My early morning watch was pretty horrible, with big uncomfortable seas, grey threatening skies, + lightning flashing up ahead. Still, Radio Australia kept me company. It’s not the most wonderful of shows, + one has to restrain oneself from laughing at the accent (shades of Monty Python) but it’s good company – certainly no worse than its British counterpart. There was no rain during my watch tho’, + I wrote in the log that it seemed the rain has passed us by. 5 mins later, with Val having taken my place + me snuggled up happily in my bunk, down it came. Teach me to make predictions.
As we emerged into day proper, it was clear that the wind, very unusually, was coming from the SW, just the direction we wanted to go, forcing us to creep south. The seas were worse than anything Val + I have yet experienced, but we lived well enough – porridge for breakfast, cheese + tomato sandwich for lunch, steak for dinner, plus of course beer, rum + cups of tea. After dinner, Doug decided that the best thing for us to do for the night was stay where we were, so down came the sails, + we all went to bed – no watches tonight.
There is a big collection of cassettes on board. Most of them are “easy listening”, but in addition some surprising + excellent stuff – Joan Armatrading, Joan Baez, Rod Steward, some pop, some jazz. Tonight I curled up with the Walkman, + a tape of some big band music. Unfortunately, the ship’s cassette player is not working too well, + spits out most of the tapes one feeds in. Doug is hoping to get it fixed in Rarotonga.
I find it quite extraordinary now that we, two people with no experience of the sea, could encounter the southern oceans and a small boat with such apparent equanimity. Trust ib Doug, I suppose. And in the midst of that potential chaos, we lived like kings (and a queen.) Good food, booze, music…