ARC2012 Diary: Day 11 – Friday

Bad news, the wind has veered South, blowing us north instead of west.

Oliver is furious after he got off the sat phone. We would have headed further south had we known this was going to happen. We’re now in the center of a low pressure system, with very little wind. We need to head further south.

ETA + 2 days

To lighten up the mood we checked the fishing line. In the night, a creature mauled to death Mr Sushi, hooks and tentacles gone! The squid head is made from lead, and something has been knawing at it as chips of paint have been removed. Whatever it was, I’m glad we didn’t catch it, it must have had a sharp set of teeth.

A moment of madness, I unpack some party blowers, which we end up puffing and screeching at each other. Mad as it looks it relieves a lot of tension.

I placed a dummy on Oliver whilst he was sleeping, and get it in the back of the head after he awakes.

After that I busy myself with a few jobs, so as not to arouse the wrath of the skipper!

Will and I have a bit of a sing song on the guitar and uke, while Oliver makes lasagne with soya…

Carlotta emailed us in the evening telling us we’re going the wrong way, and can we head west. Emma finishes an email to me saying we’re second from last. Great!

We also heard Rafiki, a friend on another boat are heading back to Cape Verdes at 0.5kn. We wonder what happened, so sad.

Our plan for the evening was to play cards and watch a film on my laptop. A fine plan until my tea fell over and put an end to my laptop.

Must make a proper cup holder, drinks falling over has been a reoccurring theme.

Next drama, we go over a wave that dislodges some pots and pans. Oliver reaches for them and steps on my laptop charger, the plug to be precise. Oliver’s long toe nail parts from his toe as the plug catches the end of his toe. For the record I don’t leave plugs lying around, it must have fallen off when the wave struck 🙁

I quickly taped the nail back to the toe, but after 10 minutes of cards, Will (designated nurse) gets Oliver’s foot up on the table, removes the tape and TCP’s the bloody toe. The scene was very dramatic, especially as Will was wearing his head torch and I fed Oliver coke as he felt sick.

Will’s bandaging technique was creative. I’ll tend to my own wounds in the future, speaking of wounds, my hands are slowly healing. They look like Freddy Kruger hands, as the scabs form and fall off every so often.

I offered to do Oliver’s shift (as well as my own) 11.30 – 5am. Everyone heads to bed (except me of course).

Lots of flying fish land on the deck whilst I’m on my shift. Shining a torch on the sails for some reason tricks them into thinking it’s the moon, and they love the moon!

The stars are out in force tonight, it’s a crystal clear sky. I can stare at the stars all night. I wonder what Em is up to, family and friends. It’s strange to think everyone back home will be having their Christmas parties right now.

The moon rises up from the horizon at about 2/3am. It’s a half moon, but here the moon crescent isn’t vertical, but lies horizontal, like a big smile. It’s very calming to watch it. Eventually it will rise right over the mast. Then at 7.30am the sun rises up very quickly, almost like someone turning light bulb on. It’s very strange, it’s just as dark at 7am as it was at 1am. I wondered if daylight was ever going to come the first time I did the last shift. I finally finish my shift at 5.30am, and give Will another 30 minutes of snooze time.

Throughout my shift the wind was finally blowing us west, but just as I finished my shift we started heading north again.


Tomorrow we will motor!



Author: Tim Butler

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