The last few days have been like rowing in the shower and yesterday was like rowing under the Niagra Falls – we were hammered by waves and after two rather scary broaches (where the boat gets slammed over onto her side) while rowing I decided to call it a day. The whole thing has been rather testing – everything soggy and smelly – mind, body, boat and a bit on the rough side.
So today stands out as a delicious treat with its sunshine and blue skies, decreased wind with friendly rolly seas, which all allowed both rowing and the chance for some washing and drying of mouldy clothes. Dinner, as ever, was al fresco and because of the happy mood and the impending rough stuff tomorrow I made boat pancakes, slathering them in chocolate spread with a spatula and dollops of blackcurrant jam. The hot thick dough was nothing short of divine.
Less tasteful was my first task of the morning – investigating the non-functioning bilge pump. The bilge locker is never a pleasant place to hang about – often home to bits of dead fish (or live squid), and always home to slimy mouldy growth and bits of food and general muck that get washed in. Happily, all the electrics are fine – it was just a case of disassembling, cleaning out all the yucky stuff and then putting it back together. I actually enjoyed it for the troubleshooting and figuring out how it worked and then the relief at knowing that, for now at least, I can use the electric pump rather than manually pumping. I almost forgot – I wanted to tell you about my booby……
As per my phonecast from 2am, I woke to see a whitish bird shaped figure balancing on the forward cabin, head tucked into wing against the breeze. At dawn I saw that it was a booby – a rather comical thing with bright red feet and a bluey purply beak and a blank gaze. Shortly after a couple of photos my booby flew away, just as a black footed albatross flew over the boat.
Seeing the alby made the booby look tiny, when actually he had a pretty decent wingspan himself. I rather liked my overnighter until I discovered the surprises that had been left all over the solar panel. Nothing like a thank you gift, eh?
For now, I leave you with the sad news that the Tweedles haven’t been spotted beneath my boat for three days. I think we may have gone too far north and chilled them out of action. Naturally, Happy Socks is quite upset though being consoled by the Blue and Yellows who remain. If anyone sees them, do send them our salty best thanks for the fishcort.
Sarah and Happy Socks x
Ps. My latest blog for the Independent http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/06/25/via-the-world-two-months-in-and-3000-miles-to-go/