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[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

26th January 2017
Time: 1805z
Position: 16°54.7N 52°28.1W
COG: 280°T
SOG: 4-5kts
Wind: E 3
Swell: NE 2-3ft
Sky: Cirrus in the north, cumulus and altostratus in the south.
Weather: Good

No more pencil sharpening activities today, so things are looking up! Another time change happened yesterday evening, so things are confused again. However, where Disco is most confused is in her culture. She is a British made and historically owned boat, now sailing under an American flag, owned by a Frenchman, with a British skipper, and a crew including a Belgium and an Australian. We speak English, French, German, Dutch, Flemish, and Australian. It can be hard to keep up with what culture we are operating within on any given day.

Today is obvious however, as it’s a very special day. For today, is Australia Day. In England this represents drinking heavily all day long with all the Australians you can find. It turns out it means exactly the same thing in Australia! We’ve never seen our Lost Aussie so animated (for further information on quite how lost and Australian he is visit www.lostaussies.com), and he’s on autopilot as he keeps on trying to open ‘phantom frothies’, despite there being none in his hand. This is how ingrained the spirit of Australia Day is within Ty.

To try and make him feel more at home, we are going along with the concept. Disco is officially an Australian boat for the day; the Hottest 100 has been replaced with Discos Hottest 25, we are thinking of stubbies, and we’ve even let the roo out of the crash bulkhead for a spell of fresh air. The voting happens later, and then we shall see the favourite songs of the trip so far.

Last night heralded a bit of a mix up of the watch system, as well as a time change. I’ve done an exactly 50% changeover of people between watches so there can be a bit more variety on the last few days. In a watch system it can be quite funny, as you never necessarily get to spend much time with people on the opposite watch, and you just pass through ‘like ships in the night’. Our last minute changeup goes a small way to combating this.

As Antigua draws closer, thoughts and planning for the stopover and all that lies beyond become ever more prevalent. As always, we’ve lots to do and arrange to keep the show on track, and get Disco to where she needs to be in time to prepare for The Longest Swim, with Paul putting in a huge effort on the ground to ensure everything runs smoothly. The initial priority is ensuring we have some assistance getting into the marina, as we are still without Penelope operating at 100%, and my bag of tricks parking this boat in strange marinas without an engine will run empty at some point. The logistics of having new propeller parts and the facilities to fit them have all been arranged, and with some more crew changeovers we hope to be underway again in no time, next stop Panama! Big thanks to Paul, Ben, and everyone else involved in making all of these things line up for us. It can be very frustrating at sea with only limited communication and ability to organise things, so it’s a big confidence to know everything is in safe hands.

Back to our little ocean slice of Australia for the day. G’day to all Ty’s lot, and to all my Aussie crew from Team Garmin, many of whom adopted me for some of last year. I will be back one day to collect all my stuff, promise…

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