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The second Atlantic crossing was long, windless and definitely a test of everyone’s mental heath as well as their physical strength. After a couple of weeks careful editing here is more or less what happened to us. I hope you enjoy it.
Hello from Elinca to all the Leg 10 crew not still onboard: Andy Taylor, Bob Little, Emma Layfield and Sari Martin.
So today its Sarah’s birthday! Having just finished celebrating Alice’s it was straight into planning Sarah’s. Since we were in port yesterday we have not made a cake yet but one will be made soon….carrot cake this time – yum! I have really enjoyed all the birthdays on board and how everyone pulls together to make them as special as possible. Alice’s cake was a combined effort of all the watches….Jon started off by making the chocolate sponge and put it in the oven then Leslie and I made the filling and topping and took it out of the oven (it was a bit drizzly and was the 12 to 4am watch so was a welcome break to being outside!) then Cliggy put it all together and decorated it….boat themed of course….it took some skill getting it to look like a flat cake as cooking cakes at an angle always leads to interesting results!
Its about 9.15am and we have just set sail from Camarinas and are heading for La Coruna. It should take about 8 hours as its only 45 miles away – a tiny distance compared to the last times setting off…will be strange arriving somewhere the same day as leaving….barely worth putting the sails up! No more night sailing for me as today is my last day on board ….until Falmouth where I get back on to help return the boat to Stornoway…..so it’s not like I am properly leaving…merely taking a break, enjoying some unbroken nights of sleep and having a holiday in Spain whilst they face the Bay of Biscay!
We have had a fairly relaxed time in Camarinas and could properly land here as in the Azores it was such a flying visit it felt like we got there, blinked, and were off again….we all would have liked a bit more time there however the winds did not allow for this. For me it meant the week sailing after that was a bit tougher than the leg before. I had only managed to get a couple of hours to myself the morning before we left and I have to say much as I am going to miss everyone having a bit of peace and quiet will be nice!
Last night the more girly part of the film club (including James) watched Dirty Dancing (thank you Gemma for that!) …. the other part of the crew went out for tapas, those of us who stayed in had had tapas for lunch – oh so good!
Camarinas is a little non-touristy town famous for its lace. There were about 4 or 5 lace shops – incredible pieces of work but I have no idea how they make a living from selling it! There were a few little beaches and when we arrived Alice, Rachel, Jon and Nick all went to play volleyball and go for a swim. The others explored yesterday morning and I had a wander there in the afternoon. Lynda ran about half a marathon yesterday afternoon – slightly by accident as she didn’t realise she had taken the long way back! Impressive especially after so long at sea! There is a new arrival on the boat, Leslie and I met him and he told us he wanted to live in our newly sprung garden with the origami….we are not sure yet how he will get on with Barney as he is quieter by nature and prefers to hang out with the flowers than bounce about the place…..so we shall see….Leslie I am sure will keep you updated!
It’s been such an incredible adventure to be part of and I am so grateful to all those who put so much work into organising it and to everyone who has been on board….its just been fab!
Really really looking forward to seeing everyone in Falmouth! Love to everyone at home – see you soon-ish…
Finally, the leg 9 video! Edited by Lynda, here is more or less what occurred on Leg 9. After initially sailing 1000 miles we had a rest week in Ilha Grande, Brazil. As you might imagine there is more footage of the rest week than the 1000 mile sail!
We’re sat in a bar with a view of the sea. There was (very briefly) a sea otter swimming around below us… it has gone now. The whole crew is having a day off. For some this means a 20 km run (Lynda) and for others it means a day sampling the local food and wine (the rest of us). Tomorrow we will be back on form and Elinca will sail around to La Coruna to change crew for the final time.
To keep you entertained whilst we rest today here is a picture of the tired swallow that landed on Elinca half way through Leg 11. It landed on Rachel’s head.
