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Baringo - Westren Atlantic - Friday 14 Dec

Dear All,

This morning - Friday - the wind died.

Before we turned on the motor, we had a long debate about it. But thoughts of land and a realization from receiving weather information that we were unlikely to get any decent wind for possibly days meant the old 'iron sail' was cranked up.

However, before we commenced motoring, we had a swim in the Atlantic.

As I swam I looked all around me and thought, north of here there is nothing but sea until about Newfoundland or Greenland ; south of me there is nothing until the Falkland Islands or the Arctic, west of me there is the Caribbean - the Leeward Island lay due west of us here (St. Lucia is in the Windward Islands which are a bit further south) , to the east of me as I swam there are several thousand miles to the coast of Africa. Below me was 1000 metres or more - the sea was a very deep blue and as I swam the big rolling ocean waves which are still about 3-5 metres came up and lifted me up and down and up and down and as I went up ... I could see forever. And as I was lifted up to the crest I looked east and looked across Africa and across India, and across Thailand and then the South China Sea and I could see Lantau Island and my home in Hong Kong. I could see my wife & children playing on the beach there. And as I went up on a big wave and reached the top of it I looked west
and I could see the islands of the Caribbean scattered like jewels sprinkled across a sliver sea and I kept looking and I looked across Central America, across Panama, and then out across the broad deep blue wide Pacific, I saw Kiribati and my old boyhood home on Tarawa Atoll, I looked south to Fiji and saw my mother and father there at home, I then looked north west across the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines and then across the South China Sea and north to Hong Kong and once again home on Lantau Island at the mouth of Pearl River - I could see it all - and I thought as I bobbed up and down and up and down on the big rolling ocean how I could see home in each direction and how I was so very far away right on the other side of the world it was, but I could see home. It was beautiful.

All crew here aboard Baringo are on top form, morale is at an all time high - a swim - naked on the part of some of 'lower deck' crew - is the panacea for all ills; not that there have been any to salve.

The skipper John Sanderson and his wife Executive Chief Skipper's assistant Dr. Julia Billingham have been truly excellent leaders of this expedition.

Julia has been a wonderful overseer of amoughst many other things, the galley. All of us aboard have all had our 'galley day' as per the rosta, but Julia has stepped in where required to assist those of us who are a little challenged by matters culinary or who on some of the more trying mid Atlantic days felt almost as green as the vegetbles we were preparing.

The food aboard has been excellent and our fresh fruit has only run out as of this morning - no danger of scurvy aboard this vessel. It was steak and veggies for supper last night, a couple of days ago we enjoyed a beautifully marinated fresh caught Mahi Mahi - caught & filleted by my brother David, and then deliciously prepared with a delicate marinate of spring onions and a dash of Oyster sauce (only Lee Kum Kee's will do)- if ever Master Chief goes nautical we shall be entering Julia as our representative.

Indeed we are going to award Julia the highest Order available: the Order of Baringo 1st class (culinary) with chocolate bar and crossed fresh vegetable decoration emblazoned with the legends: 'Conqueror of the Atlantic Galley' and 'Provider of viticals in all weathers'.

Our estimated arrival time in St Lucia depends now on how much we decide to motor / how much - if any - wind starts to fill in. Earliest ETA will be Sat evening our time (we will soon be changing our clocks and watches for the 4th time as we have crossed the Atlantic) our latest ETA is Sunday night.

All good aboard. Boat still rolling on the waves but so much calmer now & I write without falling on the stool and being thrown across the boat; that is a very welcome change.

Our love and best wishes go out from all of us aboard to all our families and friends sprinkled across the world.

Its a happy boat and crew that now gently approach St. Lucia.

Giles Surman
Night Watch Leader

S/Y Baringo
Western Atlantic 15 26' N 56 11'W
Friday 14 December 2012

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