3 in 1 Blog by the BM’s
Day 1 10th May
Joining day for the voyage crew, but just another day of sanding, varnishing, chipping and painting for the illustrious bosun’s mates of the Lord Nelson. All five of us, except for Simone, our resident illegal German/Aussie immigrant, who was on a visa-dodging day trip to Buenos Aires.
Just in time for the end of the voyage crew briefing below decks and Cat’s painting, the heavens opened over Rio de Janeiro. Our two cadets (deck officers in training), Ryan and Jordan, took the opportunity to have a wet T-shirt competition. They probably needed a cold shower anyway. Dinner was followed by some experimental caipirinha making in the ship’s bar. A moment of panic ensued when we thought we had run out of limes, but Fiona the wonderful cook’s assistant saved the day by finding the last three on the ship. With strict instructions to stock up the next day before leaving harbour, we headed off to our bunks.
Day 2, 11th May
The next day, the bosunry department awoke, some fresh, some not so fresh for the day ahead. The real preparations for departure began, with the voyage crew getting their first experience of climbing aloft. There were some impressive performances from Frances and Andrew, who were close to giving up half way, but made it to the first platform with some encouragement. We then rescued the gangway from ashore, despite Steve the mate’s initial suggestion that we leave it there until we return to Rio, given that it took two hours to get ashore on our arrival. Then began the waiting part of the game known as ‘pilotage in Brazil’. Initially scheduled for 1400 hours, we found that our agent could not book a pilot being a mere yacht agent rather than commercial. But strings were pulled and a pilot arranged for 1600. While the voyage crew were treated to a surprise siesta, us naughty BM types returned to our varnishing and painting until departure.
Then it was all hands to harbour stations to weigh both anchors and release the stern lines. The crew were suitably equipped with gloves for handling the lines that had been marinating in the polluted harbour water. As we were leaving the marina we got some fantastic views of Rio’s most iconic landmarks: Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer. Unfortunately we were met by rather rough seas and Medical Purser Ronan could soon be seen dashing about with sick bags looking busy. Dinner was a somewhat quiet affair as a result.
The ship was quiet by 7.30, except for in the galley store, where an accidental opening of the dairy fridge saw Bosun’s mate Craig cleaning up ‘debris’ from various nooks and crannies.
Day 3, 12th May
The crew of Lord Nelson woke to a beautiful sunny day but continued rolling of the ship. Luckily the wind was fair and straight after breakfast we set a few more sails, including the royals and main t’gallant. Meanwhile, BMs Pip and Alice were busy reassembling the door to one of the disabled access heads down below. How do you get assistance from every middle-aged man on a ship? Get two young ladies to rehang a door.
This afternoon the endless cycle of chipping, sanding and painting was interrupted for some. Instead, Cat and Craig had the task of oiling (fire) flaps and greasing (grease) nipples on weather doors. Pip painted the emergency steering gear, Simone prepared for more varnishing on the bridge, and Alice got stuck in a bay while sanding the bulkheads on deck. She now has a permanently stooped posture, not good for someone who was already rather short. Dinner was an excellent spaghetti Bolognese and fruit salad. We are now sat on the foredeck admiring a beautiful nearly-full moon. We leave you in the capable and probably more sensible hands of the voyage crew for the rest of the trip.
Signing off, Bosun Lesley’s Minions, aka the Bosun’s mates, Cat, Simone, Craig, Pip and Alice.