22.01.09 – my pathetic frailty

The headwinds have been monotonous, as we knew they would be. Fortunately not as strong as anticipated. We have the main up and sometimes the yankee too, but Mr Ford’s Invention has been grinding away without complaint for about 60 hours. We are grateful but tired of it.

I had a jobs morning. After a small but tasty breakfast (1 part Kwells, 1 part terbinefine, 2 parts fluoxetine) I bring in the Aries paddle, which rattles and wears bearings when left down in the prop wash; top up engine oil and coolant; dismantle and clean the mainsheet winch. After the last of these jobs I promptly vomit. It is calm with just a bit of slop and I shouldn’t have. I am surprised and a bit sheepish and I silently curse my pathetic frailty. Dave doesn’t know how lucky he is, although there is always his chemotherapy.

By day it is warm out but not at all oppressive. Clear, with the faint outline of hills of Brazil 20 miles away to our left. The nights are cool and moonless, with phosphorescent seas and a western horizon defined by the loom of coastal towns. Unfortunately, frustration leaves little room for romantic thoughts. It is easy to imagine those scorbutic old explorers drifting for months off this coast and going mad, their worm-raddled boats trailing weed and gooseneck barnacles.

The seas calmed down this afternoon and we suddenly found ourselves a splendid sailing breeze. The silence was wonderful. Tainui picked up her skirts and flew. Being part of this lovely thing doing what she was built for is such a treat.

There is a good deal of shipping so we need to maintain watches. 3 hours sleep is not enough to rejuvenate ageing matelots and the prospect of a night at anchor with the engine off has become just too tempting. So we’ve decided to anchor south of Florianopolis in a snug little bay with an unpronounceable name (Portugese, of course), for a ziz. I am polishing my sequins and ironing my girdle in breathless anticipation.

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