We had quite a scary moment on our night shift a couple of nights ago.  The spinnaker was flying, the weather was good, the sea was quite stable.  All of a sudden the boat was swinging from side to side like a pendulum. Craig was at the helm – usually a very steady pair of hands.

Wendo was at the back of the boat, and shouted to get the spinnaker down.  Now.

It came down super quick, although in the kerfuffle Pete managed to get the tack fall on his face and is now sporting a lovely shiny black eye.  We were again on the straight and narrow, and could just hear cackling from the back of the boat.  Craig and Wendo seemed to be in fits of nervous laughter.

It turns out that when the boat started to go awry, Wendo shouted to Craig to “keep the bloody boat straight”.  Craig shouted back that he couldn’t seem to “keep the bloody boat straight”, and then they both realised that the wheel was turning but nothing was happening.  That was when the call came to get the spinnaker down.  Wendo then jumped on the other helm, which was still working, so could control the boat.  Once we had everything stabilised, she went down into the lazarette where the steering systems live.  The steering wire had come off the quadrant, so it was quite easy to fix.  For her anyway!

Kirsty thought she was going to die – all she could see at the back of the boat was Craig smiling.  Or what she thought was a smile.  He assured her it was a grimace.  He now describes this manoeuvre as his “Crazy Ivan” move from the movie Hunt for Red October.  Apparently, the submarine makes similar moves in the ocean, but on purpose.

We also had quite a spectacular display of jumping fish for several miles either side of the boat.  There must have been shoals and shoals of them, with some fairly large predators just below the surface for them to continually fly out of the sea.  They must have been following the boat, or we must have been following them, as it was continuous for half an hour or so.  What it would have been to have been able to see under the water to see what was making them so scared.

We had a lovely little job to do today when we opened the eskie up that had the last few blocks of cheese in that didn’t fit in the fridge.  It was all vacuum packed, so quite safe – or so we thought.  When we opened it up, flies flew out and it was full of maggots.  Yuk – where did they all come from?  Nice little job to clean that out on deck.

Wonder what today will bring…..

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Bridget only has basic email facilities on the boat. Editing and the choice of images on this blog is entirely by Paul Keevil!
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