Northern Child is back in business, and again, we hold our knives between our teeth, ready to rock-n-roll!
The day we made landfall was absolute awesome. Once all the formalities were sorted and our yacht in absolute ship shape to be presentable, we warmed ourselves up in the world famous Pete’s Cafe Sport and later a part of the crew went for a superb dinner with nice local food and wine, enjoying the flatness of the table and the fact that the whole fork-load stays on it and didn’t fly away halfway across the deck crashing in someone else’s lap… Tristan and Cedric went to discover the local culture and groove by hanging onto a group of local people at a bar facing a bay and the sunset with live music and very cheap beer. Shortly after the discovery of this terrific spot, they were joined by the EH01 crew as well and they rocked it together until…. …late? early?
On the following day, Tristan worshipped the mother of all hang over, Cedric enjoyed a beautiful day in town and started getting the job list down while most of the crew took a cab to discover the island. The evening we went all together for a crew dinner in a really cool fish restaurant where we chose the fish we wanted to eat form the chef’s counter. In that way we did not only taste but also see the looks of a wreck fish (nice change from having wrecked bird), scorpion fish or what other fish they had.
Day 2 was driven by productivity. Glen and Dave went in the morn to get the provisioning done, after which all the crew left the boat for the day for some more tourism or some well deserved solo-time. Tristan and Cedric gave the ship the TLC it needed after having pushed water for 2200 nautical miles. In that day, all winches were serviced by master winch service man Tristan, the two main sail cars which were about to pack up sorted, the generator fuel pump replaced by chief mechanic Cedric, heads serviced – names not disclosed – fridges cleaned, bilges cleaned as always, various leaks closed, leather jobs done by our new fellow crew Matt who joined us from the Netherlands. Francois, aka the mad frog and Anselmo left us in Horta.
Eventually we finished the day on a low key in a nice restaurant with a view on the bay again. The owner of the restaurant has sailed twice around the world, single handed, so we talked a lot about the decoration which was totally boat oriented.
Today is the day 1 of episode 2 of the Adventures of Sailing Vessel Northern Child. We got all sorted in the morning and finished the last bits and pieces before heading for a crew lunch before getting onto the motorway at Peter’s Cafe Sport and get some internet in order to receive the latest weather data and have a briefing on what to expect. In a nutshell, we are expecting to get pounded again for a couple of days in relatively strong winds (bear in mind that the actual wind, called “true wind”, adds up to your speed and becomes an “apparent” wind and can be surprisingly high upwind and very low downwind) and then to hit a low wind patch where we will make our call. On the last leg we tracked down a weather system, while here the aim will be not to be barred the access to the English Channel. The wind looks low and a bit messy, and therefore we topped up the boat with fuel to make sure our range is sufficient to pop that bubble and get out on the other side to catch some wind. Then it gets interesting because the wind will be off our beam (widest section of the boat, usually in the middle) and quite strong. Since this wind is sort of in our back, the apparent will be lower and we might come in screaming down the channel, but these sort of prediction cannot be made with certainty in such a distance in the future, and in any case we better be careful, just because.
We left Horta around 4 and were promptly followed by EH01 which finds itself in it’s best position, which is in our wake. It was nice to do a few tacks to clear the islands, after we spent 2 weeks on the same side of the boat! Everybody got well into the groove and David opened the festivities with yesterday’s shrimp on the deck. This shortly interrupted his turn on the stove for today’s happy watch but it is great to see how the ocean makes you grow. His titanium coated steel legs took a few days to come in on the first leg, but today he showed is is perfectly confident with sea sickness and knows how it comes, how to deal with it, and how to get rid of it. He laughed during the process and did very well. The question now is who is next! As nobody volunteered, Cedric suggested to take one for the team and join David because onboard Northern we are a team! Maybe later, as motion sickness is a sneaky little thing and someone might take his turn! According to Cedric, there are 3 types of people. Those who have been sea sick, those who will, and liars.
So now we are trucking along again, and almost there: 1125 miles to go… …to the next waypoint. Belay! the floating man cave is on it’s way!
You will hear more from us tomorrow, and every day until we make it to Portsmouth.
Have a good one,
Northern Child, rock star of the seas.