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February 27, 2018

Hightailing it to the Canaries

Our midnight to 4 AM watch considered by us to be one of the most enjoyable of our watches. We are still steering 080, East North East. Our watch officer Rowan tells us the deep depression that we are in front of is so deep it has a name, Emma. This means a little ribbing for Emma one of our voyage crew but she can take it! So the current sailing plan which is motor sailing with yards braced sharp to port, three sails set is one we have been following for a couple of days. Rowan also tells us that Emma should be veering off towards Madeira, so they cop the storm and the Canary Islands get the better weather, we hope!

The watch had found hilarious when I was helming and Charlie said he found me “head nodding” (I was actually trying to hear Doris, the speaking compass) drowned out by shrieks of laughter with Charlie telling everyone that I was steering are correct course of 080 whilst fast asleep! This caused much laughter as much as earlier on while trying to get wet weather gear on, I had the oil skin trousers half on when the ship gave a terrific lurch and I landed on the floor! George heard the bump looked down the corridor from the lower mess and saw a pair of oil skin legs poking into the corridor and heard an amount of swearing! This gave rise to an extraordinary amount of jollity which I had to join in!

What a night! We turned in early or at least George did while I had a drink or two in the bar before turning in. I had forgotten to tie up my lee sheets so at a specified time in the late watches the ship tipped me out of my bunk and left me cursing on the deck! George had been awake and considered offering me a helping hand but I had managed to crawl back into my bunk before he made his decision!

Earlier in the day or was it yesterday, George did his half hour talk on New Zealand. He included some very personal things about his rather disrupted teenage years when he got into all sorts of trouble. His salvation came when he was sent to an island off the main coast of New Zealand and he went to Boot Camp. He ended a very interesting talk with a Hakka, learned from the Maori that this was completely compelling and rendered George almost voiceless for a while afterwards. I am very proud of him as an uncle and I hope as a friend.


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