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[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

15th January 2017
Time: 1802z
Position: 21°37.2N 023°06.8W
COG: 215°T
SOG: 8.5kts
Wind: ENE 4/5
Swell: ENE 3-5ft
Sky: 4/8 cumulus
Weather: Good.

The Curious Case of The Red Dust is gripping Discoverer.

It is not yet known when Disco was overrun by The Red Dust, but it seems to have reached deep into the corners of the only consistently clean bit of the boat – the rig. The rest of the deck regularly gets swamped by the discarded contents of Shnack Paks©, and general detritus of 9 people living their lives, while the rig usually escapes being sullied in this way.

Not any more – it’s now the dirtiest bit of the boat! At some point over the last few days we obviously went through some air laden with red dust, and the more we look, the more of the boat seems to be covered in it! While I’m coming to terms with the fact that all the running rigging will need to be given a soapy bath before I can bear to look at it for days on end again, everyone else seems to be getting on just fine, and the ritual sprinkling of Shnack Paks© all over the deck continues in happy fashion.

Things are looking up on the wildlife front – we’ve seen a bird! The so far bleak array of marine life, previously consisting of one single emergence of the Canaries & Cape Verde Consortium of Dolphins, was bolstered by several reported sightings of a small bird, widely believed to be a Petrel of some variety. It reminded me that on our first night out of Pasito Blanco a vessel popped up on the AIS, and there was some discussion as to whether it could be a potential collision risk. When I investigated, it turned out to be a rowing boat called Storm Petrel, doing ≥1kt, and I happily reported back to the deck that the only risk we ran was that of accidentally sinking a rowing boat. Due to lack of internet I can’t research Storm Petrel and their challenge any further, although I imagine they were setting out for an epic row to somewhere far away. Whoever and wherever you are Storm Petrel, I wish you the best of luck on your adventure.

This evening I will be using watch change to implement a new boat rule – no rolling cigarettes on my nav station. I appreciate the fact that it is generally the flattest and cleanest bit of the boat, therefore lending itself to the preparation process of a mid-watch smoko (that’s another Aussie use of the additional ‘O’ so Ty understands this when he reads it). However, having just attempted to get a new chart out from the depths of the chart table, and discovered there is almost the same volume of tobacco as charts now contained within, I am calling a halt to the practice. Harsh maybe, and if I smoked myself I could run a good line in collecting and reselling the spilt goods, but as I don’t I’m just getting bored of picking it out of charts and stationary.

Moris is currently in the galley making one of his relatively debut performances preparing dinner. He has spent the day making sweeping disclaimers as to the expecting quality of the end result, which we don’t think does his no doubt existing but untapped culinary skills justice. However, he is officially in the running to beat Ty as the only person onboard to most spectacularly fail to create an edible meal from pasta. Whether Ty retains his ‘worst ever attempt at dinner’ crown will be revealed tomorrow.

On the subject of food, with the absence of Seb to police the system, the system has gone to pieces. Tomorrow Joe is going to attempt to reign in the rapidly off-piste approach to use of victualling supplies, before we end up with a lottery of hundreds of non-descript and unlabelled cans to cook from for the second half of the trip.

Love from a red dust Disco.

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