Thursday, December 29th, 2005
The Picton Castle is sailing gloriously along at about 6 knots, stun’s’ls set and filling nicely. The weather is perfect, not sweaty hot and not cold, the sun is bright and the sky is blue and we have about two weeks of sailing still to go, if it is all like this that would be fine by us.
Joe is making quiche in the galley and every so often the smell of frying onions comes wafting up to the charthouse. I love that smell. My rumbling tummy tells me it is nearly lunchtime but not quite. The riggers are busy doing the rigging thing. John Kemper, the assistant Bosun, has a large rigging crew at the moment; Rebecca, Ollie, Tracy, and Amanda have been tarring the standing rigging, making new seizings on blocks, and general maintenance aloft. The sailmakers Susannah, Morgan and Ivan have been, well it’s more like what haven’t they been doing, they have been seaming a new fore t’gallant, doing tabling on a new lower tops’l, they have an upper tops’l that is ready for new tabling and patches, they have also laid out a new mains’l that they are ready to start on the seaming process. The flying jib is done and has been bent on by the watch and stitching up an new hatch cover which is also nearly done. Maggie has a new project which she is working on with Susannah and that is making new curtains for the salon bunks out of Ikat cloth that we bought in Bali. We have just started participating in NOAA’s (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) volunteer weather observation program, the observations then go on to help predict weather elsewhere and Sam has been leading the watches in the reporting of this. I have finally been able to sit down and start doing my Bali accounting and answering the emails that have been building for awhile. The watches are busy working on sanding the pin rails on the quarterdeck, varnishing, and painting the seizings in the standing rigging. Logan, the carpenter, has some day man help also, Brent is his new assistant and they are busy making new deck boxes to fit between the life rafts on the quarterdeck, and Danie has been scrubbing the Engine Room clean and painting the rough bits. It feels good to be back at work after having a lazy long Christmas weekend, and there is a lot going on to keep us busy.
The big news yesterday was we saw another ship — not our first but our second bit of traffic on this passage! Perfect timing, at just around lunch, so we all stopped to have a look; as you do. We tried to have a chat on the VHF and see what they knew that we didn’t, but they didn’t speak a lot of English which hindered the conversation slightly we did find out they were a supply ship bound for Iles Kerguerlen which is way, way south in the Indian Ocean.
We do have plans for the New Years Holiday and on New Years Eve we will have a formal Marlinspike and lots of dancing tunes; Keith, Sam and Becky have offered their DJ services, Joe is planning on making a roast something and then we will drop some sort of ball like thing from the rigging to celebrate the New Year. On New Years Day Chibley’s café opens again which we love. Basically Joe takes orders for eggs in the Galley; which means we get to chose how we want our eggs. Sounds like every day life, but it isn’t for us. It’s a rare day that we can have fried eggs (imagine making 48 fried eggs on a stove that is always moving??) but at Chibleys café — any eggs, any style you chose AND it can be at anytime between the hours of 0730–1030… Its FABULOUS!