South, South, South

South, South, South

Nov 26, 2008 @ 13:39 23:20.09N 18:28.50W

It doesn’t matter how hard or for how long one studies the weather forecasts, Mother Nature will decide in her own good time whether to take pity on us or to continue to tease us. Each day at 1100 hours we receive an email from the font of all maritime weather wisdom, Chris Tibbs, which we dissect avidly only to conclude that today is not the day to turn west. If we were to, we would fall into a wind hole. So, south we continue. At 1300 hours we join in with an informal radio chit chat with yachts of roughly the same size/speed as ourselves, smugly noting that we are ahead of some and inwardly smarting at those way ahead of us – how did they manage it we wonder?

We are one of 5 yachts responsible for controlling the chit chat – or radio net as it is known and it was our turn today to chair the net meeting. The other controllers are UpChuck, Offspring, Magic Bus, and Impala. We are all within 50nM of each other right now. Being net controller is good fun and gives us the opportunity to get to know many of the other yachts, where they are and what they are doing. Have they caught any fish? Have they got any technical problems, what did they have for dinner, etc.

It is 1800 hours as I sit and write this weblog entry, Rob is slaving away in the galley, desperately hoping that we snag a tuna on our fishing tackle, to spice up his planned vegetable curry. Iona and Jeremy are on the foredeck wrestling the cruising chute back into its launch bag for the night, with John working the lines in the cockpit like a well trained puppeteer! Mike is helming expertly, in anticipation of the gybe that will put us on our chosen course for the night.

Night will fall in less than an hour. After happy hour, euphemistically named, since we are restricted to ½ glass of wine (oh what a mean skipper!), we will sit down round the cockpit table, eat, talk, laugh and be amazed by the stars and planets as they slowly emerge and establish themselves blanket-like above us. Conversation will inevitably turn to wind, weather and the anticipation of the turn to the west. Waiting for Godot! …

Nigel

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