26 Jan, 06 – 20:29
Today is a sad day on board the good ship Sedna Solo, for today I Have Eaten My Last Flapjack.
It was hard to know in advance what foods would appeal at sea. Rosie Stancer, the polar trekker, had told me that the foods she liked at sub-zero temperatures were quite different from what she usually likes, and suggested that similarly my tastes might change at sea. So I’d tried out various snack bars during my two sailing trips last year, and ruled out some contenders, but still didn’t get it quite right.
The Wholebake flapjacks have been going down a treat, with the Hemp Flapjacks and Apple, Pecan and Pistachio Whopper bars being particular favourites. So now I’ve guzzled the lot, and still half an ocean to go.
My problem is not going to be shortage of food – I’ve still got plenty – but a shortage of foods I want to eat.
Still waiting for some nice big flying fish to obligingly hurl themselves onto my deck so I can enjoy some fresh fish. But maybe they’ve wised up to the fact that this is not a good move from their point of view.
For a while this afternoon I was virtually becalmed. It’s strange to imagine capsizes elsewhere in the fleet when I have barely enough breeze to flutter my increasingly tattered red ensign. And the forecast shows little change for at least another two days. Hey ho, she says, trying hard to preserve her zen-like calm when in fact she wishes this starionary high pressure would unstation itself and go and becalm somebody else’s bit of ocean instead…
To cheer me up a whale came to say hello this afternoon. He was about 6 feet long, and surfaced 9 or 10 times, coming within about 10 yards of my boat. A northern bottlenosed whale, unless I am much mistaken. I thanked him kindly for dropping by, and said he’d be welcome to come again.
Wishes for a very happy birthday to Elizabeth. I believe you’re in Australia at the moment so you won’t get this message until tomorrow – oops, sorry! Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine Down Under.
Another bright spot in the day was a haul of particularly fine texts.
A trio of messages from Oxford:
Lord Butler – congratulations on your technological advance, sir! Good to hear from you.
Judy – reassuring to know that my witterings make sense to at least one other person.
Bri – dinner invitation gladly accepted! (I was going to invite myself to drop in anyway…) I shall look forward to it.
Thanks also for texts from: Wendela (great to hear from you! Ah, what I’d give for a ceviche on the beach now…) Sinead Martin (no advice or questions? The perfect text!), Sandi in the US, Alasdair (yes, happy to advise, if I can be any help – fours very different from solo, though!), Lizann, Rachel Haining (very true – anything will seem easy after this), John T (cool, no worries), Mike C, Mat Ellis, Eddie-Lee (does Jesus give good dinner parties?!), Mar, the Galls, the anonymous poet, Sean Chapple (actually I do fancy joining the Marines – don’t think they’d have me though – I’m too old!), Adamski (music system kaput, so not much point asking what I listen to! And please don’t text me about buttered toast and pints of real ale – it really doesn’t help morale…), Ziggy, Tim Ratbag, Margaret and Bob, Jeff, Victoria, F from DK, Steve D.
For GPS position, race position and miles from La Gomera, see http://www.atlanticrowingrace.co.uk
Wind: E, 8-12 knots (estimate)
Weather: sunshine and cloud
Sea state: moderate to calm
Hours rowing: 12