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.