Crew member on GBR9793T Cheeki Rafiki
Toward the end of Red watch's 1200-1800 shift, the winds lightened to the teens the Nr 4 head sail was replaced first with th nr 3 and then with the medium heavy nr 1. We treat all our sails with great respect, especially those with battens. Particularly when they are downstairs, as a broken batten would wreck the sail shape and kill the sails power.
The evening shift for blue watch was pretty gentle with an ongoing discussion as to when the Spinny could come out. With the wind on the beam and light winds it wasn't time yet.
I wonder if all minds, like mine, are reflecting on the night before in the 40knot winds and the rough seas. The stints on the helm remain vivid, surfing and sliding through the paths that appear ahead in the seascape, sensing the wind shifts and wrestling to recover the mistakes. The whole experience made more intense in the knowledge that help is so far away. It is clearer to me now why folks chose this way of life.
Minds (well some)wander to the progress of Letticia and Lolita. These two limp lettuce, cast adrift the previous day are now comfortable in the potatoe cupboard on board the Irish trawler headed for county Cork, the fishermen were undoubtedly monitoring the progress of Cheeki Rafiki on the RBI, crewed by Ben and Adam's dad Gary Perry from Hampshire. However, neither Letticia nor Lolita has noticed from their hiding place among the spuds, the book nestling on the shelf next to the compulsory 'fishing for dummys'. It's the best selling compendium '101 uses for a limp lettuce whilst becalmed!
The sheething on the starboard spinny haliard was repaired by the resident embroidery group under 'Gary Grimstitch', they now include 'whipping' in their growing armoury of needlework solutions. An embroidered seat for the heads is under consideration as a conciliatory gesture to Steve, given the trashing his beloved boat is suffering.
Is there a gap in the market?. ,,,,,
It takes a male yachty an hour to concede he must go for a pea, leaving only 5 minutes to spare if an embarassment is to be averted.
Why therefore, are all the oily things designed such that under the full monty gear when your absolutely wet and cold, the minimum possible time from 'decision to go' to 'huge relief', (allowing for the queue as all male crew are daft enough to drink tea at the same time) is 15 mins?
We changed shifts at 1800 hrs and took the opportunity to eat together. Can't remember the food but this was the first time we had relaxed as a full crew since leaving Cowes. A special few minutes.
To make the day perfect the dolphins came back and surfed for a few brief minutes. Gareth lost his hat earlier so the discussion inevitably drifted to speculation that one of these beautiful creatures may well be, as we speak, trying it for size.
St Kilda, is such a brooding place at dusk under cloud. This place with it's special histories was a welcome sight from over 20 miles away and we gladly bade fairwell to what has on occasion been a holy place.
Our next voyage, further into the atlantic is the 230 miles leg, bearing 200 degrees to Black Rock and Ireland. Off we go!
A lesson learned for me, from the last 24 hours, is don't helm too long. Tiredness creeps up so handover regularly.
Ken Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device