course, but, while we are out here, going the fastest helps focus the testosterone away from Other Matters. We won.

Conversation at the mood meeting adheres to a tradition of sharing the nothings that made up one's watch. Who had the strongest winds... the better speeds...the weirdest dreams. Someone once admitted to listening to Abba on his iPod. I cannot share his name. What goes on on deck, stays on deck. We watch the sun rise together, like an LGBT boat.....of which there are several in the fleet. Do they have Green Flashes in the morning?

The winds are still up with 20-28kts over the deck from dead astern. This helps move Juno's bulk along at about 6 3/4-7 3/4 kts. Today, with 315nm to run at sunrise, we can begin to calculate that, should the rig and hull remain integral, this will have us across the line at around midday UK time on Saturday.

Oh! Reader. Did we tell you we caught another wapping fish yesterday. Having decided not to trail a line for the past few days due to excessive weed (Sargasso, not medicinal Class A), we hummed and harrghed about fishing because we had so much protein on board. Skip insisted, saying that Gunnery had no place on the boat otherwise.... so Shrimps quickly plopped the greeny squid lure into the water for a couple of hours. Just as the steak frites were about to be served a rattle of cans brought all to the afterdeck. We hauled in a 1.3m long Barracuda-type game fish. Shrimps suggested throwing it back for sport. Four expletives later he despatched it with the ever useful broomhandle. We, thus, had another few kilos of protein to consume in the next 36 hours. Better, perhaps, than Haggis, IKEA Meatballs or Homan Pork-Chops that are lurking in the round-the-corner-out-of-mind section of Alison's deep freeze. 

We have just eaten the first portion. Amazing. We honour you O Fish. 

At long last Engineering had another job on the docket. The access plate for the in-mast furling was loose. We found a use for the axe despite Skip's protestations. We make it a point never to miss an opportunity to wind him up.

As we write 286nm to go. ARCs, N-ARCs and F-ARC boats everywhere.