Wednesday 15th January 2020 – day 18 aboard Tenacious 

Today we had an egg-citing time with a competition between the four watches and volunteer crew to throw an egg from the forward mast platform as far as possible aft without the egg breaking. We also had to make entertaining presentations in fancy dress. All protective egg vessels had to be made from rubbish and be environmentally friendly in case it fell overboard. The rules were very strict.

All teams made a lot effort and got right into the spirit of the event even though there was a short preparation time.

The presentations varied from a playlet based on “Game of Thrones” and the golden dragon egg. Next a well-written and acted script to prove the world is egg shaped and not spherical, with all the technical mumbo jumbo to go with it. We had a lecture on how to prepare breakfast for the captain with the egg between two pieces of Marmited toast. Finally, a humorous poem and detailed calculations from a team dressed as chickens.

The throwers ascended the mast, watched by all and stood on the platform with their projectiles at the ready. Assessments were made of the aft wind and ship motion. Each thrower had a different technique. Four teams threw their projectile as far as possible. One team just dropped their paper bag of Rice Krispies hoping for an intact egg rather than distance.

The ending up points were marked in chalk with a cross.

All spent projectiles were recovered and the grand dismantling of the vessels was closely watched by all. First egg broken, second broken, the tension mounted, are any eggs going to survive. The third egg was intact, the forth broken and the final egg intact. Points were awarded by the judge and a winner announced. All in all, an eggcellent event with plenty of laughs after hard work.

Now on watch with dolphins on the port side, hot sun, 17 knots wind behind us. What could be better.

Monday 13th January 2020 – day 16 aboard Tenacious

                 The Atlantic.

Flashes of white foam

Amidst ubiquitous blue,

Sparkles in sunlight.

Today we reached 2000 nautical miles! The sun is shining down on Tenacious as we steadily make our way through the aquamarine blue water and spirits are high as we have made our way onto the chart including the Caribbean Islands.

After a very restful Sunday, many of the crew are back to work on the maintenance all over the boat.

The Cribbage tournament officially started yesterday morning and that evening the lower mess was full of the sounds of shuffling cards and opponents carefully counting through the patterns and combinations “…fifteen for two, fifteen for 4…”.

The stars last night were a sight to behold. With the moon rising late and the clear sky that we had, we were able to truly appreciate the magnitude of the universe and the realisation of just how small we are perched on the edge of the Earth underneath the glow of the planet Venus and the Milky Way.

All crew happy, well in the routine of the boat and enjoying the adventure.

               The Cribbage Board

Hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds

Patterns and combinations

Picking through the board

Sunday 12th January 2020 – day 15 aboard Tenacious

Today is 12 January, but for everyone on Tenacious it is day 15 of our Atlantic adventure.

We have adapted to ships time and because we are running a 24-7 hour operation we are not really thinking of time like someone on land does.  We are more concerned about the times of meals, sail setting and what time we are next due on watch.

Today was one of the voyage crews’ birthday (Fraser). To celebrate, we all enjoyed a fantastic chocolate cake.  Other voyage crew made him some bunting out of old navigational chart paper and put up pictures of the birthday boy all over the ship.

Over the next few days we will all become “eggsperts” in aerodynamics because a game of egg drop challenge has begun.  Each watch must come up with an innovatively designed vessel to transport the egg from the first platform on the foremast to the deck without breaking it.

Up to the time of writing, we have travelled 1834 nautical miles (almost entirely under sail) and yesterday was our halfway point between the lines of longitude for our departure and arrival points. The ocean appears to be empty of life and we are a small oasis of humanity.

Check back soon for more goings on aboard Tenacious.

Love from Forward
Starboard watch and the rest of the crew who are all fit and well.

 

Saturday 11th January 2020 – day 14 aboard Tenacious

Position: Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

The murders continue, no-one is safe! During the day some voyagers take to the rigging just like the monkeys and birds that live high in the canopy of the rainforest. They feel safe there. One woman, just retired, was murdered with a straw hat on her head under the bell in the bar at the Lower Mess. In her last moments she looked up and said (in a Scottish accent): “I trusted you, I thought we were friends.” No one noticed to whom she was referring.

The Bosun was overheard complaining to the Chief Engineer he was running out of canvas for body bags. The Engineer replied he was running out of old chain and pieces of iron to weigh them down.

It happens after dark, the sound of a splash and then the canvas passing starboard portholes of the Lower Mess as it sinks slowly down to Davey Jones’ locker. The sound of splash after splash as the ship rolls to starboard. It all takes place by the mainmast while the voyagers are below having dinner.

We in the Aft Port watch wonder why the Captain has not stopped this but we suspect he needed a large crew to get underway and a smaller crew to berth in Antigua, and the murders may be a way of stretching the provisions.

The Bosun, feeling left out, appealed for volunteers for helping with maintenance. The sign-up sheet remained empty until we heard that as soon as the ship slowed in calm conditions in the Caribbean that the bottom would need to be cleaned, which would be achieved by keel-hauling voyage crew who had not signed up for maintenance. Voyage crew were soon climbing over each other to sign up and soon a second page was needed.

