One lovely thing about being here (here being S21 47.257 E008 25.844 as I write this sentence, which will not be ‘here’ when I have finished writing, let alone dispatched it off into the ether. But *those* existential questions remain for another day. No matter, being here-not-here has some interesting side effects.) is that Dr Google is not present in any shape or form.
So one is thrown back to an antediluvian reliance on things remembered, half-remembered, or simply made up. Was it Alex Ferguson who said that the premiership was not won in (?) May? I really am not sure, but I think it was and if he gets credit for an aphorism that isn’t his, well… My rug-dealing friend will grin and point his fingers at me, singing “Funny, the way it is….”. And it is.
But, not being a MUFC fan (who is?), the gospel according to St Alex is only of ephemeral relevance. We are, roughly, half way through the race… Rather to our collective surprise, and despite the broken spinnaker pole which we handle like a porcelain teacup, we find ourselves doing rather well.
And so we are in a tussle with another boat, Avanti, for line honours (and handicap victory, almost certainly, given how the other boats in the fleet are performing) in Rio. Neck-and-neck for the last few days, we have thrown everything at trying to best them. They have miles to Rio, we have miles North (another aphorism: always be the northern most boat). The distance between us is tiny, in a race of this distance, and with around 12 days to go.
But today a zen-like moment descended on the boat, as we collectively realised we are not actually racing them. This is our race. We do not have to follow their every move, hatching plans to cover any surprise gybe or course change. We have to have our own strategy – let Sophie be Sophie B, as Josh Lyman put it (no need for Dr Google on that) – and we have to believe in it.
So. De Bello Atlantico. Alea iacta est. We have rolled our dice. We are heading North, to around 21S, before tracking West to Rio. Will it pay? We don’t know yet. But it’s our call. And we’ve made it. The premiership is not won in May, nor is the Cape to Rio race won halfway through.
As the temperatures rise in the tropics (the sea temperature is over 28 degrees!) and the beer gets warmer (we only have fuel to charge the batteries for three hours a day, not enough for our little fridge), we have employed the sound system on a more or less 24 hour basis. We have multiple iPods loaded with almost all music genres known to humanity. So what are your suggested playlists for
a) calm days?
b) hot and sticky mornings?
c) in between days?
d) days just grooving to a full spinnaker a following inky royal blue sea and 15 knots of glorious trade winds.
Answers via FB, and our shore support will share with us.
Random thoughts for the day:
1. No-longer meaningful clichés : “there are plenty more fish in the sea”. Not these days, kiddo, not these days.
2. What is the collective noun for flying fish? Lacking Dr Google, I don’t know whether it’s a school, or a flock, or a flocking school.
3. Why flying fish? What kind of dumbarse idea is that? (and yes, they are mesmerizing to watch as they flap, and swoop, and glide, over several hundred meters at a time….)