May 23rd, 24th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

A dull, dreary depressing day.  Not too much rain, but grey, overcast + drizzly, with the wind coming smack from the Galapagos, so we had to motor all day.  The smell of diesel really gets to one, + when we had crackers for dinner, I’m sure they tasted of the stuff – they’re kept in a cupboard in the engine-room, as the only dry place aboard the boat.  I’m reading “The Once + Future King” now – enjoyable, but I can’t read too much of it at one time.  Best part of the day was my watch, from 9 till 12 (we’ve moved back an hour once again.)  The weather cleared up, + Iistened to the Walkman for 2 of the 3 hours.  Bonnie Raitt + the Police kept me company.

But then, of course, my birthday.  I washed myself thoroughly to mark the occasion, + even had my first shave of the voyage.  And tho’ the weather didn’t brighten, we did hoist the sails + switch off the engine – blessed relief.  (You can tell we’re still sailing now by the improvement in my handwriting.)  We still haven’t caught a fish, despite Alma’s promise that we would do so.  She suspects the lure to be at fault.  Val baked me a cake during the day.  Unfortunately, not a great success, since the movement of the boat slopped a good deal of the mixture over the sides.  The rest of the day we passed in the usual manner, with a few small chores to perform, + much lazing around + reading – my book becomes more interesting as you get into it.  The highlight of the day was the evening meal, I suppose.  (Oh yes, I had porridge for breakfast too.)  Not really from a culinary point of view, since tho’ the main course was nice, the cake was disastrous, despite Alma’s painstakingly gluing the whole thing together with chocolate icing, + we washed (or sluiced) it down with a hideous peanut butter liqueur.  No, the success was really the pleasant companionable feeling that evening – I even had Happy Birthday sung to me.  All in all, a pretty fair birthday – not as good as last year’s, but pretty good.

A surprisingly enjoyable birthday, by all accounts, bearing in mind we were in the middle of the ocean, and with a couple with whom we had very little in common.  It just goes to show how small matters – a cake, a song – can mean so much.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    I guess that means you’re 40 years older today. Happy Birthday!

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