The days began to fill with watch duties, mess duty, happy hour and maintenance. The only time to relax was in our bunks. This was to change…

Rowan, the Second Mate, organised a raffle. The closest guess to the log distance at 60 degrees West would win. A rumour soon circulated that the winner would not receive a prize but would be ceremoniously thrown overboard as a gift to Neptune for giving us safe passage to 60 degrees West. Now those amongst us with navigation skills lie awake carrying out complex mental calculations hoping their final figure will not be the closest while the others lie awake terrified their wild guess might be the closest.

As we in Aft Port huddle together we wonder why we are so well fed. Our chef and his galley team turn out the most amazing dishes day after day and, so far, no meal has been repeated or re-appeared on the deck. Then it dawned on us that on arrival in the Caribbean Islands we are to be sold as slaves. We reckon the captain will get a better price for well-fed and fat slaves. We can only hope we are sold to a benevolent sugar plantation owner who likes to gamble and is not very good at cribbage.

To you who find this message in a bottle, spare a thought for the voyage crew of SV Tenacious…

 

Friday 10th January 2020 – day 13 aboard Tenacious

Everything has been going smoothly on the voyage so far. It seems the wind might be dying down a bit in the near future so we are trying our best to take full advantage of the wind now (meaning a bit more rolling in the boat).

Last night we held a big trivia / quiz party with nearly everyone on the boat. We did five categories of different questions (music, general knowledge, geography, etc.). Bonus points were awarded for best team names and the best costumes. Some came dressed as pirates, others as firefighters. It was good fun and everybody put excellent effort into their costumes. Despite a few discrepancies in the trivia questions, it went quite well.

No exciting wildlife to report on, and except for the dwindling supply of fresh fruit, no complaints.

Fergus Hinely, SV Tenacious crew member

 

Thursday 9th January 2020 – day 12 on Tenacious

As we venture off to the West, leaving the blustering sand from the Western Sahara behind us, we venture into the heart of the Atlantic. The sun is shining and people are singing and dancing while sanding the bridge handrails. Smiles and lilt all around.

Everyone is not only settling into the rhythm of the waves but with one another too. Every day we are not only learning about sailing but also how unique and beautiful every individual is. Some of the voyage crew have already opened up certain chapters of their life with an organised talk. Each of these is teaching us a new lesson on life and perhaps a way we can approach things. As well as stories on protecting elephants in an Australian circus and leaving school at sixteen to travel to China, this afternoon, Kate will be giving us a talk on sailing blind which we are all very excited for.

Tenacious is filled with inspiration, confidence and warmth … not to mention great food from the chef Ian and his assistant Esme. Not only are voyage crew working on ‘mess’ duty but we are starting to help the Bosun with the maintenance of the ship. While evening entertainment is nothing short of belly laughs and attempting the splits to pick up a cardboard box off the floor. Tonight, the Youth Leaders will be hosting a general knowledge quiz for everyone.

Each day we learn that working together is what makes things move forward. You might have entirely different opinions on subjects with people but it is even more important to work through this and become a team.

For anyone ever feeling scared of taking the leap to venture into unknown waters (or land) just know the hardest part might be moving forward, going through the sharp turns and waves but it will be the making of you. You will learn far more about yourself that going back upstream.

Take the jump and don’t look back.

Wednesday 8th January 2020 

Heading west (at last!) 😊

Caribbean here we come!

Hi all, forward starboard watch doing the honours of updating you on the goings on aboard Tenacious.

Flash news briefing! A game of murder has commenced on board. So far 16 people have been ruthlessly murdered in cold blood with a variety of strange weapons (latest was with an electric iron on the bridge).  Kates killing was spectacularly done, however, she did commit suicide afterwards. She killed Susanna, one of the Bosun’s mates, with a biscuit but by a twist of fate Susanna was tasked with killing Kate. As the next victim job passes to the murderer, Kate had to kill herself!

One way to tell that the ship is travelling to warmer climates is the sightings of shoals of flying fish that skim effortlessly above the waves.  We have only found one dead flying fish on the deck but expect a lot more.

When we were on our last 0400 to 0800 AM watch we experienced the best sunrise yet.  The sky was a brilliant orange/red, almost purple colour. Following a comment from watch-leader, Nige, that it would be nice to see a pod of dolphins, they turned up 30 seconds later and treated us to a display again.

Hope we are making you wish you were sailing with us, you never know, you just might join Tenacious on a voyage in the future.

We look forward to updating you soon.  Best wishes from all of us in Forward Starboard watch.

Tuesday 7th January 2020 – day 9 aboard Tenacious

Today was a day for scheming. On our 9th day at sea, friendships and romantic relationships have begun to blossom and strengthen, pranks and “murders” have begun to take place, paranoia has set in and trust has been destroyed.

People are dropping like flies, yet romance still manages to be the high gossip among the crew. Everyone has their own conspiracies but in certain cases there is an undeniable spark between the voyagers. Some couples can be spotted for extended periods of time “teaching” in the chart room or swinging their legs off the first platform on the main mast, laughing so hard that it can be heard by the flying fish.

