Footnotes from Water Music

Sicily to New Zealand on Water Music Wauquiez Centurion 45

Vessel Name: Water Music
Vessel Make/Model: Wauquiez Centurion 45
Crew: Stephen Foot, Graham Coulter, Ian Harrison, Nick Harley
20 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
18 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
17 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
16 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
14 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
11 January 2019
09 January 2019
08 January 2019
07 January 2019
06 January 2019 | En route past Cape Verde
05 January 2019 | En route towards Cape Verde
03 January 2019 | En route towards Cape Verde
02 January 2019 | En route towards Cape Verde
02 January 2019 | En route towards Cape Verde
31 December 2018
30 December 2018 | En route towards Cape Verde
30 December 2018 | Puerto Calero
30 December 2018 | Puerto Calero
29 November 2018 | Puerto Calero
Recent Blog Posts
20 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat

Trade Winds at last

Before we embarked on this journey I asked Peter Sanders to make me a new spinnaker that would be manageable with one person on deck in 20 knots of wind. His immediate reaction was that I was mad - but that was exactly what he made us and we made full use of it last night. With a near full moon that [...]

18 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat

Light Airs - again

We've had another frustrating 24 hours of light airs and ever dwindling reserves of fuel. At last, at about 0800 our time there was a slight zephyrette of wind on the water and we hoisted the big blue spinnaker. A large and somewhat shapeless object that saw good service until a spectaculor blow out [...]

17 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat

Thursday 17 Jan

The Trade Winds continue to be elusive and it feels like we are more in the Doldrums than where we should be expecting constant breezes throughout the day with little variation in either direction or wind speed. That has not been our experience as we play hunt the wind. We now have a little over 500Nm [...]

16 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat

Day 18

We are getting closer - 624.1 miles to go - that is Inverness to Lands End? just a mere hop. At 6 knots on average, that is about 4 days of sailing. The pressure is already on for us to look our best to be greeted by the girls on our arrival. The laundry maid will be in overdrive these next few days [...]

14 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat

day 17 - maybe?

The fabulous sounds and aromas from the fresh fish curry Graham is creating behind me (from the spectacular 20 lb dorado caught late yesterday afternoon) has replaced the wonderful smell of fresh bread and the chocolate brownie Nick made earlier...we are not fading away!

11 January 2019

Day 12

We are trundling on very well. Indeed we have company on the high seas today. We saw another yacht during the night and are now following it - it seemed to be gaining on us, so we have just raised the spinnaker which gives us another knot or two of speed - we hope to overtake them later today. We continue [...]

Trade Winds at last

20 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
stephen foot
Before we embarked on this journey I asked Peter Sanders to make me a new spinnaker that would be manageable with one person on deck in 20 knots of wind. His immediate reaction was that I was mad - but that was exactly what he made us and we made full use of it last night. With a near full moon that was bright enough to read a newspaper by, we flew to the west - combining that all too rare combination of sailing at speed and in the right direction. There was the inevitable prep school humour about why we should suddenly experience this welcome boon and linking this to the last cabbage we started yesterday or the Baked Beans we had for supper. (Katy- it seems that Nick can eat baked beans after all - just so long as he cant see them!) Prior to the beans (accompanied by a rather fine Fray Bentos pie), we ate a little flash fried tuna with Horseradish sauce. Quite how Ian justifies eating fresh tuna in a porage of horseradish - but wont countenance lemon on the fish is well beyond us all and subject to much debate.

So this morning finds us some 200Nm to east of Antigua and rattling along at 6-7 knots with an expected arrival time in Antigua of Monday afternoon/ evening. The morning also finds Graham making eggy bread - which will use the second of the two Ciabata's that Nick made yesterday afternoon.

Light Airs - again

18 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
stephen foot
We've had another frustrating 24 hours of light airs and ever dwindling reserves of fuel. At last, at about 0800 our time there was a slight zephyrette of wind on the water and we hoisted the big blue spinnaker. A large and somewhat shapeless object that saw good service until a spectaculor blow out on the way to Ibiza which requires about 50m of sowing. Worth putting up as we have by now all got bored of looking at the same spinnaker, day in and day out.

Yesterday afternoon we had a ship pass within a couple of miles of us heading down to the oil-fields of Trinidad & Tobago - should we have asked them for a barrel of diesel to help speed us on our journey? That didnt seem likely to have a positive outcome so we stopped the boat (not difficult) and went for a swim instead. While Graham was swimming there appeared to be a large white shape under the boat - whatever it was clearly decided that Graham was not tasty enough, in spite of the small cut on his big toe - and he swum off to leave us in peace. the brief interlude allowed us to remove the rope that had wrapped itself round the propellor. Where that had come from in the middle of the atlantic is anyone's guess.

Humour is still well - albeit we had resorted to listening to passages from JP Donleavy's only book on the boat. It keeps the children quiet....

Thursday 17 Jan

17 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
stephen foot
The Trade Winds continue to be elusive and it feels like we are more in the Doldrums than where we should be expecting constant breezes throughout the day with little variation in either direction or wind speed. That has not been our experience as we play hunt the wind. We now have a little over 500Nm to run to Antigua and reckon we have fuel to cover about 300Nm - so we are husbanding our most precious resource as we slowly make progress. If rain had been a fuel - we would be very fully supplied!

