Day 40

101W 08.34. 46S 23.75
Run to date: 4186 miles
Noon to noon run: 136 miles
Pressure: 1025.5

The sun shines on the righteous, and today it shines on Fore Port Watch! No need for oilys today. It’s warm, it’s got blue seas and blue skies. But the winds are variable and we’re occasionally steering 065’, but in reality steering best course to wind at around 2 knts at best. At this rate – according to the GPS –  it will take 57 days 6hrs 25mins to reach Cape Horn on the 20th March 2014! But worry thee not, a fair blow of around 15-25 knots is due and we’ll soon knock off the miles to the Cape.

Currently we’re flying a full complement of sail. We’ve got full sets on the main and fore masts, inner jib AND flying jib, spanker AND upper spanker, and the staysails as well. We must look absolutely marvels – pity there’s no one around to see us.

This afternoon, Gary has already taken a sextant class on the poop. The watch is about to check all the immersion suits and air the life jacket lockers. And then it will be time for ‘nursies’ medical matters talk.

Over the last three days, the ships dummy has been swapping beds among some of the more riotous members of the voyage crew. Today he will be used as a resus dummy in Nursies talk. But last night he was sat in the starboard PH heads dressed as a gorilla, lolling off the toilet seat with the door open and the shower curtain wrapped around him. Poor Emma! She made three consecutive security walks around the accommodation deck, each time spotting this ‘bloke’ sitting on the toilet looking the worse for wear before reporting it to her Paul her watch leader, admitting she didn’t know what to do with the ‘bloke’. Of course this is a confidential story – not!

So forty days into the voyage, and what a voyage it has been. Auckland, Chatham Isles, Xmas Dinner, the 48 hour New Year celebrations, albatrosses, crib competition, lectures and talks, poetry sessions, sea shanty sessions, birthdays, ships newsletter, wedding anniversaries, celebrations of 35 years at sea, sweepstakes, night skies, the Southern Cross, the Moon, sunrise, sunset, the Sunday morning services, the birds, the Happy Hours, the seasickness, the afternoon naps, the sleepless nights, the fun, the discussion, the Reading Room, the Bing Bong, Happy Bunks, laundry days, some teary days, lots and lots of laughter days, the night watches, the day watches, the storm, the big seas, the social scene, the reflection times, the wind, the rain, the cold and the warmth, the separation and the thoughts of home and of family, of partners and spouses, friends and communities.

But underlying all of this is our respect and thankfulness to the permanent crew and volunteers for all their hard work and dedication on this trip.

And to finish, a few lines:

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen
But I still long to learn
Of ships and stars and isles
And to feel the blood run through the veins and tingle
As we strive, to seek, to find and not yield
Mark well this day pilgrims
We shall not pass this way again.

Fore Port Watch, Sherwood, W/L, Jen, Barbara, Bridget, Gary, Dave, Paul, Mike