Friday afternoon 4 December
Dreams on board are vivid. One recurring theme is of hurtling down a river on your back, being buffeted at every turn. When you wake up in the dark, as everyone has to, it’s pretty similar. One of us also dreamed that there were two puppies on board called Orza (up wind) and Poggia (downwind). It’s the repeated call from the pros, bringing to heel the rookies at the helm.
You can’t escape puppies and Adrian Mitchell’s “ A puppy called puberty” has become a bit of a favourite:
“he only slept five minutes at a time , then he’d suddenly perk up his head in the middle of school medical inspection…. And always on bus rides…. Your wicked and ticketless stowaway…” Panfilo wants it read at his funeral.
Student living involves poor sleep patterns, living in confined spaces, hanging your (washed) boxer shorts in full view and, of course, eating good stuff directly out of the fridge at strange times. Beer , a hacked off chunk of salami or chocolate at 4am come to mind. We also all remember those earnest discussions about Things That Really Matter and Wotsitallabout. Life on board has not disappointed. Accusations like “who ate all the yogurt” are at least honestly answered by revelations that there is a secret fridge in the owner’s cabin. But he does share freely, particularly the liberally given advice on How to Do Everything and Anything. When particularly gracious he will preface the wisdom with “secondo me” which, loosely translated, means “according to the deity”. We are also lucky to have a Head Girl on board who is equally free with her pearls.
Yesterday’s alto-stratus clouds, with their layered wisps in an enormous oval, were not only glorious but also brought consistent wind with them. Apparently the wind at sea level travels in the opposite direction to these clouds. A squall this morning brought was also accompanied by an hour of strong winds and we zipped along. The radio then crackled to life for the first time in 12 days. It was the ARC race committee calling with a friendly hello along the lines of “we’ve been tracking you and know you’ve been using your engine”. To our disbelief, this turned out not to be some code for praising us, and the allegation was repeated again… and again, with increasing insistence. The denials became equally vehement, with the race committee man then asking the backhanded “where did you learn to sail?” The answer is of course, the Pasquale Naval Academy, certainly the finest in this corner of the Atlantic. Larry Ellison, we await your call.
600 nm to go.