Fishing, bag reunited and Drake passage survival techniques

Two for the price of one today!

Hello avid blog readers!!

We are now back in action, crossing the sea towards the BIG A! I am sure that you will all be sad that you will no longer be reading from the great literary talents of the last crew, who have now sadly left and are either winging their way home or off on new adventures. We wish them all well and hope they all get home safe but for now you’re stuck with us……….

On board we have a near completely new crew: Nick and Cliggy are back from south American adventures and as well we are joined by: John and Sarah Theakston: father daughter dynamic duo, Kirsty: marathon running machine, Kath: energetic and excited, Katrin: german ball of fun, Torsten: danish yacht racer, Fanny: baglostandreturnedandstillsmiling, Stafford: tea making wonder, Gemma: jambalaya making wonder and Richard: Yachty extraordinaire. I am sure that you will love reading theses guys blogs in the coming weeks and certain that by the time we get back we will have won the Pulitzer prize for blogging!

Now intros are over and done with, what have we done? It has been an exciting 24hrs; leaving Ushuaia and then Puerto Williams, sea life and even a little fishing.

Some readers may be familiar with the successes (or lack of) in our attempts to catch fish so as you might imagine I was very excited to learn that John is an avid fisher and would probably break the cycle of failure so far. He did not disappoint, new fishing wire, new lures, new weights and what he described as the infamous Spanish mackerel (a plastic fish with some big hooks and rumour has it the best thing to catch tuna with). “Wow” I said “we must surely be able to catch something now!”. So we rigged up the fishing rod with weights, line and Spanish mackerel and cast over the side hoping for a bite. Within seconds there was a tug! We grabbed the and started trying to haul it in. It was strong and we struggled. Too strong. It pulled and pulled and we couldn’t get it in. Eventually the line snapped. Of course what had happened is that we had caught a lettuce whale (kelp, the bottom etc) and we were trying to pull the 40 ton boat backwards whilst doing 6 knots forward…….

We are still hopeful to catch some fish though but maybe they’re more likely to come from the freezer!

We might have more chance at catching a dolphin, as we left the passage a huge pod came and joined us with two doing some serious acrobats. Either they were fighting or just really pleased to see us leave. Either way it was pretty cool.

Now for some thing completely different: We are motoring across the Drake, which is a little like seeing a polar bear with an apron and a feather duster cleaning your grans house: Not really sure why or how this is happening but very glad it’s not trying to kill me!

Hope everyone had an excellent Christmas and New Year.
Nick and Elinca

Wee extra blog from Clare before the rocking and rolling of the Drake Passage makes the computer a less desirable place to sit. I’m going to start with the fantastic news that Fanny’s bag is on-board and we are on our way! As well as Fanny’s clothes the bag contained a collection of Christmas presents from my little bro Andy including a ‘where’s Wally’ book, Terry Pratchett’s ‘Unseen Academicals’ on CD and inexplicably so bouncing putty and some pictures of the boy band One Direction. Thanks Andy! In the bag from my Dad was a picture of my Grandma on her 95th Birthday, a picture of my family on the traditional Christmas Day walk with a snow penguin they made, three whole A4 pages of cracker jokes and a whole stack of news paper articles relating to the Scottish Independence debate. Thank you Dad! The arrival of so much home at once did make me feel very far away for an hour or so but with the new trip just starting I’m not allowed to feel sad.

The weather is changeable and the Drake can’t make up it’s mind which way it wants to blow or for how long. We have decided that as none of the forecasts currently show anything too scary (just confused) we’re going to go for it. We’ve pre-prepared the next two dinners in-case of lumpy bumpy waves (lentil and chicken soup and a lovely beef stew mmm) and we’ve put on our sea sickness patches and got the buckets handy. We don’t know what is going to happen when we pop out into the open sea beyond the Cape Horn Islands but so far we are motoring in calm (ish) waters. This is now my fifth time crossing the Drake and I have developed a few survival routines. The first is to make up my bed all cosy before we leave and put everything that I might need, clean socks, warm gloves, emergency chocolate bars within reach of my pillow. Then I put all the clothes that I might want to wear accessible and my boots out. Then I fill up my water bottle and put that on deck. One optional survival technique is to literally ‘hot bunk’ with someone. On the way down last month James and I just used the one bed so that it never got cold and we never had to feel the horror of getting in between cold sheets. This had the downside that in order to get into bed you had to remove the toasty warm person first (and they rarely give up without a fight). At the moment the plotter is optimistically predicting a three day crossing. This would be nice.

Clare Xx

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5 Responses to Fishing, bag reunited and Drake passage survival techniques

  1. Allan Kirk says:

    I expect John T will catch some trout in the Falklands, but that may be a bit late for supper….
    Very pleased that Fanny’s bag arrived in the end!

  2. Hope Richard didn’t send Clare the seal cracker joke?
    Seal walks into a club…….ow ..poor taste Richard.

  3. paula355 says:

    Or the joke that goes: “ouch” – an anti neutrino walks into a bar …..

    Great blogs as always. I can’t quite choose between the image of polar bear in an apron or trying to get James out of a hot bunk as having elicited the most chuckles.

    If the crew are agreeable I have a guest blog to propose and will submit along with new crew pic as soon as I can get wifi and emails working simultaneously on my computer. This has eluded me for some days and so I hope a new location will solve the problem. We are now in BA overlooking the amazing cemetery. Best wishes to all.

  4. Jon Seddon says:

    Please make sure that Gemma writes the jambalya recipe down as her version is amazing!

  5. Matilda Gill says:

    Delighted that Mum has got her bag! The children have worried that the Antarctic Diary and the stuffed penguin would be lost! Good luck with Drake Passage and looking forward to reading about it.

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