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[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report

13th January 2017
Time: 1812z
Position: 26°51.0N 018°29.4W
COG: 260°T
SOG: 8kts
Wind: ESE 5
Swell: SE 3-4ft, with some mixed NE to make it uncomfortable.
Sky: 3/8 stratus.
Weather: Very hazy, with mod-poor vis all day.

And once again, we are underway. That unfamiliar sight of a landmass silhouetted against the horizon has slipped behind and out of sight. The ocean is sliding past beneath the hull, the lines on deck are straining and creaking away with a purposeful abandon, and we find ourselves once more in a existence defined by four-hour chunks of life. Love it.

Our short time in Pasito Blanco wasn’t the easiest few days, with lots to do and relatively few resources to do it with, but we’re back out here and making fast tracks towards Antigua. A lot of that was made possible by having the boat so comprehensively prepared in the UK before leaving, and a massive part of this was victualling and storing all the food for the entire way through to San Diego in one hit. This was done for the exact reason of taking pressure off stopovers so not have to deal with large resupplying efforts each time, and I’m very pleased we did that.

We’ve had a couple of changes in terms of crew, and it’s amazing what a difference only a couple of personnel tweaks can make. Paul has jumped off to manage the mammoth task that is the continued planning and logistics of The Longest Swim, so that when Disco finally arrives in San Diego we can hit the ground running, and turn everything around in time to head off to Tokyo, and carry out the small business of swimming an ocean. We will miss you petite pousson, and look forward to having you back on soon, so The Jungle can once again become The Jungle.

We also lost Seb, who after many months of work, planning, and a phenomenal contribution over the initial leg sailing down, had reached the end of his timeframe, and had business elsewhere. Between the two of them there is big space where they used to be, both in terms of personality and contribution, and I don’t doubt that they will be sorely missed throughout.

They will both leave their legacy in different ways, but Seb’s is a special one. The big job we got done in Gran Canaria was replacing all the pipework for the heads (toilets), as we’d been having problems with that on the way down. Seb masterminded this operation, and lovingly replaced and refurbished every bit of pipe and connection in the toilet system. The result is that he spent most of his time covered in sewage in the bilge, but also that we now have fully functioning facilities again. I’m considering putting a sign saying “Think of Seb” on the wall opposite the toilet as a tribute to his efforts, but it might be a bit weird. We’ll see.

Stepping aboard is my own father, hitching a ride across and seeing what it’s all about, but with a fair amount of sailing contribution to make to our passage as well. Little does he know he is now expected to simultaneously emulate both Seb and Paul, who were on different watches. He will be busy.

I’m about to set about vacuuming out the bilges to make sure my own special standard of removing water from the boat is met, and will then be tackling some battery rewiring excitement to try and fit the new charger so we don’t have to run the main engine for power generation. If no more updates follow this one you’ll know that it didn’t go well and the boat is running on head torches for the remainder of the crossing! Red is negative, black positive, right?

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