“Is there a cat on the boat?”,
“How can you have two and a half guns?!”,
“Why is the cake in the bin? I don’t understand… What is wrong with you?!”,
and “One team, one spork”.
We had to have our first skipper intervention last night when a debate threatened to spiral out of hand and embroil the whole crew. I won’t say what it was about; except that it’s a serious enough subject to understandably evoke emotion on both sides. I try and stay fairly well out of these sort of things, as it’s a fine line to walk between running a boat the way you want it to be run, and projecting your own opinions and way of living on other people. However, when crew harmony is threatened by difference of opinion it suddenly falls firmly back into my jurisdiction, and I have banned debating for the remainder of the journey to Panama, when definitive evidence in the form of the internet can be sought…
Despite a spectacular night of sailing back under white sails, and an unbroken canopy of astrological delights, this morning saw our wind situation deteriorate from ‘dull’, to ‘un-sailable’. The cables-tie hanks were broken out for the first time since the Moroccan coastline, and the trusty genoa hoisted in an attempt to harness the last few breaths of wind. Alas, 7kts of wind and 50 tonnes of boat are not a favourable combination, and the decision was made not long ago to crank up the engine, and put Poppy the new propeller truly through her paces before reaching the canal. It seems the prop nut I did up, standing upside down on the hull while underwater, is still where I left it…
As we make a steady speed straight to Panama, life has relaxed, buckets of water are being slung at unsuspecting crew with every opportunity, including catching a snoozing Aussie with a full bucket straight through the sail locker hatch. According to him, I’m meant to be one keeping a lid on that sort of behaviour, not carrying it out. Supposedly.
As we draw close to the final approaches, we have our two ‘grownups’ in form of Neal and Bart keeping the galley running and producing ‘proper food’, which is probably for the best, save the rest of us ‘kids’ just continue eating deep-frozen Mars Bars while we wait for beer to properly fill up on later. I have learnt how important it is to have a good demographic aboard to keep a balance, in everything from life to conversation. Bart and Neal have definitely provided this since we lost our last set of grownups from Antigua, even if they’re not totally aware of it. Thanks boys.
Save breakage, we should make an arrival of some form in Panama tonight, so this is probably the last little update from the Caribbean, and more importantly, the Atlantic Ocean side of the planet. The next stage of our adventure will be brought to you from the North Pacific Ocean; a small and as yet un-swum area of water, normally located between Asia and America. The Atlantic is old news now – our man swam it in 1998. The Pacific is where the unknown, the excitement, the inspiration, and the story really lie. That’s where we’re going, and you can follow it all here.
Until then, it’s Scotty, Disco, the Disco crew, and The Longest Swim team, signing off from the Atlantic.
Position: 09°50.9N 079°06.9W
Wind: NE 2-3
Swell: NE 2-3ft
Sky: 2/8 cumulus
Weather: Fair (i.e. hot hot hot).