13.01.07 – just another day

In this warm horizontal environment, there is very little motion, but last night at the computer I felt a bit queasy as we rose and fell on a big, lazy southerly swell. As Martin Luther King said, there’s something nasty happening in the deep south.

It’s so long since we had breeze that I’ve become quite soft with all this sitting around. Chris speaks admiringly of my legs. If only she could see them now – spindly tired things, they are, with old stringy muscles hung under loosely draped skin.

I’m ready for any new experience that isn’t wet, windy, cold, salty or mouldy. Green grass, for example. Yes, a verdant lawn bordered with scented shrubbery. And could I please have a crisp apple, then a hot motionless bath? And the joy of skin on skin intimacy. A week of that and I’ll be ready to do some more of this sailing nonsense, but only then.

I raised Donna on 8mHz after the Patagonia Net this morning. Very faint copy, but she relayed our position to PN. She’s alongside in Ushuaia snug, but it’s blowing a gale there. She leaves for Rhode Island in 10 days, via Puerto Williams. She speaks with the terse, practised efficiency of an A&E department sister.

Omlette and beans with Mendelssohn 19/3 herald another warm, cloudless day. The swell is still with us but the sea is glass the colour of lapis lazuli. A laundry day and a work day. The ship is now dressed, as they say, with NappySan clean garments. Such bold colours. Private bits have all been douched thoroughly using Boarding Ladder Squat technique. The Aries is fixed, the 12 volt computer outlet finally installed in the saloon, The SOB chart plotter is up and running on the big laptop.

A gentle SE wind slowly filled in after dinner. Dinner – tinned fruit salad and hot custard – was one of Dave’s hallowed concoctions. He went to bed with a painful shoulder (everyone I know has a stuffed shoulder) while the boat and I slid ever so gently over the moonlit sea. After 30 hours of motoring, this wonderful new silence is broken only by the tinkle of moving water against the hull. Instead of the unpredictable lolling there is an unnerving new steadiness to the ship’s motion.

The best ever email from herself, then to bed.

Now, at 6 am we are powering over a grey plain. The barometer has plummeted (but only to 1026!) and this looks like the back side of the coastal trough Valparaiso Met is speaking of. The familiar grey skies have returned, bringing with them 2 albatri (Salvin’s or young wanderers?) and the tiniest storm petrel. It wasn’t the elusive Hornby’s petrel – we live in hope – but an adult Wilson’s. I am always excited, delighted and moved by these tiny birds. Their flippant skittering, their oneness with their hostile environment is quite incomprehensible to me. A marvel.

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