June 9th, 10th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Land !

The maybe-land had disappeared by morning, so Jack decided to wait till noon, + get a proper fix on where we were before proceeding.  The rest of us were opposed to such a policy, but Jack’s the lad… or captain, if you prefer… so his decision stood.  An excellent brunch – Val made pancakes, US style, as many as anyone could eat.  We had visitors during the morning.  First one large sea-bird- I think it was a booby – came + checked things out, + then a bunch of them congregated on the bowsprit, as many as 5 at a time.  And then came the noon shots, as usual bringing bad news.  We discovered that during the night the current had carried us north-west, so that we were virtually level with where we’d been at noon the day before, only further over to the west, so with virtually the same task confronting us.  Ho hum.  We spotted a whale in the afternoon, frolicking about about 50 yards away.  Must have been camera-shy tho ‘ – wouldn’t stay up long enough for us to snap him.  Later, Val + I cut each other’s hair – all we have to do now is wash it.  A heavy starch diet today – soup + cornbread, then cake.  No sign of land when I went to bed.

Up again on June 10th at 4.15 – for some reason Alma had let me sleep on.  The good new was that the Galapagos were in sight – apparently our big navigation error had been to think we were in the Southern Hemisphere when we weren’t.  A very nice feeling, as the light came up, to see real land.  We were more or less becalmed all morning, so we took the opportunity of a thorough spring clean, inside + out the boat.  My job was outside, attacking some rust, + then scrubbing down the decks + cleaning the chrome.  Val tackled the inside, polishing, cleaning, etc.  In the afternoon, Val + I helped clean each other, pouring buckets of cold… very cold… sea water over each other’s naked bodies on the back deck – sounds kinky, doesn’t it.  I cooked dinner, with Val’s help + advice – shepherd’s pie + split peas.  Delicious.  And filling.  Arrived at 5, + set anchor.

And yet more frustration about finally getting there. The situation regarding the navigation simply added to our doubts as to Jack’s abilities; he simply assumed we had made better progress than we had, and put us in the southern hemisphere. All the more annoying since Val had her suspicions that he was being over-optimistic, but she diplomatically kept her counsel.

But, at last, we have reached our destination! Which is quite an achievement, relying on a complicated slide-rule and, for the most part, sail power! We had our doubts, mind you, about how much of the islands we would be able to see, what with chores, and Jack’s combined stinginess and grumpiness when on land.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.