This sailing stuff has a life and a language of its own. We have been at sea now two weeks, since leaving Brest have covered 2900 miles and have 2232 to go and we sit in 6th place.
As a group of people from all walks of life and mixture of cultures we have found common ground and have but one goal…to win but not all cost, fun too has to be had. We have Craig and his weekly whacky Invest Africa awards, Graham is running a sweepstake as to time and date of our arrival in Rio (the Skipper is not part of this, perhaps he knows something we don't!).
But it is the sailing that unites us all, wind or no wind (as in the Doldrums) but it is our language that I want to dwell on today. We Spike and Hedgehog, Pinch and Pull, PLF is a good one (pull like fire). We letter box our spinnaker and we 'wool' our spinnaker (the wool is bright pink!!)
Sheets are not on our bed (bunks) but are ropes we pull Red light is not a district but how we see at night Heads are not on our shoulders but is where we go to the toilet Mothers are not necessarily mothers at all but two crew taking it in turns to do the cooking.
Thunder and Lighting are not storms in the distance but the names of our two watches.
We grind and we ease our spinnaker sheets for optimum speed. There is even a sail called a wind seeker (which I tend to call windsurfer).
It is amazing how even the act of bringing this sail on deck wind springs up.
Finally I leave you with memories of that Tom Cruise movie Top Gun featuring Tower and Ghost Rider (Ghost Buster as I say!) our radio call signs between the navigation station and the helm.
You are quite right Andrew, we all live under a complete different language on board. Myself, being French, this language has been a bit hard to assimilate at the beginning... Again, imagine my difficulty when I have been offered the dummie book to learn sailing initially in French (instead of English) or again when I have been sailing with my boyfriend and co in France.... Another strange language to learn.... For instance, “choquer”... “Gwen, choque la drisse!”! And me saying, “but what does choquer means!!”
But well, I should also talk to you about our Sunday Special... little things on daily basis to keep this experience fun and to give us a bit of a privilege... For instance, today, Sunday, we can have coffee on the cafetiere with nice coffee blend... a big change from our daily nescafe instant coffee!!
We received also the visit of a Penguin who helps us to grind the spinnaker sheet while telling jokes... Unforgettable sailing moments!!
Andrew C and Gwen
A huge thought to all our readers...