29/05/2010 - En route to Bonaire!

Today we awoke to a dead calm,.. almost no wind whatsoever and obviously still motoring.  We did however get one reprieve which was when it was decided that we were going to have a power shower.  In brief, this is when the emergency seawater hose is rigged up to the shrouds and water is jetted downwards onto anyone below, whether they want to get wet or not! Most of the crew showed up and a communal shower ensued.  The interesting thing about salt water is that soap does not lather up and so is pretty useless if you want to get the day’s dirt off you (or week’s dirt in our case!), there are a couple of solutions, a) you can use specialty salt water soap designed to be used in salt water,.. or b) you can use certain types of washing up liquid that just happen to lather,.. as skint trainees we decided to go for the latter option,… I don’t think there hadn’t been that many clean people on board since Lunenberg!

We had a muster on the quarterdeck by the captain and were informed that due to this low that was hanging to the south west, the traditionally strong easterly trade winds were non-existent and any wind we did get was a southerly,… exactly where we wanted to head!  I think his exact words were “I don’t want to motor all the way to Panama as it is expensive and I don’t really like motoring so we are going to stop at Bonaire until the winds change!”… having only just left Anguilla, the news of a stop in another Caribbean island was received with smiles and hushed whispers.  I was particularly excited as I had been to Curaçao a year or two beforehand and had loved it,.. thanks to an ex of mine I even knew a few words or Papiamento!

The evening watch was a standard affair, there was almost no wind and due to the peculiar weather we had a fantastic sunset, I even tried to get some silhouette photos of the watch, they kind of came out!

I whiled away the watch organizing a SCUBA list in anticipation of Bonaire, which is basically an entire marine reserve,.. we had a number of people signed up within minutes,.. all I needed now was the watch list, how long we were going to be in Bonaire and most importantly, a dive shop!

It was Sophie’s birthday on the 30th and unbeknownst to us the pro-crew had decided to bake her a cake and present it to her at midnight,.. however due to the fact that there was actually nothing going on during the watch Sophie had gone to the fo’c’sle head to get her sextant and walked in on them decorating it,.. “Oops,” she said on returning to deck “I just walked into the fo’c’sle head and when I saw them with the cake they said “well, happy fucking birthday Soph!!””,.. not long after, some lights were noticed on deck and despite a novelty drink umbrella being set on fire the huge chocolate cake was presented on the well-deck without much incident,.. except for the fact that she had seen it and so it was presented at 22.30!  Happy birthday was sung and the incredibly sugary cake was consumed within minutes.


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