FROM 1-21. Equator to Left Turn

Sep 20, 2005 - 0900hrs UTC │Boredom II

0900hrs 20 Sep 2005 UTC 00’28”S 026’22”W Ref 378

DB i35, 10032, GPS133. Better.

Response to Belmore South:

Hiya to you all in 5/6K! This is Alex, but Pete will do his bit later. Thanks for your thoughts, John, Adelia, Merna and Daniel – we are really pleased to know that you are interested in what we are doing – perhaps we could encourage you all to work hard in class so that you can one day follow your own dreams too. Maybe that’s too boring a message!

And thanks for your questions. Some of them are big questions if we are to answer them properly, so we might have to have several goes at it.

Pete will answer Nasaskia.

Junior: Why do you need all those tea bags?

I have a confession to make – I can’t count.  When I wrote that last email with the teabag number, I counted one too many boxes – we only have about 1600, not 2000 – but that’s still a lot. I make my tea with 2 teabags, so I use 4 teabags per day mostly and Pete drinks more tea and he uses about the same but one at a time. 8 bags per day times the planned 110 days of our voyage comes to 880 bags. This does not take into account what are often called ‘contingencies’ – things that come along and mess up your best plans – so for instance, if there is not as much wind as we think there will be and it actually takes another 30 days, then we will need another 240 bags – so with 1600, we actually have enough for nearly twice as many days as we think we need – just in case. It’s easy to overstock with teabags because they don’t take up much storage space but much harder, for instance, to do it with fuel which needs a lot of space.

Kellie: Have you run out of petrol for the motor?

And, talking of fuel Kellie, we actually use diesel, not petrol, because it is much safer to have in a boat. Most pleasure boats these days, except for some racing powerboats, have diesel engines. We left Falmouth with 240 litres of diesel, some in  6 x 20 litre cans in the cabin, some in a tank in the cockpit and the rest in the proper fuel tank under the cabin floor. We have about 110 litres left, so we have used just over half of it. We used it to drive the boat through some of the bits where there was no wind. We are hoping that most of these places are now behind us and that we won’t need the engine much more. Fingers crossed on that one!

George: When you are bored what do you do?

It’s quite hard to get bored. We work and sleep in three hour watches and there’s usually something necessary to do like changing a sail, sending emails, cooking, making tea with all those teabags and things like that. When it is really windy, we don’t get much chance even to rest, let alone get bored. Sometimes it is difficult for me to get over my natural laziness and actually get on and do the things that need doing but that’s another problem. And we now have all you people to talk to as well – good fun. But we do have lots of books and we both have CD players with MP3 discs for those times when nothing is happening. I like doing crossword puzzles too and my family cut out a whole lot of them from newspapers over several weeks and sent them to me in England so I’ve got no excuse for being bored. Also, I have a little short wave radio and out here, i can listen to the West Indies, to Brazil, North America, West Africa and the BBC from England.

Elvis: Have you seen any pirates?

We haven’t seen any pirates – at least, not that we know of. There really are pirates in some places, who steal whole ships but we hope we don’t meet any of them. We are a long way from the coast (at least 500 nautical miles most of the time) and it is not likely that – even if there were any – pirates would come this far out.

Thats a big enough email for now – we can only send quite small ones. Macky and Yehia, I will answer yours in the next one – they need quite long answers.

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