Current Position, 28th November 2014, 1822 GMT.. 20′ 24.07 N 24′ 53.14 W.
Our apologies for skipping one day in giving friends and loved-ones an update on our escapade on Northern Child. However, yesterday we were a bit occupied and pre-occupied with a small leakage problem around our rudder. While some were thinking of calling out “Houston, Houston, we have a….”, others kept their calm and repaired what turned out to be a moved seal around the rudder casing, which,. in turn, caused a minor leak from the bottom — never a good thing for a boat crossing the ocean. Because of the potential implications, we even considered paying a brief visit to Cape Verde to have it checked out.
But Houdini-like skipper Chris managed to wriggle himself into the lazarette, and repair the seal with the rudder in motion. The casing again is as watertight as it should be and we decided to carry on our 250-degree bearing to St. Lucia. Needless to say, discussions among the crew ranged from excitement over visiting Cape Verde to black humor about the possibility of finding ourselves in life rafts some 500 NM from the nearest land. Chris, as always ably assisted by first mate Xav, and by sat phone by boat owner Christian in the UK and rudder expert Giovanni in Genoa, got the job done and issue resolved, and the decision to proceed boosted crew morale to new heights. Today felt like a new beginning with fantastic winds, even if from a somewhat unusual direction. By the end of the day, we will have crossed the 2,000 NM-to-go line, i.e. we are one-third of the way there.
Other highlights of the last 48 hours are:
-We saw scores of dolphins dancing around our boat during the night, lit up by the fluorescent algae. Laura called it the most beautiful site she had ever seen in her admittedly young life. Mike nicknamed them the “disco dolphins”.
-Arie caught our first fish, a 20 inch Mahi Mahi, ably cleaned by Xav and put in the fridge for what no-doubt will be a sumptuous dinner. At the time of writing, a second fish has just taken our bait.
– Jaime and Ian K enjoyed the novel pleasure of a wet slap in the face from a flying fish on its trajectory over the boat deck yesterday evening – a memorable experience for both!
-Watch team A continues their discussions of deep philosophical issues surrounding life, death, guilt and redemption. Inspired by the incredibly beautiful sunsets and moon rises, these nightly conversations keep us from falling asleep and occasionally lead to profound thoughts. Particularly Paul is capable of uttering one-liners that may turn out to have profound meaning. Our favorite so far: When asked what he feels when he looks at the universe of the millions of stars above us, he answered, “a sore neck.” We are considering collecting his and other’s aphorisms in a booklet and have the ARC publish it.
-Watch team B reportedly talks mostly nothing.