Time: 17.30, 13-Feb-2020
Location: Somewhere in the sea between the Canaries and Cape Verdes Total Distance Travelled: 278 nautical miles (24 hour run, 107 nm)
Today has been the first day that anyone has done anything but stand watch and sleep… or in Gill’s case, navigate, cook, clean, stow, repair torn lee cloths etc etc… This is largely thanks to Paul, who after his initial accident on our first night is more than proving his worth as our very valuable 5th crew member. He has not been adjusted in nearly 20 hours now, and is faithfully steering us southwest towards Martinique. We are on a broad reach, port tack, with a reefed main and heavily reefed yankee, and are powering through the waves at 5-6 knots.
With all this talk of Paul, we thought it was about time to formally (or perhaps, informally) introduce ourselves as the rest of the crew, as readers of neither blog know all four of us. So here we go:
Gill – Skipper, Navigator, Choir Leader
Sailing her home to the Caribbean to escape Brexit (oops – the B word! The first drinks in Martinique are on Gill) Signature dish: Fruit Cake
Beverage of choice: Tea with a teaspoon of milk
Spirit Vegetable: Swiss Chard
John D – First Mate, Ship’s Engineer
When diagnosed with prostate cancer, John set himself a goal to buy a new boat and sail it across the Atlantic when he recovered – this is the fulfillment of that goal! Signature dish: The Famous Omelette
Beverage of choice: Mine’s a licorice
Spirit Vegetable: Aubergine
Irish John – Crew
Discovered by Gill and John on his boat in the Spanish rias last summer, (young, energetic) experienced sailor John has a score to settle with the Atlantic, having got a third of the way across nearly 40 years ago (surely not that long?!) before being summoned back to Southampton.
Signature dish: To be determined (opportunities to sample the usual steak are limited on board)
Beverage of choice: Tea or coffee, black, with a minimum of two sugars (actually gin and tonic, but again, unavailable on board) Spirit vegetable: Onion (prefers growing garlic)
N.B. All comments in brackets are edits by Irish John himself
Mariel – Crew
Never having stepped on to a sail boat before May last year, inexperienced but enthusiastic sailor-to-be Mariel was found by Gill and John on crewbay.com, seeking a crewing position across the Atlantic. She plans to learn as much about sailing and looking after boats as possible whilst crewing around the Caribbean, before sailing back to Europe to buy a boat of her own to live on. Signature dish: Flapjack
Beverage of choice: Any number of herbal or non-herbal teas, or a cold ice tea from the fridge Spirit Vegetable: Carrot
Last but by no means least, Paul – Aries wind steering.
Bought second hand and taken entirely to pieces by John, Hugh and our friend the Spanish fabricator, and put back together by John and Mariel, Paul maintains our course to the wind with a bright yellow piece of plywood, a small rudder and some nifty engineering and pieces of string attached to the wheel, meaning that we do not have to hand-steer the whole way. Paul is named after a friend of Gill and John’s who died after prostate cancer but who just kept going on and on against all the odds. He was quite touched when we told him that our steering gear was to be named after him.
That’s all for today. Wildlife sightings: a Portuguese Man O’War jellyfish, and a rather lost hawk moth at dusk last night (just after blog was sent). No ships no ships no ships, no fish no fish no fish (despite the lure being changed, and to the tune of “pan-pan pan-pan pan-pan, all ships all ships all ships” from our now quiet friend on Tenerife radio)
PS. What is all this spirit vegetable nonsense, and how can I find out what mine is, I hear you ask? Just search “Farmbelly spirit vegetable quiz” in your search engine of choice and take the quiz, written by Mariel’s friend Michelle.
Adios amigos! M, J, G and IJ.
Use https://www.noforeignland.com/boat/4717902794063872 with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.