By Chris Haworth.
Starry starry night, paint your pallet blue and grey....... and a million other colours of your imagination!
Apparently AC Clarke wrote Planet Earth is a misnomer, it should have been named planet Sea! The scale and significance of the Ocean is awesome, often forgotten by us land lubbers in our daily lives! It occurred to me that when I had those boyhood dreams of sailing and adventure in the 1960’s, subconsciously, as a society, we had a much closer connection and appreciation of the Ocean – particularly the Atlantic Ocean. Our parents & grandparents had come through the second world war and the significance of the North Atlantic conveys, to their very survival, was etched in their minds and with many British naval and merchant seamen having made the ultimate sacrifice, a lot of families were still directly affected. (On that subject I am briefly distracted by that ‘teaching’ no greater love has a man that he lays down his life for another). Prior to the emergence of transatlantic air travel in the early sixties the crossing of the ‘Pond’ had been a major journey (with many taking a one way tickets to a new life), contrast that with now – people go Christmas shopping to New York for the weekend and the crossing of the Atlantic is a mere co-incidence barely registering in their conscience except perhaps briefly during the aircraft safety briefing ...your life jacket is under seat.....! Being out here (we are now in our 12th Day and only a little over half way - crossing the narrowest bit) gives one an appreciation of the vastness of the sea.
Some people said I might find the trip monotonous or ‘boring’ at times – that could not be further from my experience! On board, our lives are now beginning to mould to the rhythm of the sea, sensitive to her ever changing mood and (speaking for myself) delighting in it. It is surprisingly ‘busy’ with lots of jobs to do – not least sailing and navigating the boat but daily checks of mechanical and electrical items water fuel levels completing the log – food prep, chat, blog writing(!) – and taking time to relax, read a little, whilst listening (perhaps) to some of those albums not heard for many a year , effortlessly joining in the lyrics, imprinted in your memory from some earlier time, instantly taking you back there from a remote and exposed middle of the Atlantic......The ‘power’ of our mind ....memory & emotion .... WOW!
The sea is in a laconic mood today (or is that me) gentle NE breeze 10/12 kts – Sat phone misbehaving so haven’t got grib files yet, so where we are, relative to changing weather pattern, unknown and briefly uncared for. The sun is shining brightly on us it is getting much warmer the crew are engaged in relaxed, humorous, conversation.
We are heading roughly SW in 8/12 kts variable – Mainly hand steering to get max performance from spinnaker, making about 6 kts boat speed average, still trying to get south for wind and west for destination – hence SW tradjectory!
For those following the menu, dinner last night was spaghetti bolognaise with parmesan, followed by cheese and biscuits (danish blue and brie) washed down with the remains of the chilled Muscadet.
Last nights watch system was varied to accommodate flying the spinnaker all night – one helming and trimming the other resting but available for immediate assistance should a sudden unseen squall engulf us. We had the first of the new waxing moon and, as it turned out, no ‘dramas’ ..light variable winds– (could do with another 5kts!) otherwise an uneventful but starry night.
From the laconic crew (with the exception of Fra who describes himself as ‘fidgety’ today), we wish you a relaxed day where ever you are!