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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Day 9

A spirit update - approching the Isle of Wight. Making good progress i think they will be caught up in a about 36 hours

Its been a bag of mixed fortunes since we slipped from Falmouth with some lovely sailing and some motoring through rough seas. There have been highs and lows in the weather and in mood. I have learnt so much on my way round and feel i am really getting the hang of sailing. I am understanding the complexities of setting sails for wind and helming under pressure. Tomorrow will tell as we will hopefully catch the wind and be well on the way to newcastle.

Day 8 go spirit go

Spirit update - fixed and on her way

Our update. We are going to shoot for ramsgate over the next few days while spirit catches up she is leaving with the tide today.

On Quivira we are a little gutted we wont be heading to the Azores. I think we were really talking Mike around to the idea.

Day 7

Spirit update - still poorly sick waiting for parts

Our update we have arrived in Brighton and are enjoying the weather. Its lovely and sunny we are in a georgous marina and i feel like as a crew we are really coming together. Yanto has decided to return to spirit as she will be setting off soon. I sort of want to go but really dont want to leave mike short handed if we press on.

There is a laundrey here so i can wash my pants and socks which is pretty handy as if it were any longer i am pretty sure the crew might keel haul me.

I am starting to feel like spirit might never set off.

Day 6 The Azores

Well lets say Spirit is not feeling great. She is a bit more poorly than we first thought. She need a bit of TLC and will be catching up soon.

The crew of Quivira have decided to sail to the Azores. Well all apart from Mike whos boat it is but its a work in progress. Maybe we can change course overnight without him noticing.

Its has been decided we will press on and spirit will catch us up in the next couple of days. I only have a couple of bits in my bag as i though it was only overnight but will be fine. I can always turn my pants inside out if it get that bad.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

day 46

Day 46

Only dead fish go with the flow.

Bit of a heavy one to day with less octopi and dragons than normal.
It’s a very different experience having days off ashore and the general life aboard ship. That’s sort of obvious I know but its still worth some comment. We come ashore everyone has their own jobs. Yanto and Clive nip off early to get shopping in. Not because we are low on food but so Yanto can get out and explore the local area for a full recce report later in the day. Tamsin sets about project work making sure we have somewhere to go and arranging crew changes and spare parts (along with a million other tasks that I don’t even know about). Sort out the filming kit and set up the diary room. Dan tasks crew for any small jobs like putting up banners and such like. He is not having a great day today. He has pulled a muscle in his back and is trying to rest it. He struggles with that as he wants to be there doing everything.
I was left contemplating today the toll this must be taking on the 3 staff we have aboard. While it is a great experience for them their days are much longer than ours.  When we get to places they have stuff to do. When one of us is running navigation they have to keep an eye out to make sure it’s right.  They are running this part of what the charity is doing and at the same time planning and developing other projects. They are also away from their friends and family and like us Shaun and Dan have their own unique issues from service. We owe then a massive thanks to them and their families for sharing them with us this last couple of months.
Less of the serious stuff and onto court. This morning saw the 3rd sitting of the Court of spirit. Any minor or even imaginary discretions can be passed to the captain where they will be tried in a court with prosecution and defence (I use the term defence lightly) at the end of the trial once your guilt has been proven punishments are dished out.  So far some examples of punishments are
The hand bag of shame: Yanto was accused of having poor admin and loosing things as such he has to wear a lovely gold handbag until we reach Liverpool.
The ships rat: Mo was accused of being involved in too many prosecutions and as such has too wear a stuffed rat for 48 hours. We are not to believe anything he says (unless it’s a point of safety)
There are plenty more but it would take too long.  Tonight we are having a family meal with the crews of the other 2 boats joining us which will be lovely. The plan was a BBQ but the weather has changed and its very windy and rainy. This will all be good for our journey to the isle of man tomorrow. It’s about 100 miles so will be a good passage back in watches. It should take about 20 hours I think. Then we will be in the Isle of Mann for a day or two before the hop to Liverpool.

