FROM 2-9. Greenland-N.Atlantic-Falmouth

K: Messages in bottles & hazard tape dinners...

Well, we’re at it again – bare poling across the Atlantic. Bounce, roll, bounce, slosh, slide, roll, lurch, sper-lash! Corrie may need a thesaurus to find another word for relentless but couple come to mind for me: persistent and never ending for starters! I wonder if we should make a record attempt at being the first boat to cross the Atlantic entirely under bare poles?? Reckon we might be in with a chance!

Which brings me to the message in a bottle. I now fully sympathise with all those messages that have ever been tossed into the ocean in bottles – this must be exactly what it feels like for them! OK, so Berri’s slightly bigger than your average bottle, but when you’re down in the cabin and the outside world is blocked out with the storm-boards, the analogy seems pretty apt.

Apart from minor disasters like the End of Ernie the Engine, yesterday was a pretty good day. The wind and seas died down and we actually got a chance to sail for a few hours in the afternoon. Real, proper sailing where you steer the boat and trim the sails and can leave the stormboards out for the bit and don’t have to worry about going A over T down a wave if your boatspeed is more than 5 kts. The sort of sailing where the objective is actually to see if you can go fast! It was fun. So much fun in fact that I remembered why I like sailing. I celebrated this grand occurrence with a change of socks and undies. But, as anyone who has ever put-on dry socks on a boat will know, that’s the best way to ensure that you’re going to get really wet again really soon. So here we are bare poled. My fault. Sorry.

The latest food fad on board with this weather is a “hazard-tape dinner”, which could otherwise be called an “advanced contingency dinner”. Basically, it means leftovers. But as we don’t have anywhere nice and stable to leave leftover beans or curry or whatever until the next day, we’ve been leaving it in the pot and taping the lid on with hazard tape to make sure we get to eat the food, not wear it. The next night, the chef of the day simply un-tapes and heats. Works well, but after 10 years in engineering where hazard tape is used a warning that there’s something, well, hazardous, it’s a bit disconcerting to keep seeing a pot sitting on the stove all taped up with stripy warning tape! Makes me think something radioactive is stewing away in there…

Anyway, I’m going to bounce and roll and lurch my way towards my bunk. Cheers for now.


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