1st November 2013: Jack o’ Lantern, fancy dress and Kumbaya

Our position at 11:06 UTC is 17deg 09.54S, 36deg 16.62W. We are now 560
miles from Rio, cruising along nicely at 8 knots.

As I type we are flying along at 8 knots in a steady SE wind 150 miles from

the coast of Brazil and we have only 550 miles to go to Rio. It is
tantalizingly close now (3 days approximately). Elinca celebrated Hallowe’en
in style last night on board. During the day it was pronounced that we
should have a party at dinner time and fancy dress was required. The deck
was decorated appropriately with a Jack O’ Lantern expertly made by Clare
from a butternut squash (it looks just like a pumpkin) and a multitude of
fairy lights, which made it look rather magical. Any passing ships would
have wondered what was going on with all the flashing lights and strange
creatures in the cockpit! Considering the short amount of warning time there
were some very impressive outfits, we had the Incredible Hulk, a penguin,
Darth Maul, a Ghostbuster, a ‘Pumpking’, the Elinca ghost, a wolf and a
bloody Doctor amongst others (photos to follow in Rio). After dinner we put
the stereo on and danced to a few tunes before having one celebratory gin
and tonic (complete with ice and frozen limes). It was the shortest Captains
Daughters’ party, after party and hangover in history as by half 8 people
were back in their beds again!

During the last 6 weeks I have found it interesting to observe how each of
the crew choose to spend their spare time during the day. Depending on how
the watch and cooking rota falls you can have anything from a couple of
hours to up to 6 hours each day to spend how you like, but obviously there
are limited activities to choose from. Most involve sitting down so reading,
writing diaries, doing puzzles and playing the guitar are some of the most
popular. I decided to bring my guitar on board as ashamedly it has sat in my
loft for the last 3 years after receiving it as a Christmas present from my
Mum and Dad 5 or so  years ago. With help from seasick Jonny for the first
two weeks and then my ‘Guitar for Dummies’ book across the Atlantic I can
now just about strum out Kumbaya, Auld Lang Syne and Home on the Range;
although our fellow crew mates didn’t appreciate Zoe and I attempting a
Kumbaya duet of violin and guitar yesterday (I think cats were mentioned!).
I am leaving the guitar on the boat for future crew to enjoy but I shall
look forward to playing it again when the boat returns to the UK next year.

The main pastime on board is definitely reading and we have some avid
bookworms on board. With a full to bursting bookshelf in the saloon there is
always another book to move onto when you finish the last one (or when your
kindle breaks just before the Atlantic crossing in my case!). We have at
least one copy of almost every well known sailing journey and Antarctica
exploration book published; the most popular so far being ‘Voyage for
Madmen’ about the first solo around the world race (at least 5 crew have
read it so far). This has spurned many a conversation about how they lived
on tinned food for so long, the epic storms described and the personality
required (or rather insanity) to want to do such a journey on your own. The
most popular fiction book so far is ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar which being
quite short has been finished in less than a day by at least 4 of the crew
to date. Skipper James is in the lead with 10 books so far, I am on my 5th
(if you count book 1 of Game of Thrones which I almost completed just before
the Kindle died) and Jim is on at least 5; he was particularly proud
yesterday of reading the RYA’s weather book cover to cover in less than 24
hours (there are a lot of pictures). I have really enjoyed having the time
to read as it is something I struggle to fit into normal life, and it has
been great to read and then talk about a book with the rest of the crew, we
have effectively formed an Elinca book club!

This is my last blog post before I leave the boat in Rio in a few days time.
I will be sad to leave yet equally excited to see Alan and enjoy my holiday
in Brazil and Argentina. I shall look forward to reading the future blog
posts jealous of the experiences, but also glad to be clean, not sweaty and
grateful that I chose the warm and relatively calm legs! A quick shout out
to my friends and family who have reading and commenting on the blog posts;
Mum and Dad, Grandma and Alan in particular. The trip has been everything I
hoped and more and definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Andrea 🙂

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2 Responses to 1st November 2013: Jack o’ Lantern, fancy dress and Kumbaya

  1. It’s been great keeping in touch through the blogs and the tracker. I’ve even checked the weather charts on occasions, as we part time sailors do! Enjoy the rest of your journey on Elinca and have a great time in Rio – and beyond.
    Phil (Dad to Andrea and probably the reason she’s currently on a yacht crossing the Atlantic!)

  2. Tom says:

    Sounds like you all found plenty of ways to overcome the potential cabin fever. Looking forward to seeing more photos and hearing more stories when you guys arrive in Rio

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