Alan took over from Colin & Callum and Jamie & I took over from Alan. It was a fine starry night, so we dropped the spray hood to gaze at the universe in silence. Norris was sleeping, but not showing much sign of health. Our concerns grew.
And it is with great sadness that we have to report his passing at 0745 hrs (local time). A short but respectful ceremony was held, whereby Norris was laid to the sea to continue the circle of life. He will be sadly missed, but has been immortalised in a short movie put together by Jamie (soon to be available on your favourite social media channel).
His Obituary reads:
Norris No-name Bird (2021?? – 9-Dec-2021)
We first came to know Norris when he arrived onboard the yacht Calash in mid crisis during the event known as the Goose-Neck Clevis Pin Incident. It was clear he was here to ensure operations were conducted with due reference to health, safety and environmental issues. He did a masterful job and was happy to report no accidents or environmental spills (apart for a couple of minor ones from himself).
From whence Norris came, no-one was really sure. Or indeed, where his final destination would be. We attempted to identify his origins, but description of white fluffy thing with yellow beak failed to inspire those with greater ornithological knowledge. So, we were at a loss to determine why he would join our yacht mid Atlantic. And still further, why he would decide to stay, beyond his task of supervising our safety during our technical difficulties. But stay he did and provided much merriment to the now miserable, grumpy gits who had made Calash their home for the past age. His immaculate swaying in perfect rhythm to the sea state; his hopping around trying to dodge the waves from the crew; his diversionary tactics to outmanoeuvre the crew and force entry to the galley through an open hatch.
And yet, amongst the joy that he imparted, there was deep-rooted concern that Norris was not keen to continue his journey. Was he ill? Did he fill duty bound to look after the incompetent crew he had discovered wallowing mid-ocean? Whatever the reason, we could not entice him to leave. He would take short flight, but return immediately to some other part of the yacht and slowly make his way aft to his supervisory position behind Antoine, the Autopilot. We set him up with food and water to build his strength. He did consume, but it was not enough for him to restore to full health. It was the morning of 9 December 2021, when he was taken from us to fly truly to the great bird sanctuary in the sky. Farewell, dear Norris, you will be forever loved and missed by us all!
With Norris firmly lodged in our hearts, we felt duty bound to continue our journey onwards to St Lucia. We were confident we could reach our destination within the next 24 hours, with less that 150 nm to go.
24 hour progress – 159 nm – cumulative 2881 nm
In the afternoon the dolphins came along to give us a ‘fly by’ in respect to our dearly departed bird friend. A truly touching moment from the animal kingdom.
We still had time remaining in our journey for the A Team to do some more faffing. We de-reefed the mainsail for 3 hours and then re-reefed the mainsail before dark, ready for the final leg into St Lucia and Rodney Bay.
Our last supper was another magnificent effort from Callum, with moi on as sous-chef; an egg fried rice, still with fresh vegetables, with optional chorizo for the carnivores. There was a collective sigh of relief that this would be the last time for a while that we would have to cook at an angle of 45 degrees whilst going down a twisty, cobbled road at 90 mph.
Last night shift was kicked off by Jamie and I. We had readjusted our time to St Lucia local time, which felt like an extra 2 hour watch. But we were happy to feel our destination drawing nearer…and the lure of a rewarding drink!!
Clive the cabin boy standing by…