2017 Atlantic Crossing

Day 19. Sleeping Beauty meets angry bull

Bed at 0600, it is cloudy and rainy outside so I don’t hold out much hope for sun sights today.  I get up at 0900 just to see if the sun was going to appear, but no, so back to sleep until 1100.  The Atlantic looks like the Irish Sea today, cloudy and grey, I feel quite at home.

The sun shows herself very briefly at 1102 so I take a morning sight.  At 1210 I catch another fleeting glimpse of her and manage to take a very rough site for latitude, something is better than nothing, but I know today’s fix will not be very accurate.  

By 1500 the weather has cleared and I get a decent afternoon sight.   I’ve been working on dead reckoning for over 24 hours now, so my estimated position is not that accurate either.  Using the three sights gives me a big circle of uncertainty, so today I am driving a 20 mile long boat around the Atlantic, which is fine as we are definitely at least 600 miles from any land.  

I’m on the 1500 – 1800 watch this afternoon and everything passes uneventfully, although we are now beating towards Antigua, this shouldn’t be so! At least we are now being assisted with the engine when drop below the painful 4 knots under sail alone (which is a lot of the time, we still trust the Mathematician has done his sums right!)  It is too cloudy for a star sight this evening, so we’ll hope the sun is out tomorrow.


Skipper cooks another successful microwave dinner, pasta this evening.  Everything was peaceful, until washing up time and it was then that I discover exactly where my breaking point is….

Sleeping Beauty decides to apologise for his lateness last night,  which turned out to be waving a red flag to and already angry bull.   After nearly three weeks, the nightly “Bomb Squad” routine had finally gotten the better of me.  The tick of the timer struck zero and the bomb went off.

Luckily the nearest neighbours were probably at least a few hundred mile away.   Once again I see my Mum disowning me, my fishermen friends on the other hand, well I can see them cheering from the sidelines.  

And now the tension has gone, in the same way a thunderstorm clears the air after those close muggy days.  

I find myself laughing as I recall a memory from my teenage years…. One morning I was literally petrified, deafened, shocked, stunned and very much forced from sleep, with all my insides shaking.  My dear Stepdad, in possibly his most outstandingly funny moment ever, decided that one long blast from an actual foghorn, straight into the bedroom, was the perfect method of waking a sleeping teenage girl.  I must admit, it probably was.  I laughed again as I caught myself thinking “well, I’ve had it done to me, so it is fair game to do it to someone else…”

 Unfortunately, well…. probably more fortunate really, another shipmate had opted to diffuse the situation. After another beautiful night under the stars, at 0345 I am both amazed and slightly disappointed that Sleeping Beauty is reported to be “awake and standing up”.

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