The skipper awoke in buoyantly positive mood this morning! As he appeared at 0400 to take his turn on the helm Bernard helpfully commented that it had been light at 0300 and that we should possibly advance the clocks two instead of just one hour. The skipper then disappeared below to write in the log book.
On re-emerging he casually announced that it was now 0600 instead of 0400. One way of shortening your watch I suppose! This now puts us 2 hours behind good old Blighty. This positive mood evaporated however when he examined the latest weather Grib files announcing that he thought he would prefer to be further north.
He then re-ran the programme 3 more times and still remained indecisive. Should we gybe to get north? The unfortunate Bernard was awakened from his well deserved rest and was asked to double check. Together they decided to remain on our current course and gybe, if necessary, in 12 to 24 hours. Bernard was then allowed back to his pit.
That decision made,and conscious of his image, the skipper went aft with a bucket to clean his teeth. Back on the helm he became thoughtful. Speed was down, his ETA at the Lizard was moving away, his plans for next Monday could well have to be cancelled.
Like most sailors he falls victim to the Hiscock Rule, named after Eric Hiscock, who did more than anyone to promote ocean cruising, and calculated his ETA on his best current speed. It never works. Either you get there too early or more often you arrive late!
A feeling of guilt came over him at disturbing Bernard and so he decided he would cook the crew scrambled eggs for breakfast based on some Victorian recipe he thought he remembered from his youth. Totally unaided by the introduction of any baked beans in the morning mix of food the wind obligingly increased and went left, the course we could steer was now more to the north. A smile now appeared on the skippers face framing newly cleaned teeth and he went back to pondering whether he would have to introduce some form of paper towel rationing in view of the very heavy current consumption levels seen on Grey Power. He said that he had never seen as much used by 14 crew on the Whitbread race 40 years before but was also reflecting that perhaps fashions had changed and, as usual, he had not even noticed or even remembered that 40 years ago they did not have paper towels.
Meanwhile the Bar Steward decided to restock the larder and ensure all tins were logically stored in alphabetical order ignoring the fact that when it's dark looking for Foiegras to the left of tins of Tiptree marmalade really was not as easy as you would think! The next job was a clear out of the Icebox now resembling a Warmbox in reality. Work had only just started when a minor accident occurred. Whilst cleaning and polishing the remaining 12 tins of lager in expectation of the next headland moment, one of them accidentally sprang open leaving the skipper and Bar Steward no choice other than to consume it forthwith in lieu of the 8 am cupper!! It's a hard life out here on the ocean!
We are very glad to report some great feedback on the blog. Now going out to The Grey Power Association of New Zealand who remain focused on our progress across the Pond. Our faithful Indian followers have been reflecting whether we are "gaining ground" or perhaps "gaining water" to which one fan summed us up appropriately as more likely to be "passing water"...!!! :)We have no idea what they are on about but will take it as a compliment and get back to passing as much water as we can and as fast as possible!
In light of the feedback from our American readers and the comment made yesterday about Fags can you all rest assured that we have not all spent too long at sea yet but it was a reference to Butts. To our British readers please don't go there for now! The Frenchie's first as ever! The Immortal Memory and all that!
21st Oct! Aye!
P.S. I've just remembered I have some old Drachmas from a trip to Greece some years ago so they are possibly still useful after all? Does anyone know? I bet the printing presses have been running for months!