ARC2012 Diary: Day 20 – Sunday

It’s 5.20am, I’m on my night shift writing my diary entry for yesterday.

I woke up this morning at 11am after being up 22 hours yesterday. We were still motoring. Again there has been no wind, but the sun has been out all day, 32 degrees! A golden opportunity to dry all our clothes out. Oliver’s been giving Troskala a clear out and a deep clean.

At 4pm we stop motoring. That’s all the fuel we have left. The remaining fuel must be saved for charging batteries and getting into the marina.

The days been dragging, me and Will have been eating monkey nuts aimlessly in the shade of the main sail. I finally see flying fish skimming off the waves in the daylight. They’re everywhere. Now the sea is relatively flat I realise that I’ve been mistaking flying fish for birds. These little critters can soar for great distances, and have a fair amount of steerage. Some fly alone, others fly almost in formation, until they hit the sea again in a kamikaze fashion. I spotted a couple of dolphins that watched us from afar. We played a few games of cards and had the teeside ready made casseroles I brought over from Waitrose. Sunday feast special!

Before dinner though, we took turns and jumped off the boat and had a dunk in the Atlantic Sea 🙂 I let Will and Oliver go first, then plucked up the courage and jumped in, quickly grabbing the ladder as soon as I came up for air, all those swimming lessons forgotten in a blink of an eye. Luckily we didn’t get eaten by sharks. I remember talking about it with parents and Emma (I’m sure I said I wouldn’t swim in the ocean if the opportunity came up). Oh well I live another day. It’s good to do something that scares you once in a while!

Even though we have no wind, the end of the evening was superb. We sat on the bow, and opened our last bottle of bubbly as the sun set, with Cafe Del Mar playing on the stereo. It was a very surreal moment, surrounded by water, drifting, picking out shapes in the clouds. There were all sorts of clouds around tonight, dark grey clouds, wispy clouds, mackerel sky, amazing!

I mean’t to say, Oliver and Will have run out of cigarettes. They seem to be coping, thank god! (the self hypnosis books didn’t work. Oliver lasted a day. Will’s plan was to last longer than Oliver and never actually intended on giving up smoking, nice friend)

I’ve seen a couple shooting stars tonight that left great long streaks in the midnight sky. I’ve just noticed the star constellation that looks like a bucket or a saucepan is HUGE and at a 300 degree angle. Strange, if I were at home, I would be heading back to the parents soon, a few more Christmas parties and then down the local for Christmas Eve for a few pints with the parents. Instead I’m in just my shorts, waiting for a breeze so we can continue on with our journey and reach our final destination. It’s also crazy to think mum and dad are somewhere overhead flying up there in the sky as I’m sat on a boat 615 miles from St Lucia, just wallowing here. The wind will pick up soon, I can feel it. I don’t trust this wind indicator!

Author: Tim Butler

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