Stay safe, speak soon

Russ

day 45

Day 45

The Brief Brief

Today one of the first thing I heard was Shaun(our skipper) tell Dan (the first mate) “can you just brief everyone that we are going to have a brief in 10 minutes. It was quite funny as we do seem to have lots of briefs on-board. It’s not a bad thing as we always talk through what we have done and learn from any mistakes. The most important brief of the day is also one of the highlights. After tea we have the skippers brief where everyone gets the chance to have a say about the day and discuss ongoing issues pass on messages. It’s a really nice end to the day after we have all sat down for spirit family dinner.

Today we have sailed down the Sound of Islay the island is renowned for its whiskey and we passed by a few distilleries on route. It is a beautiful and the remote locations gives it a gentle radiance that wraps you up and makes you feel warm and cosy. I think I could live here. It has been a really nice day. We spent the morning and early afternoon getting spirit looking her best. This is not a massive job anymore. The crew treat her well now and take great pride in making sure she looks good. Nobody ever walks past a job. We might not do it straight away as it could be part of a bigger plan. People do ask if it needs doing and then learn why not or crack on if it needs doing. She is our home and we love her.

We have been together as a fleet for the last 2 days which has been really nice Quivera took her turn at engine trouble today. As they thought they got it fixed they came on the radio to tell us. “the engine is runnin…….oh no its broke again”. They got if fixed a hour later. The skipper of Quivera Mike is an engineer and not really phased by any mechanical issues it took a while but he sorted it.

September shadowed Quivera in case they needed to return the favour of a tow that had been given in Tobermory. Tonight we are in port Ellen and are staying for the day. While on the radio today we were called on the radio by Pete and Nancy who are sailing up here at the moment. For them that don’t know Pete taught a few of the veterans how to sail and Nancy is an amazing chef who often supports the crew ass the spirit plods about on her adventures.

Today is day 45 in 17 days this will all be over. I am already feeling a bit sad about that. So far I am pretty sure I have changed and grown. I own that to Turn to starboard, the crew and this wonderful lump of wood that we call home. I think as we sail back into Falmouth it will be important I am not on the helm as if I am there is a really good chance I will hang a right, turn to starboard and go round again the other way. I doubt many of the crew would argue.
Stay safe, speak soon

Russ

day 44

Day 44

What A Day

Neptune was good to us today. We sailed from Oban to (according to the skipper) just over there. The wind was kind and after a faultless departure we got all the sails up with Chris running the deck. Spirit looked and sounded magnificent with the wind thudding through the sheets on the GIB allowing you to feel the force of the wind as Spirt harnessed the wind and pushed herself elegantly forward. We did not see the Giant killer octopus today but we think it’s out there somewhere just waiting to pounce. People have been on good form today with loads of laughter and plenty of fun. The crew are getting slicker than an oiled weasel down a greased drainpipe.  After the sails were put up people thinned out and talked with some napping on deck. I was having a lovely little nap right up till we got hit by a gopper and it washed over me. I was soaking wet and the rest of the deck was still bone dry and in the sun I got up and it looked like a crime scene silhouette where I had been lay. (It is ok to laugh, I did).

The new members of the crew have settled in and the fleet is still together. Spirit is sitting well at her anchor but from here quiveira and September look like they are rocking more than as and it does not look like great conditions for them. I think quiverias crew will be fine as they are all quite experienced sailors. September might not be fairing quite so well with some new sailors. They do have all on board though so at least moral will be high. Everyone is a bit sleepy today as last night we had a good catch up with the other crews and it was a late night. (No it was not alcohol fuelled it was just really nice to be together and people were talking late into the night) We are planning on a beach BBQ for all the crews which I am really looking forward to.

Thanks for engaging with the blog its really nice to read your comments and ideas.

We had homemade pizza and potato wedges for tea at about 9. The sun set is lovely and the waves are rocking spirit like a babies’ cradle which is making me want to go to sleep. We have no signal so you won’t get this for a few days.

Stay safe, Speak soon


Russ