Today, its Dr Alice’s birthday. We don’t know her surname as she signs all her booking forms as “Doctor Alice” but i’m sure some of you reading at home will know who i mean! So the watch are busy making cake with boats on, there are presents prepared and we’ll be able to drink real Spanish wine to celebrate. Happy Birthday Dr Alice 😀
We’re nearly home. We’ve come a long way to being here, too. 21000 miles for Clare and I, and only 2000 miles behind for Cliggy, Jon and Nick. Once again we’re approaching the north west of Spain in the rain, a wee bit tired, and looking forward to a rest. The last time we came here was on the way down, and we were tired from the manic-ness of preparation and getting used to being at sea and the shorter sleeping patterns and the unfamiliar movement and noise. This time it’s a weariness that doesn’t seem to go away with sleep. I think it’s time for a real bed and some nice non-moving, non-creaking, non-drumming-outside-my-hatch-when-i’m-trying-to-sleep, non-damp sleep, where i can turn my brain off and sleep the sleep of the dead. I’m glad we have Rachel and Nick to keep the energy levels high, and Sarah and Lynda and Leslie and Raffe to keep us entertained. They’re all keeping me sane 🙂
That being said, there’s more to do yet! We’re headed for Camarinas today, then on to La Coruna. I love La Coruna. I love padron peppers, and red Rioja (though i hear this is really white rioja territory) and the climate (the drizzle makes me feel at home). I’m looking forward to my dad coming to join us for the last leg home, to chatting with him about life and plans, and making it this far. And from there we’re a week away from family and friends and more chaos to get the boat back to Angus again. Got to love a bit of chaos, right?
Mornings are generally started with a member of the crew waking me up after a sleep in my comfort controlled deluxe cabin (I have a four season sleeping bag), with a cup of coffee or tea. I have asked them to surprise me twice a week. After a quick shower and a massage (Baby wipes and moisturiser) it’s all hands on deck for morning stretch and sunrise planks.
Then it’s time for tea!
It’s my turn on the helm. I get a half hour to spot and chase clouds while keeping a heading of 52*-mysterious 52* If we are lucky a dolphin swims along with us for a while.
Then it’s time for tea!
Around midday we have Arts and Crafts. Yesterday was Origami and we now have
…and some sort of space creature
The winner got to pick from the bag of ‘Valuable Prizes’ Turns out they all won.
Then it’s time for tea!
Today’s classes and activities are posted below;
How to tie a knot with Nick on the Lido Deck
Power napping on the Puket lounge
Adult colouring (not that kind of adult)
Pedicures in the Salon
Cooking demo in the chef’s kitchen…Brownies with creme d’menthe glaze
One thing I must tell all of you is that several times a day when the wind changes, just like magic a swarm of colourfully dressed people appear out of somewhere below to trim the sails, check the jib, and winch the ropes. And POOF just like that they are gone again and we are now back on track to 52*
Then it’s time for tea!
Apparently there is a mischief maker on board. A red tea cup of no importance was broken yesterday and now a jar of peanut butter as been ‘misplaced’ I have been informed that a full scale investigation as well as a task force has been assigned on behalf of the injured party (Rachael) who thought she was being clever and hid the jar two days ago.
Before my time on watch ends I get the privilege of cleaning the loos. I knew those rubber gloves I bought in the gift shop would come in handy. I still haven’t found the Jacuzzi on board but I do hear splashing so I know I’m close.
Yesterday we had a real treat. Quite by the luck of Neptune… all the way from the Port side. Cliff-Richard and The Barneycals… yes that is how you spell it, performed LIVE! There was a guitar, drum solo and many voices singing on the Lido Deck. Although the talent woke up James for a second day in a row. So I imagine the drums will have to be thrown overboard.
So as we finish our watch We on team Nick wish all of you a great day. We are off to take a nap before the Kazoo lessons begin. By the way….
It’s time for tea
Nick, Raffe, Cliff and Leslie
***at the time of this blog our heading has been updated to 90* So long 52*
it’s been grand!
Yesterday, being Sunday, saw a return to the Mucky Duck for our weekly quiz…. omehow Nick’s watch for about the 4th week in a row ended up in the “beer garden”. Unfortunately the lack of beer and the decrease in temperature makes it less tempting to be in! We started with a round on Star Wars thanks to our home contact for the questions which were read out by Clare.
Cliggy, Alice and I shocked our other crew members since the 3 of us have never watched it…. luckily we were all in separate teams so our lack of knowledge on the topic did not really matter! Apparently it was Star Wars day yesterday…May the Fourth be with you… or something like that! This round was followed by an observational round by James on the Chart room. It is amazing how many times you can walk by something without really taking it in! Jon’s team did the best on that round… at least someone is paying attention! The boat is 48.88 tonnes by the way….t hose of you who have been on board may have noticed the big sign as you go down to the galley….I have definitely seen it and probably read it at some point but the information hadn’t quite sunk in! Well it has now…!
