ADVENTURESS - message from the sea

2015-01-10

Panerai Transat 2015, and we've been cracking on for another 24 hours; those hours fly by, and yet at the same time it seems as if we've already been at it for a week!

Every change of the guard is the beginning of a new set of circumstances. New weather and sea conditions to assess and monitor. At times our Lovely Lady of a vessel, her helm and her working parts need wrestled or cajoled or rigged or rerigged or jury rigged. Sometimes, however, she just needs a soft sweet talking to, and then she puts a smile on our faces.

Phosphorescence glowed blue in the dark, frothy night waves. The seas built, and mischievous rollers took the cap rail by storm and splashed the deck and any sailors who happened to be caught unaware, paying particular devious attention to those who ventured topside without foul weather gear. Swells and gusts have been, were, and are very persistent, making driving a tricky challenge of a treat. The moon rose and its pale beams of light made easy sail handling. Hearty soup full of cured sausage and vegetables and spiced aromas boiled on the gimbaled stovetop.

Dawn patrol and the horizon was an angelic rock stage. Sunlight burst skyward behind dark storm clouds. The soundtrack of a blue water vessel climbing, dipping, riding, and slicing with purpose kept playing all day. Squalls appeared in the distance, whipped up a little wind, then swept by us without a care for our floating speck on the wide sea. Captain Salzman wrote in the log, "We are sailing the old Fife as she was built to be sailed, and all the crew has been earning what little sleep is available."

Blasphemies and curses mean all is well throughout the hard work, so it's cuss like a sailor for the general run of humorous conversation, joke-filled watch changes, and everyone-in-everybody's-way movements to and fro, fore and aft, and in and out of the head. THE head. Yep, we're down one at the moment and it's full of, well, things that naturally go into a head. Ah, life at sea! The romance! The smell! Never to fear, the galley wins again. Potatoes and pork and fluffy eggs sizzle and fry, lasagna bakes and basks the below deck space with rosemary and hope, and hot liquids keep pouring forth. We're having a run on lemons, and the now very noticeable lack of ginger has me wondering if one of our competitors had a cheeky thought and bought out the stores in Lanzarote to make it appear that they were out of stock? I wish I had thought of it. The tea kettle handle gave up the fight, and a few personal thermos gaskets have a tendency to fail, but fortunately sea gaskets hold tight, and the winch handles provide perfect purchase. Lighters keep firing, grins keep flashing, and miles keep flying by. Is it rhythm? Is it hysteria? Rhythmic hysteria? Hysterical rhythm? Pablo and I sang Johnny Cash during a morale rousing foc's'le moment, "How high is the water Mama?"

Ten feet high and rising. Caballeros, we sail on. 

- Jeremiah Bailey

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