Elinca is currently motoring off the welsh coast. There is fog and mist so thick that we didn’t see the lighthouse off the Pembrokeshire coast until we were two miles off it. The sea is flat and although we are disappointed not to be sailing we have seen puffins and dolphins on our way and the calm has given us a chance to pack up most of the boat. We have a lot of pasta left over and an over 40 kg of rice. When we were leaving Rio James impressed upon me the importance of having two or three extra weeks food. He talked about losing the mast and drifting for days and so I responded by buying rice and pasta to last about three years. We had a brief discussion over lunch about heading north and overwintering in the Arctic with it. A better idea seems to be to find a food bank in Holyhead and feed the poor of Wales with our left overs.
There are gaps all over the boat today where familiar things used to be. The pockets are down from the cabins and the foam that once covered Phuket is now stripped off. Raffe and Andy have both hit their heads on the sharp metal edges already reminding us why we put the foam there in the first place.
There was a request yesterday for a run down of prizes and nominations for anyone who wasn’t able to be there at our coming home party:
1) The Atlantic Swim award:
Nominees: James, Ali, Juliet, Andy R, Lynda, Ian, Cliggy, Nick, Gemma, Sarah.
Winner: Andy R – for swimming 30 m to the ice cliff and back to fetch ice for his gin and tonic. He did this with one dodgy leg and with only one arm as he was holding the ice in the other.
2) The ‘Tinder’ award: for romance on Elinca:
Nominees: Sarah and Dan, Jon and Alice
Winner: Sarah and Dan for longest lasting Elinca romance (both are still going).
3) The ‘Southern Cross’ award for furthest south romance:
Nominees: Cliggy and Jordan (skipper of Commitment), Zoe and Dave (Skipper of Pelagic), Gemma and Dicky (Base Commander of King Edward Point), Kirsty and Base Commander of Vernadsky Base, James and Clare, Juliet and Ali, Fanny and Stafford,
Winner: it was necessary to point out that not all of these were actual genuine couples and the winner was Kirsty and Base Commander of Vernadsky Base. Base commander was an extremely drunk Urkranian seismologist who took a shine to Kirsty and declared that she could wear his hat and run his base for him.
4) The ‘Foghorn’ award for the loudest person on the boat:
Nominees: Rachel, Katrina, Nick and Jess
Winner: Rachel (though we have to add that we appreciate her enthusiasm and energy 🙂
5) The Music award:
Nominees: Andrea on guitar, Bill and Richard on vocals, Jonny on guitar and Di on ukulele (is that spelled right?)
Winner: this was an audience participation award and the loudest clap decided the winner… luckily the winner was Di and her ukulele because that is who I had already written on the certificate.
6) Photography award:
Nominees: almost everyone
Winner: John Theakston and his enormous lens
7) Nick Higson was awarded the ‘outstanding contribution’ award for being on almost all of the trip. For catching the only fish caught on the voyage and for progressing from crew to skipper over the 9 months.
8) The ‘Lancalot award’ for bravery was awarded to Katrina for resisting and shouting off a mugger in Rio. We recommend this is not attempted in every situation but it worked for her!
9) The ‘Great British Bake Off’ award:
Nominees: Sari, Richy, Nick, Sarah and Cliggy
Winner: Richy, for that curry on South Georgia that nobody can forget. Possibly the winner of the ‘come dine with me lamb’ competition we held there.
10) Lynda Groocock was awarded a prize for tolerance and for the most miles travelled without complaining. She is getting back onto the boat in Holyhead so we hope she keeps it up 🙂
11) The ‘Sam Vimes’ award for best watch leader:
Nominees: Cliggy, Clare, Jon, Andy R, Andy K, Jim and Nick
This went to Jim for his efforts in keeping his watch entertained. He once talked solidly for the whole four hours when his watch were too seasick to answer him.
12) The 40 mile watch award:
Although Elinca went fast for a lot of the trip there was only one 40 miles watch! This happened at the end of a Drake Crossing around the infamous Cape Horn. We had known the weather was coming and planned for it such that we were on a broad reach when it hit. Still we surfed in around the horn at surprising speed between 9 and 13 giving us an average of 10 knots over the four hour period.
13) The ‘Crimes against Neptune’ award:
Nominees: Jim, Clare, Jon, James, Cliggy, Chris, Nick, Jess, Andrea, Zoe, Andy R, Andy K, Heather, Norman, Sari, Bob, Emma, Raffe, Andy T, Sarah, Rachel, Alice and Lynda
Winner: Jess for having the most crimes submitted against her by her fellow crewmembers during the equator crossing ceremony and protesting her innocence when accused.