The final round was done beautifully by Nick…. guess the song he is attempting to play on the kazoo…..it was very funny! Of course “Call me Maybe” featured and the
theme tune to “Cliggy Potter”…….
In the end it was a definite win by Cliggy’s watch closely (well, ok, not so closely…) followed by our team then a point behind us was Jon’s team.
Some of us were foolish enough to go swimming yesterday. With no wind and not much swell, Alice decided to suggest it. Well, I can confirm we are definitely out of the tropics now! It was refreshing to say the least!
Rachel, Cliff, Benito, Alice, Jon, Nick and I were in briefly…. well, some longer than others! I got out pretty quickly after my muscles started to stop working! I think Nick managed to swim a lap of the boat and the halliard was used to swing off. I was even out screamed by Rachel as she flung herself by rope into the water!
Other exciting news, we have Marmite on board! (Thanks to Leslie) And I have somehow found myself on a watch with other people that like marmite and peanut butter on toast (Cliff, Leslie and I converted Nick to the fantastic combo)!
On that note, I think I will have another piece…
p.s. I have also discovered the trick to steering in a straight(er) line…. concentration! … and clouds…… Most of us have been steering in a bit of a wiggle (or chasing snakes…) and when we got up this morning James was on the helm to see what all the fuss was about…..apparently nothing. It should be easy! Looking ahead rather than at the compass also helps….
Unfortunately the wind seems to have completely disappeared again in our
area of the north Atlantic. The engine is back on and we are motor
sailing….well at least the sails are up but aren’t really doing anything
and can’t really seem to make their minds up which side they would like to
fill on. Still it is easier to keep the main up (hoisting it with one watch
is a bit of a challenge) and stops the boat from rolling as much.
Boredom has begun to set in. Fortunately Leslie seems to have brought all
sorts of things with her to keep us entertained! Everyone has been busy
with origami making – Cliggy has made some very professional looking flowers
and the rest of us have attempted to make all sorts of birds, penguins and
other random animals as well as a book of ‘The Adventures of Barney’ made by
Rachel. Leslie had also brought various prizes which were awarded for the
origami including various socks, a ‘lovely’ hat which Jon is now wearing and
various mini bottles of alcohol (which may have to be saved for La Coruna).
As well as the origami there are also a couple of colouring books which when
there is nothing better to do seems to pass the time at least!!
We seemed to reach a low point yesterday morning with Rachel being
particularly bored – not helped by the rest of the watch being half asleep!
We ended up with her spending time trying to juggle with apples and balance
them on her head, along with sending her on laps of the boat! There have
also been a lot of rounds of the ‘top 5 game’, which as the name suggests
you have to name your top 5 in certain categories, as well as a lot of bad
jokes and rounds of the temperature game – guessing the current temperature
on the boat (down to 12.9 degrees this morning)
We have also had a few wildlife sightings to keep us busy. Yesterday there
were lots of what we initially thought to be Portuguese man of war floating
past the boat. Cliggy fished one of these out in a bucket and it spent the
day sat on deck in a jug. Turns out though it wasn’t a man of war after all
and instead something completely harmless. There was also a sighting of
what was thought to be a shark but turned out to be a sunfish yesterday
This morning it is currently as calm as yesterday with the only wind being
the apparent wind created by the engine! Hopefully it will pick up sometime
soon before we run out of things to keep us busy!!
And a quick note from Zoe:
Sign up to the Welcome Home Party now! Deadline for orders is 23:59 this Tuesday 6 May: https://elinca.eventbrite.co.uk
With only two weeks left now until Elinca is due in Falmouth we have started to plan how on earth we are going to get a whole boat load of stuff off Elinca and back to where it came from. Looking around it has come to our attention that a lot of the stuff aboard does not actually belong to us.
Zoe: Your much loved and much used baking equipment (I hope you know what is yours), Go Pro camera and attachments.
Jim: Your oilskins, your Hornblower and suits DVDs
Andrea: Guitar and guitar book.
Nick Legg: Oxygen bottle and bits
Jess Garratt: Your oilskins
John Theakston: 2 x survival suits, 2 x PLBs, South Georgia kit, big orange boots, fishing stuff.
Marcus Hardimann: Angle grinder
Bill Rayner: Sleeping bag, big vice
Tim: Fishing rod
Dick Pattison: South Georgia walking kit, sextant
Jenn Lamb: Boots (yes they are still alive!)