A cargo ship for company

21st May Northern Child position

Dear all,

Today has been just been another day of bliss.

As we carried the Antigua time with us and never changed it since we left, the sun is at it’s zenith earlier and earlier as we sail East. This means we had out sunrise at 3 in the morning and that our days seem longer. At noon it feels like 4 in the afternoon and it probably is, in terms of astro navigation.

The watch I accompany the most as they are outnumbered got an early breakfast of a few sausages and beans with some strong coffee to keep them going through the day. Was pretty nice sharing the plate in the cockpit and enjoying the start of the day so early. Later on the champagne cruising kept going with last bits and pieces drying and lots of lounging and many jokes and riddles again. It is amazing how much stuff we can come up with when you have time and good company. As always, Francois topped us all as he definitely is an endless source of stories and jokes.

The first highlight of the day was the opening of 4 cans Frey Bentos cans containing steak and liver pies. That will make our culinary day until Glen does his magic again (it is his watch’s turn and it seems he is the only one in his group capable of cooking something more serious than a sachet of bento noodles). We dug out a can of coconut milk and that should go down well with the pork and some rice, and whatever else we find.

Second most important moment of the day was the crossing of a big cargo ship. The skipper called them on the radio to make sure they had spotted us. The watchkeeper on the bridge interpreted very well the subliminal message and offered to alter his course, leaving us a wide berth. He also returned the question how we were doing and asked if we needed anything, in which case we had until he was next to us to let him know. Temptation was to ask for 8 marguerita pizzas and beers but we just politely thanked him for the gentle offer and the courteous change of course. As they passed us we thanked them again and had some radio chatter. So we crossed a boat coming from Rotterdam bound for Columbia with 20 souls on board: 5 Greek officers and 15 Pilipino. Before parting, we had a final request of him giving a long blast on his horn. There is no one around us, so we was nice enough to give us a long and loud pooooooooomp! That cheered us up all right!

The wind is very low, and the temptation to motor along is very big. But each time we speak the word engine, the wind picks up a little more and we do better. “We sailed back across the Atlantic” sounds better than “we sailed most of it but at the end we couldn’t be bothered giving our best”. This is what we are saying now, but maybe in a few hours we’ll just have had enough and power a bit forward, and find a very valid excuse full of seamanship.

A couple of hours after the text above was written, the lull still being here and the forecast still predicting light air we decided to change the genoa for a bigger one. The extra canvas is giving us an extra knot of speed and we are all happy to be back on track.

The boat is now getting slowly ready to sail into the night, raising and dropping on the smooth swell which has caught up with us.

Good night Jon Buoy,

Northern Child.

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