Thursday, 17 March (Day 18). [St Patrick’s Day – no green bread has been
served on ‘Tenacious’ today, unlike aboard the ‘Eye of the Wind’ in the
Atlantic in 1992!]
Today, we are enjoying the best of what the Pacific can offer –
bright sunshine; blue waters, with white-crested waves as far as the eye can
see; sailing at a steady 5 – 6 knots; and the course now set at 250 degrees
The only minor difficulty worthy of mention is that with these
choppier seas, moving about the ship has become more challenging, in
particular for those of us on upper bunks. We now need to exercise precise
judgement when launching ourselves into bed – the wrong timing can result in
either landing back on the floor or being catapulted upwards and collapsing
in a perilously-poised heap, in danger of being ejected backwards at the
next roll! We must all be perfecting the perfect ‘ascent’ technique as no
accidents have yet been reported.
The current superb sailing conditions are an indication that we are
now enjoying the Trade Winds and have finally left behind the Inter-tropical
Convergence Zone. While sailing through the latter, we had one night watch
of real blackness and heavy rain. The next night, the moon was clearly
present behind the totally overcast sky, as we could at least see the
horizon, but the rain was more or less continuous for the whole four hours.
This was the general pattern for a couple of days, and with people
beginning to get quite tired, Captain Simon and Fliss, our First Mate,
kindly agreed to us having some extra ‘quiet/rest times’. This has been
much appreciated and everyone is now feeling much more energetic.
Indeed, today a number of people have been up the mast, and Canadian
Craig, who is blind, has been out on the netting by the bowsprit – we are
all full of admiration for his courage.
In the past, the bowsprit has been a good place for dolphin-watching
but in this part of the Pacific, the creatures must be hiding in the depths.
We see the occasional school (or is it ‘flock’?) of flying fish emerging at
speed from the waves and skimming across the crests but that, and the
occasional birds, is all.
We did have a few flying fish land on deck, which were offered to
Chris L our onboard ‘fisherman’ for bait, but it was too late in the evening
to discover where Micah, the cook, would let us keep them, so they were
returned to the deep. The only other wildlife on board recently was a small
bird (a petrel?) which somehow found its way below decks at night.
Fortunately, Dr Kate was able to catch it in a towel and release it, thus
preventing any potential Hitchcock ‘The Birds’ scenarios.
This morning we had a sighting of another vessel, which is News in
this part of the ocean. It came relatively close, doubtless for their crew
to admire the magnificence of Tenacious under sail, prompting our crew to
spend much of the morning in wild speculation about what sort of vessel it
was: an innocent fishing vessel; an illegal fishing vessel; an unmarked
Greenpeace vessel looking out for Japanese whalers; spies from countries I
cannot mention here, etc. etc. ….. Watch this space for news of our
upcoming Pub Quiz and other excitements.
Greetings to all from the Aft Port watch: Kate S, Charlie, Kath &
Paul, David/Dave, Chris W and Michelle.