TNS454 13/12/15

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon between Barracuda Ridge and the Demerara Abyssal Plain. The sun is shining bright in a mostly cloudless sky. The thermometer has crossed 30 degrees. The wind has eased since yesterday and we’ve spent the last few hours bobbing along at 4 or 5 knots. But it’s been 12 days and 1800 miles since we last used the engines. We can survive a day of light airs.

Tenacious is now less than 400 miles from the Windward Islands. We’re not sure where we’ll first make land, but we expect it’ll be Thursday or Friday. We haven’t stood on — or even seen — solid ground since Las Palmas on 26 November. The crew’s thoughts are turning to sandy beaches, rum cocktails, and Facebook access. Soon we’ll be island-hopping our way to Antigua.

Last night, to help fill the last few days of our crossing, bosun’s mate Martin hosted a SODS Opera — a performance of the Ship’s Operatic and Dramatic Society. The Forward Port watch staged a seagoing version of Big Brother. Forward Starboard’s contribution focused mostly on music. Aft Starboard presented a three-part Christmas panto, complete with medical purser Nich as the fairy godmother. Our watch, Aft Port, attempted to assemble a Christmas pudding but mostly just dumped flour and eggs on our watch leader’s head. The night finished with a shanty sung by American Chris, accompanied by Graham on guitar and Martin on squeezebox.

As the rest of the ship’s company had a last drink in the bar, our watch climbed up the steps to the bridge for the First watch. Over our heads, shooting stars filled the sky.