Commenting on my daily reports of breakages and inconveniences such as wet bedding and lack of sleep, Nigel has cheerfully pointed out that the “killer” won’t be a single disaster but the cumulative effect of all the problems combined with my lack of sleep. In such a situation any otherwise survivable event could prove to be too much.
Of course he’s right, so I’ve taken this to heart and have developed a new survival strategy. After all, it would be annoying in the extreme to come to a sticky end in the final stages of my journey. Under my new regime I am confining myself to my captain’s quarters which is the driest part of the boat and have filled it with all the nice clean dry bedding, along with lots of yummy food and drink.
I will now spend all my time simply sleeping, resting and eating, and will not touch any part of the boat in case I break it, which given my clumsiness is more than likely. It seems quite happy steering itself and is heading directly for La Rochelle, so as long as I don’t do anything at all to upset things I should arrive there safely, not to mention well-fed and well-rested. Thank you, Nigel!
Actually I did do one thing today which so far appears not to have broken anything else so I think I got away with it. Having realised that I like listening to music while I do my sewing I suddenly remembered that I’ve got a brand new stereo and some rather large speakers still sitting unopened in their boxes. It didn’t take long to rip out the old and install the new, and it’s totally transformed my listening experience to near-nightclub levels. In fact it’s so loud and bassy that it should drown out even the most determined hurricane so I know what to do if one of Irene’s siblings should suddenly turn up.
Odyssey is, as I said, still charging happily along without me having to do anything at all, and we’re eating up the miles as we head for France. Even with only the working jib instead of the big genoa we’re still hitting 8 knots at times which is excellent, although there’s quite a big following swell which knocks us off course every now and then. Monty quickly pulls us back into line which makes sleeping in the aft cabin fun as I get rolled from one side to another as the boat zig-zags it’s way across the Atlantic.
And finally, on a culinary note, since I’m saving my supply of chocolate chip cookies for the next storm I’ve had to come up with an alternative snack for when I get the munchies. I deliberately didn’t buy any unhealthy nibbles so have had to experiment a bit and have discovered that peanut butter and strawberry jelly spread liberally on Ryvita makes for a delicious and guilt-free accompaniment to my afternoon tea. Well, it’s the closest I can get to scones and clotted cream out here!