June 8th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

My day began at 12.30 am, when I was woken up to go on watch.  I’d been moved back 31/2 hours because J + A had been up dealing with problems.  We’d run right out of fuel in one of the tanks, so now we were sailing.  A pleasant enough evening, though a bit drizzly, but at least the boat was staying more or less on course with the wheel locked.  Val had a much more difficult time when she took over from me, having to wrestle with the wheel for much of her watch.  Our breakfast was our crossing the equator celebration meal –  biscuits + jam again, + coffee, but also peaches + champagne (not provided by J + A tho’ – a friend had given them the bottle.)  A flying fish had landed on deck overnight, so I used him as bait.  He was only down there about an hour tho’, when a bird spotted him, dived down, + pulled him right off the hook.  You can’t win ‘em all, I know, but we don’t seem to be able to win any of ‘em.  The noon fix had us due north of the island, + about 35 miles off, the current having pushed us west, so we decided to power down – we really didn’t have any choice.  A great meal for dinner – the quality of fare seems to have taken one of its periodic upswings – with steak + baked potatoes.  Just about then we thought we could see land, but we never were sure, right up till it got dark, so Jack decided to switch the engine off + drift till morning.  Also, for some reason, he decided it was necessary to operate double watches, in pairs – first the 2 women, then the men, then the women again, then the men.  Crazy + stupid.  It served no useful purpose, meant nobody got a decent night’s sleep, +, Val + I agreed, was fucking tedious as well.  We don’t have much in common with J + A, certainly not for scintillating night-time conversation.  Oh, I read an excellent book for much of the day – Kent State, by James Michener.  Very thoroughly researched, + well-reasoned by someone right of centre, yet fair + sympathetic.

The frustration of not getting to the islands is really getting to us. I know that maritime navigation is an imprecise science – or at least definitely was back then, using a sextant. But at least we were comfortable, being fed, and had plenty to read.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    Your feeling about J&A makes me wonder if you might look for another ride once you arrive at the Galapagos. (If you ever do!)

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