Barry’s Bloated Bladder

The settled windless weather has resulted in the sea eventually losing its boisterous attitude and we continued to motor while the crew stirred themselves.

Our first job was to decant the diesel bladder (loaned to Hejira by Barry) contents into our fuel tank and it was very heartening to see the starboard tank needle rise from about ¼ full to over ¾. We subsequently connected the deck wash pump and gave the decks, cockpit and the bladder a thorough hosing down.Decanting the bladder

While talking about tank levels, even with our shower indulgence a couple of days ago, we are still using water from our first tank even though the gauge is showing empty. With only 3 days to go to Horta, it may be time to relax the showering regime which would be welcomed by all on board and probably those ashore in Horta when we arrive!

As agreed, we decided to take the opportunity to transfer a couple of barrels of fuel to AWOL to supplement their capacity and extend their range. This involved tying the barrel and a fender on the end of a long polypropylene (floating) line and letting it run out from the stern while we maintained minimal steerage way. AWOL then came up to the fender marker on the end and picked it up with a boathook and lifted the barrel over the guard-wires and onto the deck. This was repeated for the second barrel and the line and fender were then recovered, job done and a happier Cliff.

Diesel transfer to AWOL

Having used the last of the sliced Bermuda bread by making Welsh Rarebit – to please Barry, we have turned to our stock of about 20 packs of bread mix. Barry is the undisputed maestro but I think his eminence may be under threat from the age of the packs. The sell by date on the recent pack is December 2015 and Barry can’t get it to rise. It must be the yeast in the mix that has aged so we will need to scour the shops in Horta for some fresh yeast as Barry says he doesn’t usually suffer from this problem – no comment please Helen!

We await further Satellite analysis from Mailasail.

Ollie Writes:-

Like the skipper said, no word yet from the internet people about Bill Shock.

As I wrote yesterday, it’s obviously a cock-up on their end; it’d just be nice to get to the bottom of it.

Anyway, the ocean was flat and glassy today.

So glassy that when looking at the horizon – it was difficult to see where the sea ended and the sky began.

So with a steady yacht, it was time to haul Barry’s swollen bladder to the highest point on the deck, and empty its dieselly contents into the fuel tank.

Perhaps we wouldn’t have needed to wash the decks afterwards, but as we were decanting, the skipper decided to grasp and twist the big knob that protrudes from Barry’s bladder.

The result was a sudden dribbling onto the deck and all over the Welshman’s favourite trousers.

After we’d mopped up that little accident, it was time to do another fuel transfer.

This time from yacht Hejira to yacht AWOL.

I think the skipper’s done an excellent job of describing how this was achieved, so I won’t try to guild the lily.

I’ll only add that it was planned and executed exceptionally well.

And, if I may say so, I did a terrific job of getting the necessary ropes out of the locker…and then putting them back afterwards.

Later on, the idea was to have sausages and crusty bread for dinner.

Though unfortunately, instead of crusty bread, Barry served up a plate of small brown rocks.

Maybe it’s a Welsh thing, from what I could tell, the point was to just butter them, then throw them overboard, where they no doubt sank straight to the bottom.

The unquestionable highlight of the day though, was seeing a whale in the distance.

It began with Barry pointing out a faint object on radar.

“Not sure what that is…I suppose it could be a whale.”

We all stared intently in the direction of the mystery object, and had almost given up.

But then for a split-second, a huge dark head emerged above the surface, followed by the whole length of a whale’s back rolling on the waterline.

Then again, and again, then nothing.

I’ve never seen a whale, so this was a special treat for me.

Apparently there’s a large community of sperm whales in and around The Azores, so we may see a few more in the coming days – fingers crossed!

There were some dolphins that came fairly close to the yacht in the early evening too.

But dolphins are shit compared to whales, so we hardly looked up from buttering our brown rocks.

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