Hummingbird - Gina's Blog: What goes up must come down, and back up again...
Hullo from Hummingbird. There hasn't been much wind in the last 24 hours. The crew have been eating their greens of late – any attempt to boost propulsion is legit at this stage. Michelle suggested bridles for dolphins so we could harness them for added speed (apparently she’s only been drinking 7 Up). Perhaps we should investigate seven of what exactly, and if the adverb she meant was actually “down”.
The pre-early bird crew had a very eerie time on 10pm watch last night. Whether it was down to the mist, phosphorescence from Hummingbird agitating squillions of bioluminescent plankton or someone still re-living Halloween antics, we shall never know. But for sure, the spookiest thing was the state of the wind, which has been about as forceful as a budgie’s fart.
Sunrise brought the promise of another *opportunity to tan / sweat like a bastard (*delete as appropriate). The crew clustered around chief passage planner, Chris, for an update on our location. Chris has a way of making these boaty discussions about weather, speed, diversions and luck very entertaining. Jennifer has on several occasions complemented him on his legendary briefing skills.
Chris is the sort of chap who could be going into battle and have everyone think and feel they were at the Hammersmith Live at The Apollo. He is also exactly the sort of guy who would consider keeping a llama on board for wool back-up, meat and milk, quickly reminding us that it’d better not be a male llama. He had learned the hard way after being tricked into milking a bull in Canada.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, the sextants came out on deck. To the uninitiated, conversations about these celestial bodies sounds not too far off from the stuff you’d get off a 1-800-horoscopes line. Despite not having gone through this rite of passage, I can tell Nicky’s probably not going to have luck fortune telling if she’s seeing three airplanes towing cargo.
And then, the vang went BANG! A small bracket connecting the kicker to the bottom of the vang had worn out. We are making the Bird work hard. Holly quickly set about fixing it whilst the crew suddenly got busy with things like investigating how to get a floating bar out to our location and get bales of merino wool for spinnaker srumpling. It was during this time that Fraser learned to cook and produced fluffy quinoa – 50 points to you mate, but you’d better split that with Erika.
As for the spinnaker, what do you think happens when you toss a string of sausages up? Well, they come down alright. The puff of breeze which teased enough to hoist our biggest sail disappeared as soon as it was up. So yet again, the ladies of the kite were summoned. Erika and Gina, both Sausage Master Ocean, took on a new apprentice today. Former professional flautist Nicky proved a prodigious chipolata stringer, and Rachael did not need much convincing to award her the Coastal Sausage-making qualification. A highlight for the now three Ladies of the Kite was a photoshoot session with Lord John of Lens-Upon-Cam, who composed Charlie’s Angels-esque shots that will be coming soon to a Rubicon 3 poster at a boat/adventure travel show near you.
As daylight fades, we see the emergence of the yellow light district (this is the phase before the red lights go on and things get super shady). During this time, a scrumptious one-hit-wonder beef curry was made. John took on the role of deck DJ and together with Michelle, sang along to Crowded House as if their lives depended on it.
The spinnaker has now got a serious punter and is pulling us along at 8 knots. It is a beautiful night under a blanket of stars and phosphorescence all around us. Holly has told us the trick of pumping the loo in the dark - the phosphorescence looks like very funky pee. It’s particularly magical when the dolphins swim alongside, jump and shoot puffs of air, lighting up their trails along the way. They must like Gina’s dinner which Chris threw by accident into the water...
The Hummingbird crew wish you a very good night. We sleep under the same stars and the dolphins send their love.