25 August 2022
You can tell it's a slow night shift when the highlight is watching the Iridium light up, sending out our latest position report at two minutes past the hour. Sat in the saloon, patio doors firmly closed against the night chill, tucked up under a duvet, beside a pile of empty chocolate bar wrappers, I watch the clock crawl towards the hour. Every third hour we make an entry in the log, if we remember. Not sure why. The others, we watch the clock, excitement building as the O2 minute approaches. 03:48. Oh. So long to go. 03:53. The excruciating pain of waiting. 03:58. Excitement building. 04:02. Lights, action, fireworks!
Jeez. We need to get out more.
Back in the day, when I was just a wee boy, after a passage race of all of twenty five miles weâd find ourselves in Tarbert, a quiet, once thriving fishing village on the west coast of Scotland. After a couple of pints of the foaming ale in one of Tarbert's many hostelries, that is, a couple of pints past the point when you had lost the ability to talk anything but gibberish, someone in the group would blubber, âJush look at the moon outshide. IT'SH AMAZING. Letsh sail back nowâ.
And so, around about 04:02, when no one could remember whose idea it was but could vaguely remember the culprit slinking away in the dark to their bunk, we were out in the middle of the Clyde, with dawn, well dawning, nursing a hangover, shivering and cursing the fool idea it was. Again.
At 04:02 out here in the middle of the South Atlantic, it's all feeling vaguely familiar.
Stuart & Anne
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