DREAMTIME IV (Mañana, Mañana)
Arrived in Gran Canaria, courtesy of appalling airways. I got a very cheap flight, this proved the adage 'you get get you pay for' the airlines logic can't be faulted. The aeroplane was snow bound in France and wouldn't get in till 3:30 the original departure being 11:30. The plane arrived and at about 4:30 we were informed that it didn't work (fuel pump apparently), however the air port cheerfully informed us that it was OK since the air line had a spare aeroplane on the tarmac anyway! This rivals conex south central customer service if they had a plane why didn't they send us out in it at 11:30!
The pilot was kind of cool though he'd been pulled out of bed to fly us and commented sarcastically that it was good that the airport had only taken three and an half hours to move a small amount of baggage between the 2 planes!. To make up for this prod at authority he proudly announced on the decent to Las Palmas that "we've managed to make up a few minutes time in the flight" 10 minutes saved, well that's great pity about the other 9 hours!.
Well the first news on board Dreamtime was that the workmen were coming Mañana, always with the Spanish it mañana. They didn't show, so there me, Skana and Campbell sat and unpacked the vegimite (and there was much rejoicing) and waited till Mañana. Mañana and Mañana and Mañana as as good old willy, put it, with the armada hanging around the Elizabethan period Shakespeare got it right-the Spanish will attack .......Tomorrow. I consider this educational, Spanish time is mealy practice for Caribbean time where the workmen might come .... next week (yeah right). The immortal quote from the engine repair man in St Lucia last time applies, on the subject of Mañana he said "no mon, we don't have anything that urgent" Skana and Campbell have been great and work proceeded apace allowing for siestas.
The trouble with siestas is that by the time yachties get up its started and by the time its finished Yachties are already drinking ...... so nothing gets done!.We are now planning to leave Saturday, we have all the Don Simon on board (cheap wine beloved of yachties) olive oil to get to Australia and, thank god, ME. I am really happy to be back on a pontoon where walking up to strangers and having chats/beers is considered normal. The antithesis of the London under ground.
7:00pm 3rd day out into the Atlantic, Dreamtime is Quick! So far we've managed at least 160Nm a day, probably 175 in the 24 hours till noon, we're not sure as Campbell accidentally turned the log off and reset it early this morning!
Log says we've averaged 7.4Knots since then! On the first day we managed 14.5Kn off the top of one wave estimating 17 days for the crossing! against the 23 last time. Skanna and Campbell ant to know what I'm writing about them! They keep asking if its something bad.....Yeah right they've been great, not only rescuing me from the desk of doom but making me really welcome in there home.
We have seen nothing of interest in ages 1 Ship in the distance this morning, and apparently they saw a plastic bottle floating by early this evening! The excitement is killing me! When I get over the Caribbean I will ask Sam if he knows the bottle. Have read three and a half Harry Potter books already,OOPS soon I'm going to have to read the intelligent book that Mona lent me before I left. Just made some BREAD see I'm domesticated
The Dreamtime Atlantic Points System for Ocean Passages.
- Dolphins - 5 points - they find you
- Ships - 20 points - very rare (only one so far)
- Rubbish - 10 points pretty common (your own dunny paper doesn't count)
- UFO - 200 points (bonus of 400 for an abduction)
- American Sub - 1000 points + money from Russians.
- Russian Sub - 100,000,000 points, cover head with towel and build fall out shelter with heads door (money from the Americans and Russians for fixing it)
- birds - 7 points
- flying fish - 10 points (20 if you get hit)
- Barbados - 100 points (first seen)
- Other island - 1000 points and kick the navigator
- Mir Space Station - No points but please tell the Russians as they've lost it again! We wouldn't want it to crash land in Australia would we.
Dreamtime? Who the @#*_ is Dreamtime?
Dreamtime* IV is a lovely 37 ft boat owned by Campbell and Skanna Kiwi and Ausie respectively. They were friends with Melanjen on which I did the Kings Cup Regatta in Thailand (see photo left). They were in London in about September where I totally failed to go to the pub with them. However just as flamelights were driving me nuts Skana sent me an email saying "We're stuck in Gran Canaria after damaging the boat", after hearing this I immediately replied with the words "can I have a lift" to my surprise they said "yes" and here I am in the middle of the Atlantic again!
* Aboriginal word for "Stoned"
Dreamtime at anchor off Phi Phi Island in Thailand
We finally arrived in St Lucia, not Barbados, or Tobago, or anywhere else that was possible. It finally took 18 days, shaving 4.5 of my last crossing. We did the rodney bay round, Happy Hour in the Marina bar (2 rumpunches for the price of !) followed by dinner in the lime, "local meal Please" as the cry goes. Then into the shamrocks pub, where I proceeded to fall asleep. I particularly recommend the bar in there-it comfy. Campbell may disagree as the following night he fell off a bar stool there. He's still limping. The reason he fell off can be attributed to a nice Englishman we met over dinner at the lime. He proceeded to buy 3 Bottles of Moet Champagne which we happily helped him to consume. The remainder of the night in Shamrocks remains a blur, I can remember Campbell falling off his stool an latter of the dock, there was a lot of shouting between us and a local salesman on a boat if any one has the details please send a postcard to "Tom's Missing hours, care of BBC Children in need, London"
lEarly the next morning, I had arranged a sked on the SSB with Sam on Ramprasad in Tobago, to my surprise I actually managed to make the time and frequency, unfortunately my ability to complete sentences was sadly lacking and communication, despite good radio propagation was lousy. Arranged to meet Sam in Trinidad, but after a week in St Lucia was forced to concede that there were no yachts heading south at all and in the end had to get a aeroplane. .
The plane was expensive and late (yachts are nice reliable things why can't aeroplanes manage it)Arrived in Port of Spain to late for a bus so had to pay the outrageous sum of 60tt to get a taxi the short distance to port of Spain, then a Maxi Taxi (more like a Caribbean bus) to TTYA at Chaguaramas for 4tt. Sam wasn't there he was still blissfully unaware of my arrival. So slept on TTYA's bench for then next 2 nights after which the management caught on and told me off. The next night a Kiwi called Pete off "wired for Sound" let me crash on his Boat and the following morning I Joined Sam and Rauni on Ramprasad (and there was much rejoicing).