I enjoyed a fantastic night watch with the moon playing hide and seek behind storm clouds and when I awoke next morning the wind had finally come round. Not quite the south westerlies as predicted but a marked improvement and the sea state dropped back to moderate, thank god. Jezabel just wasn’t pulling in the results, so I tried the paravane with 4m of trace and the thing shot down into the water pulling what must have been its maximum poundage. I decided to pull it straight back in as we were sailing at over 7 knots.
And that was it. The three remaining crew members packed their bags and we hailed a passing boat and got off Voyager. I shook Paul’s hand and wished him luck, vaguely guilty that we had had a good working relationship, but I knew I had done the right thing.
I’ve already mentioned the mysterious fog and its novelty factor when we first had to navigate our way through it, but one watch I undertook from 12 – 4am was no laughing matter. With the engine running due to lack of wind the sea was still but the fog extremely thick. So thick I could only just see the end of the boat, so with everyone else asleep I had no one looking out for me. I had nothing to look at except the phosphorescence illuminating the wake of the boat
“We want to refuel, why can’t you move the boat, get it out the way” and so on, now with some added comments regarding the English thrown in Now they’re starting to p!ss me off. “Look, it’s what the English call queuing”, I pipe up. “We had to wait, now you can wait. We’ll only be a few minutes, so what’s the rush?” After all, this is sailing, not the F1 pit-stop. Now they’re cursing obscenities at me, whilst some English sailors on the pontoon join in. “Aha”, I smile, “some support from some fellow English chaps”. Turns out they’re starting to have a go at me as well.