15 Oct 2012

[Captains Blog] Mid Canaries part of the Atlantic

The hitch-hikers guide to the Atlantic (part 1) - There we were yesterday, minding our own business when all of a sudden out of the blue (and there is a lot of blue out here) a dove appeared. This was a little perplexing since we were about 200 miles away from any form of land -- Madeira to our west, and Africa to our East, and nothing but blue water in between. But there it was. Somewhat tired as you can imagine after flying such a distance, and it was clearly in need of a resting place. It decided that our safety rail was the ideal spot, duly landed and promptly fell asleep. We didn't have the heart to disturb it and so it stayed there for a few hours. We put some water and bread out for it, but they obviously were not the flavour of the moment, and were totally ignored. 

After a while it woke up, and decided to try some different perches: The bimini, the masthead, nope, no good. The preventer for the boom (stops it flying across to the other side of the boat and breaking the boom), still not right. The Jib sheet, better, but still not right. The sprayhood cover, not too bad at all and the favourite second choice as it was here for a while too. We actually thought it would stay with us for the rest of the journey and depart when land was in sight, but no, suitably rested, it decided to take flight again and disappeared. We were quite disappointed really.

Today we had a different experience. Both Debra and I kept thinking the other one was saying something that we couldn't quite make out. No, we hadn't said anything. Calm resumed. Another voice - 'what was that you said?' 'Nothing'. And so it continued. Then late in the afternoon we started to hear a burping noise. Again looking at each other for the source of the flatulence we both denied it. Weird! It sounded as though we had a ghost aboard. So, we both listened hard to try and identify the eerie sounds and eventually Debra worked it out - one of the pulley blocks had developed a groan (can't call it a squeak) which sounded distinctly burp-like. Another anomaly solved.

Incidentally, speaking of anomalies and thinking back to the dolphins, Mac, our Norn Iron correspondent (who write under the pen name of YBBY) has been in touch to inform us that dolphins can actually split their brains in half and use one bit at a time while the other part is sleeping. I tried it myself but forgot which half was asleep and became comatose ...