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Falcon - Crossing Day 13

Distance run last 24 hours 152 nautical miles. Miles to go to Grenada 90.

The end may be within touching distance, but old Captain Bligh here on Falcon is still working us scurvy crew dogs to the bitter end. Having decided yesterday that we would finish the passage on broad reaches, we went through the convoluted process of de-rigging the spinnaker pole. However, our skipper has proven to be as fickle as the wind, so it was no surprise to Bev and Helm Monkey to be told to ready themselves for resetting the pole and launching the BFOS. Well now, here comes another sorry tale…

… you may remember from a few blogs back that the Bluewater Runner sail had to be wrestled down and stuffed somewhat unceremoniously into its bag in the dark and during what very much felt like a baby hurricane; truth be told, the sail was in a bit of a raggedy old state once finally tamed and stowed away! It wasn’t greatly unexpected then, when redeploying the BFOS today, for the unfurling process to head south faster than a drunken sailor dashing to the bar when last orders are called. A bit like the Grand old Duke of York’s men being neither up nor down their hill, our large (and by now wind-filled and bellowing) sail was neither furled in or let out on Falcon’s forestay - it had a bloody great tangle in it and could be described as something of a hazard to safe navigation! Much head scratching occurred as to how this had even happened, yet this wasn’t half as much intellectual challenge as to working out how to rectify this rather unfortunate pickle we now found ourselves in. Fortunately some ‘out of the box’ thinking worthy of episodes from MacGiver or the A-Team, extra lengths of rope, some clever knottery, and some applied physics enabled us to finally unwrap the beast and continue on our merry way in the vague direction of the southern end of Barbados. Well done us!

And so, as the sun dips again below the horizon and all ahead of Falcon is painted a glorious gold, we begin our final full night under the Atlantic stars. In the darkness, as the wind propels us ever closer to land, we are reminded of both the good, and the not so good of our world. For instance, courtesy, manners, and respect (as the foundations for a functioning and caring society) are finely exhibited by the VHF call from the watch officer of the approaching large gas carrier to coordinate the safe passing of both our vessels. Contrast this however, not some 5 minutes later, to the inconsiderate, and potentially lethal, actions of the lone fishing vessel that decided to alter its course 90 degrees on a direct collision course to us shortly after we had been grappled on the foredeck with a sail change. What an anchor/We are forced to crash gybe around the trawlers stern despite our inflexible wing-on-wing configuration.

The rest of the night passes without incident and we trundle on at a fair lick under our ‘wing on wing’ sail set up. We can almost taste the Caribbean jerk chicken and Carib beers. Keep going strong Falcon… you’ve almost brought us home!


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