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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
The Equator
06/20/2011, The Equator

20 June 2011

Last night Mark and I were up for the crossing of the equator. I wish we could have mustered up a bit more excitement but we were just so tired! However, all excitement came back in the morning when the kids dressed Mark up as Neptune and we all did a little dance around the cockpit with an offering for Neptune into the sea. Then cakes were made and decorated and eaten all day. We can see land and it has been creeping closer and closer all day. We've about two hours to go. I've had a shower (not my first this trip bty!) and so feel ready to meet the officials such as the fumigator, preparing for such event by lobbing overboard a few suspect carrots which were attracting flies. I asked Mia what was the best and worst parts of this passage. Her worst bit was feeling sick when it was rough. "What even worse than the fish hook incident?" I asked. "Oh, I forgot about that" replied Mia. I'm going to get this sent by SSB and then we'll be back on hotmail/internet tomorrow. Current posn: 00.45South!!!!! 90.10W

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Hello sun

Today has been the first time all trip that we have seen the sun and been able to watch the sunset as it has been so cloudy up til now. We are still on track for tomorrow sunset at Admiralty Bay in Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos. It's always the same with all my athletic feats (ha ha!) The Great North run, it's the last couple of miles that kill, the Itex round Jersey walk, the last walk across St Aubin's bay that's the killer. And so today has been exhausting. The end is in sight and we just want to be there and we're tired. However, a happy tired. To be fair on Mark, I've done pretty much nothing today except sleep and he's held the fort. It was also he who asked whether it was Father's day today. Oops! He heard us planning a secret and thought it was a father's day surprise, but actually, we were planning his King Neptune costume for our crossing of the equator tomorrow, having completely forgotten all about fathers day. Well, it's all a load of commercial bull isn't it? Father's day, valentines day. In fact all those days are just a chance for the shops to be quids in. Except Mother's Day of course. Now that one is important and shouldn't be neglected!

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06/18/2011, Our two bird power indicator

17 juNE 2011
curr psn: 1.41N 84.00W
It's very considerate actually, because I'm aching all over from my little adventure yesterday with the bruises on my thighs turning blacker and bluer. As our wind direction indicator thingy at the helm is a little skew-whiff (who'd have thought that word would be on spell check?!) we usually have to look to the top of the mast to get an accurate indicator of the wind direction. Which is difficult for me today. As I said, I'm not getting any younger and yesterday's trip up the mast has probably been the most physical exercise I've had in ooooh 6 years. However, I've just noticed that our two little hitchhikers - swallow tail gulls - have become very accurate wind direction indicators, facing into the wind to keep their balance. I even checked it out, turning a few degrees north, to see if they would turn. They did! Hours of fun! They even fly off if the sail luffs, but I try not to do that too much. If only they didn't poo so much (they've obviously made themselves at home!) Not too much more to report, except that I inadvertently became the net controller on the SSB radio today. When no one came on at 0900, I put a call out and then found myself relaying messages here, calling for new boats to come forward there! If only I had all the lingo. Mark has been daring me to say "roger roger" Star Wars style all week, but I'm just too English and wouldn't be able to do it like the Americans do. It just doesn't roll off the tongue easily. So, on that note, this is Pegasus of jersey, 2delta xray quebec 3 clear and on the side. Roger roger!

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She who breaks it fixes it

16 June 2011
Apparently, it was my fault the main halyard block sheared as I was on watch at the time! Well, that was the reason Mark gave me for me going up the mast rather than him. Actually, mast monkey has become a bit of a Cath specialty, but I popped my going-up-the-mast-whilst-at-sea cherry today and I've got the thigh bruises to prove it! We motored pretty much through til 2pm today when the seas/winds got slightly calmer (16knots) Then, donning Lochy's bike helmet, pillow down front/cushion down back of sallopettes, Mark winched me up the mast. The idea was that I would use a safety harness around the mast to keep me from swinging too far away, which worked well, except I had to unclip and clip back on to get past the spreaders and that was really hard. Then up to the top, using my thighs to grip the mast (thank God for my pole dancing lessons back in Jersey!) untie and re-tie a one handed bowline, threading it through a new block. It was like riding a bucking broncho up there and I was wishing at that point that I hadn't left my climbing harness at home; it would have been far superior to the bosun's chair I was in. Holding on to the mast was taking all my effort and I was knackered; my muscles getting tired. When I had to unclip to get past the spreaders on the way back down again. My hands were so tired, I didn't clip back onto the mast, which was the point at which my body and the mast parted company and I went for a bit of a swing. With a shout of "just get me down quick" I was lying on the trampoline in a jiffy, not scared just absolutely. Physically. Exhausted. My muscles are all aching now but the sail is back up and Mark and I feel proud of our joint effort. This trip has made us realise that we do actually make a good team.

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I take it back

16 June 2011
I take it back. That is cursing the man who sold us our new main halyard two days before left Panama City. As it turns out, the main sail completely collapsed and fell down due to a block shearing rather than the halyard snapping. Either way, bummer. Will have to wait for light of day to go up the mast and retrieve the halyard to reconnect. Hopefully the wind will follow the pattern of no wind during the day, just for long enough to go up the mast, rather than the 30 knots it is now. Then of course, please Mr trade winds can you make an appearance and make this trip a little bit fun! It's been great to talk to Ame from Gruffalo by SSB this evening. In the meantime, snails pace into the wind under reefed genoa alone, with 2 metre swells. The stuff that dreams are made of. At least, Mark and I have extra crew so we can get some sleep. Oh, hang on a minute, we haven't. That's why we're so tired!! Current post: 02.34N 81.56W

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OK, I'll make this a short one as we have 25-30 knots on the nose and it's like we're on a rollercoaster here. But, we don't mind so much as at least we are moving today. It was getting kind of depressing when even the dolphins were preferring to surf the waves coming towards you, rather than the bow, cos we were just too slow for them! Whit, you don't know what you're missing out on here - even though it's windy, I'm giving us our day our daily bread, and there's wind - something you've not had the pleasure of meeting whilst you were with us in San Blas!! Our nocturnal seagull came back again after a night's hunting and rested all day, only leaving us when we put in or shake out a reef (gets a bit noisy) or to do a poo. Very considerate! It's 9pm and he's cruising along next to us at the moment. So, we're heading West for another 60 miles or so, then turning South to meet the tradewinds until we hit the equator then West again. I had my first success at being heard on the SSB during a Pacific radio net; it's nice to have that connection. We might be having a problem with Mia's hand after the fishing hook incident - she's fine to hold colouring crayons or a fork or a bar of chocolate, but a sharp pain occurs when she has to do maths or diary. I think it might be permanently damaged! Even though it's rough, we are still doing school work, though I'm doing the writing and the kids are dictating. Now there's dedication for you! Curr pos'n: 03.30N 80.57W

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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