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January 18, 2014

Day 36

Greetings, Forward Port watch here with today’s report on life aboard Nellie in mid ocean. We see no ships and no whales either but we did have a splendid quiz night last night. Liz, our Nursie, steered admirably while the rest of us quizzed away in the bar. Things were not made easy for Sweeney and Megan, who were running the quiz, when it turned out that we had given the wrong answer to one of the questions our watch had set! Much was the arguing over precise wording of answers and the girls did well to keep some order. The biggest laugh was when Sweeney asked us how many siblings Charlotte Bronte had and then offered us a bonus of 2 points if we could name all 5 of them. The five rounds of questions were closely fought and a tie break (literally … as it involved tying a bowline one handed) for second place was won by US!!! Aft Starboard were the overall winners.

Right now our watch are enjoying a strong Force 6/7 wind and we are doing around 7.5 knots. Neil the BM set us an extreme sawing challenge which we have been successful in completing. The Captain wanted 4 large wedges and we had to saw the huge piece of wood with a somewhat less than sharp saw without losing any of the wedges over the side or sawing up bits of the ship in the process. Job done! However it was amusing to see the ratio of advisers/planners/risk assessors to actual sawing operative, not to mention the number of photographers. Now we have successfully sawn on the stern of the bridge … where next?


Too many cooks? Bridget actually sawing!

We are doing well in our progress towards Cape Horn though Captain Chris predicts some ‘fluffy weather’ (I really must read more meteorology books to learn some of this technical jargon), to come in a few days time. I think it means wallowing around with flappy sails and not going far.

Marcin helped improve our understanding of the weather and forecasting in his talk yesterday – we are now fluent in isobars and pressure systems.

We are now running a sweepstake on the time and date that we pass Cape Horn. Hmmm! Will that ‘fluffy weather’ actually happen? Will the storm jib need to be used? Will we be blown North for a while (also predicted)? Much are the calculations aboard ship.

Currently we are prepared for the windy stuff and all hands did a ‘Super Bracing’ exercise involving some serious tightening of the braces and the course sheets and tacks. This gave us all some time to work off the calories from the delicious food that the galley keeps on turning out (thanks Cookie Dave and team!)

Lots of fixing and sorting is being done and there is an element of obstacle course about some parts – our Bosun and a BM are doing their best to cover as much stairway as possible with the spanker … another record maybe.

Anyway we hope you have enjoyed this little slice of shipboard life … we certainly are.

Forward Port: Jenny, Sherwood, Barbara, Bridget, Paul, Mike, Dave and Gary





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