While love was as high in the air as Robin’s British flag, it was a time of sorrow for all those who have fallen during these treacherous times. RIP fellow voyagers, you will be missed. However, for those who remain a potential target, watch your backs, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer… are your friends even your friends…can anyone be trusted?

Aside from Assassins, don’t you worry, there are plenty of other schemes developing behind the scenes, just to keep everyone on their toes.

Until next time, Future Assassin Champions.

P.S. Matt’s message for his mum: “Hi mum! Love you!”

 

Monday 6th January 2020

We awoke this morning to fair wind and some sunshine, similar, to yesterday.

All the watches have gone smoothly and so far, no problems have arisen. A
pod of dolphins surrounded the ship at about one o’clock and gave everyone
on board a good show.

As we pass close by Cape Verde, we seem to have more wildlife sightings. Several birds were spotted and at least one Orca whale came close to the ship yesterday. Everyone is in good spirits, but sea sickness did claim its first victim today. Otherwise, everything is normal.

Our heading is 220 degrees to the southwest, and we will soon be getting into the meat of the voyage. Currently at a brisk 9 knots, it feels like we’re making good time.

Fergus – Tenacious crew member

 

Sunday 5th January 2020: A Day of Apparent Rest.

We started off this hallowed day of peace with an agonizing attempt to brace the main sails just after midnight with the change of watches. We had a little trouble as some of the braces caught on the rest of the rigging and nearly pulled off the arms of the off-going watch. With some good teamwork we managed to untangle the braces and eventually square the main sails and the off-going watch were allowed to go to bed.

After a lovely few hours of sleep we were gently serenaded awake by a fine example of elevator music and Sean’s lyrical Irish accent asking us to wake for Breakfast. For breakfast we were treated with Coco pops much to the delight of the crew. After breakfast the bosun mates introduced the game Assassins and has now made all onboard extremely paranoid of taking anything from anyone for fear of being ‘murdered’.

At morning smoko, we celebrated Joan’s first day of retirement from 35 years of working as a nurse and midwife with some divine chocolate cake made by the King of the Galley, Ian. We then had a questionable sighting of killer whales, which is still up for much debate.

As the winds have changed slightly we are now out of the Sahara dust shower of the day before and it remains a mild 20C.

We spent the rest of the morning climbing up the mast and then gingerly shuffling along the lower topsail yards, with varying degrees of fear in the voyage crew. Once down it was time for lunch and we had a delicious seafood style buffet with shrimps, salmon, charcuterie and various salads.

This afternoon has been very relaxed, occasionally checking the tuna lines streaming out the stern of the boat and doing a variety of squats, push- ups and some rather unbalanced lunges around the deck. To the great disappointment of many, Jim was the first victim to die in the Assassins game, being murdered by Nige only 2 hours after the game began.

Later today we are looking forward to a weather talk from Rowan and hopefully another enthusiastic game of Shout out or Articulate.

This apparent day or rest has not been so restful, but has been full of laughter and good fun.
Written by the fantastically fearless forward port watch. 😊

Saturday 4th January 2020: Forward stbd log

We are heading for warmer climates, the sun is shining, and we are currently on the 12:30-4PM duty.  Up until now nothing much has happened out on the water, but today a pod of very playful Atlantic spotted dolphins have been
breaching and belly flopping!

One of our watch members Kate who is visually impaired even heard their splashes.

We are moving at a reasonable speed of 5kts under sails and today at “happy hour” we had to clean some Sahara sand off the ship which is being carried over on the easterly wind.

Last night during our watch the moon was so high and bright it was leaving streaks on the surface of the water. Even Kate could sense the moon light refracting off the crests of the waves. Big happy smiles from forward stbd watch. Stay tuned for more updates from the Tenacious’ Atlantic adventure.

 

Thursday 2nd January 2020: blog from crew member Fergus Hinely 

I joined Tenacious on 29th December 2019. The ship was docked in Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, behind the aquarium. The short stay in Las Palmas was mostly pleasant, but we did encounter some trouble with the pilot service. We were due to leave for Santa Cruz Tenerife at two o’clock in the afternoon on the 30th, and we got underway later than planned.

Our first night on the sea went smoothly, but was completely engine powered. After some morning training we cruised into Tenerife and were able to go ashore on New year’s eve. The bell was rung by the youngest of our 49 crew members, to mark the start of the new year.

The next day had a late start, and a delay in the pilot service as well as unfavourable winds kept us from embarking until around six in the evening. We are now entering our second day at sea with a heading of 215 degrees to the southwest, chasing after the trade winds that will move us across the Atlantic.

The crew is just getting into the rythymn of ship life and beginning to warm up to each other. We’ll have plenty of time for that in the coming weeks I’m sure. We’ve got several jibs and five square sails set and a killer ocean view. The ship is a bit rolly-polly, but no sea sickness….yet.

The food has been fantastic so far, but our fruit won’t be lasting too much longer. Regardless, I have faith that our cook will do just fine with what he’s got. Plenty of tea and biscuits have been keeping the crew happy and well caffeinated. That seems a good summary of the journey so far. We will continue to send updates of our experiences and condition of life aboard the ship.

Fergus of the S.V. tenacious