Older readers of followhtheboat will know that Jamie’s sailing adventures started aboard s/y Ramprasad, skippered by owner Sam Coles. We are sad to report that Ramprasad ran aground and eventually sank off the coast of Madagascar this week.
7am and we’re woken up by a very loud Blackadder-like “Wake up ladies there’s work to be done”, followed by stomping on the roof. Immediately my mind was cast back to the early morning starts aboard Ramprasad and for a split second I thought that perhaps I’d made a mistake joining Voyager.
Leaving L’Aber Wrach we’re totally surrounded by fog. Not just patches of fog, as the shipping forecast had warned us, but fog banks. This reduces visibility down to around 50 metres, making our first leg of the journey very taxing. As I said previously L’Aber Wrach is notorious for its rocky banks and hard-to-negotiate channels, so with limited visibility we really were relying on the Skipper’s expertise.
Now I’m not sure whether it was Conny’s belly flop or the fact he was complete naked but the dolphins pegged it immediately. To attract a dolphin’s attention one is supposed to swim underwater in circles making whooping noises. I told Conny to do this about 5 times but he insisted on splashing around like a flid shouting “this water is fteezing”. No, Conny, that really isn’t gonna work mate.
After tempers had dropped we all apologised to each other, including poor Lorraine who I think felt partly responsible for the incident, though it wasn’t her fault. It was no one’s fault, it was just a learning process but we very quickly learned that Sam’s temper can be short under stressful situations. Personally I kind of expected this and don’t have a problem with it, but I’m worried about Conny and Lorraine. Conny actually asked Sam to be more patient with us, and to Sam’s credit he apologised and said that he understood we wouldn’t learn anything with him shouting at us. Let’s hope it was a one-off incident.
Alderney is a Channel Island where it rains a lot. However the beer is good so we hit a couple of cosy snubs in St Annes and supped local ale. Back on the boat I cooked beans on toast, making it four days in a row that I’ve been chef.
5.30am: Woke up to Danny Boy this morning. NO!!!! Not the ******* shipping forecast again! Also Cherbourg smells of rotten fish and I’ve developed a cold. Went into town and acted French. Ate mussels, bought Camembert and French sticks. A trip to the booze shop ensured a library of drink to browse over in the next few weeks, and we … Read More
Woke up to Rule Britania at 5.30am this morning. Very loud. What the **** is going on? Is this Sam’s idea of a bloody joke? It was only after Rule Britannia had finished that I realised he was tuning into the shipping forecast on Radio 4. Obviously essential to our safe passage but please don’t let this happen every day – I can’t handle it! Just to make things more difficult I have decided to give up smoking.
Whilst the food went down well I think there was still a lot of first day nerves, at least for me. Had I made the right decision to leave the comfortable surroundings of home? What’s Sam really like when it’s blowing a force 7 in 20ft waves? Would I get on with Conny and Lorraine? Is sailing for me?
A qualified Royal Yachting Association (RYA) offshore yachtmaster, Sam has already crossed the Atlantic a number of times. His piece-de-resistance, however, must have been sailing the original Ramprasad (a traditional open Indian fishing boat made from teak) from India to Australia single handed. Check an Atlas to put into context just how mad this bloke is.