June 4th, 5th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

As it happened, Alma woke me for my watch at 12, 3 hours later than I’d expected.  She + Jack had been working on the engine, + so had taken the first 2 watches.  There was no electricity at all when I came on, thus no automatic pilot.  Fortunately tho’, the wheel was locked in, + she held her course well – it would have been a real pain to wrestle with the wheel all night.  I slept solid from 3 am to 9.30.  The day uneventful – Jack working, without success, on the engine.  J + A have an optimus kerosene stove mounted on a gimbel, but we were unable to make it work, so our little one was dug out from our rucksack, pressed into service (in the gimbel) + worked admirably throughout the day.  Jack not on watch for the evening, as he’d worked all day, so 4 hour watches for the rest of us.

On from 2 till 6, accompanied by a hitch-hiker, a bird taking a ride on the dinghy.  Time passed pretty well, me being accompanied by my trusty Sony.  It gets bloody cold at night, especially considering it’s so close to the equator.  However, once the sun was up, a beautiful day.  A lazy one too, for everyone except Jack, still trying to track down the cause of the problem.  We’re still not making much progress towards the Galapagos, heading virtually due east at the moment, trying to find a more favourable approach.  More backgammon in the afternoon – score now 25-20 to me.  And then Alma served up a splendid 3-part meal – meat, mash + peas, all served by our splendid (sorry, that’s 2 splendids) little stove.  Unfortunately, she did annoy me by slipping Jack an extra lump of meat, when I could have eaten 4 platefuls of what we had (+ still found room for dessert.)  Still, never mind.  3 hour watches again tonight, + somehow I drew the dawn shift again – suited me fine.

Have to make sure I do not come across simply as greedy boy. The trouble is, with so little else going on, food achieves a high priority as something to look forward to, and so even slight mismanagement results in potential irritation; not a good thing on a small boat, with nowhere to go.

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