Last night we believe we passed a number of rowing boats on a largely moonlit night, but is often hard to make out exactly where the horizon is and so some of these sightings may have been stars on the horizon. During the course of the night we continued to make the right course (slightly South of West) but started close reaching on one tack, then put up the spinnaker and, as the moon set at 0300, we had to gybe the spinnaker. This morning has not let up and the wind has gone round a further 90 degrees so we find ourselves fetching into a very light South easterly breeze. We have turned on the engine in the hope this will help us to avoid a patch of no wind just to the North of us. We see if that is successful.

The food continues to be exemplary. Last night's Curry de Dorade a la Handel (Remember we are on Water Music) was sublime, only let down by the corked red wine we attempted to serve for dinner. Breakfast was a three course affair - including Dampers. Graham says they are served to Sea Scouts - i would imagine to quieten them down after food, if the somnelence of our happy crew is anything to go by at 1000 this morning. Fresh food is beginning to run out - but there remains one cabbage, which is beginning to smells strongly before being cooked. Maybe we'll get some wind after all.

Day 18

16 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
stephen foot
We are getting closer - 624.1 miles to go - that is Inverness to Lands End? just a mere hop. At 6 knots on average, that is about 4 days of sailing. The pressure is already on for us to look our best to be greeted by the girls on our arrival. The laundry maid will be in overdrive these next few days to make us look respectable - Stephen seems to have a never ending supply of new (well possibly not new, but fresh) shirts coming from his extensive wardrobe - we have not seen the Hawaiian shirt as yet, but the money is on that that will make an appearance before the trip is finished. The rest of us try to keep up with the fashion parade - I tried a new style of wearing my shirt inside out yesterday, but that soon got voted down - shame.

Morale remains very good on board - we are going well. The humour is as good as always, and the same jokes have a danger of being retold, but still accompanied by hoots of laughter - it seems a long while since we set off from Lanzarote, and clearly some dementia is beginning to set in - for four people to get on so well, in fairly restrictive space, for 3 weeks, is a tribute to our skipper and his well chosen crew. We have had a lot of fun. A large whale was spotted by Ian this morning - Stephen said it was just a very fat pilot whale, but Ian and I know that it was not - any ideas please? It was big, and had a big blow hole - surely that is enough detail to identify it? However it was a welcome sight, and he stayed near us for some time, occasionally raising his head to check us out - spectacular. We had a lot of rain last night, accompanied by good wind. The hatch in our bunk room gave way, and it soon changed from aeration to irrigation - Ian's bunk bore the brunt of it, and his sheet and duvet are now strewn across the foredeck - we thought he is setting up camp there, but he assures us that is not the case .Mending took Stephen a few minutes this morning and. as always, problem solved, and we are watertight again.

The bar remains well stocked, and the food is as good as always. Graham produced a delicious fish curry last night, with the second portion on the menu tonight - the smell when it is being heated up is amazing - maybe that is what the whale was after? My second loaf of bread was an even greater success, amazingly, and is being enjoyed. Indeed the boundaries were pushed even further with brownies being baked at the same time - fortunately the baking gods seem to take kindly to me, and now we have brownies and yoghurt for pudding - delicious.

The subject of showering has been raised and the skipper was taking his regular (weekly) shower on Monday morning - as he always does. I suppose there should be no need for such an extensive wardrobe if you only wash that rarely - but none the less. He was heard to remark that it was rather alike trying to take a shower on a packed underground train - with the pitching and yawing going on. Apparently rather difficult to stand on one leg and thoroughly wash between the toes. The crew dont have this sort of challenge as there is only room to stand bolt upright - so the risk of falling over is negligible. Lucky crew was as empathetic as the skipper could get.

So this remains a very happy boat, we trundle on merrily, with the finishing line nearly in sight. This has been a fantastic trip, and anyone tempted to do it, must do so - you see a completely unspoiled part of our planet, which mankind has barely touched - long may it remain that way.

Love to All

The merry crew on Water Music

day 17 - maybe?

14 January 2019 | 4 men in a boat
stephen foot
The fabulous sounds and aromas from the fresh fish curry Graham is creating behind me (from the spectacular 20 lb dorado caught late yesterday afternoon) has replaced the wonderful smell of fresh bread and the chocolate brownie Nick made earlier...we are not fading away!

We have had the spinnaker up today from first light.. Had to resort to the engine for a couple of hours in search of some of these allusive trade winds that have been blowing in the wrong direction.

Around 2am this morning we saw a green rocket/flare 40 degrees off our port bow. We were becalmed and motoring so we immediately turned towards the flare with the radio on for distress calls....after an hour there were no were no further sightings or calls, so we wondered if the rowers were sending notification flares to warn ships. This is a big empty ocean and searching for something on a moonless night that isn't signalling is a real challenge.

We continue to trundle on towards our distant rest and should be under 700 miles to go by tea time today.

Just performed a 'taste-test' on the brownies and they are 10 out of 10.

Love to all

The crew xx

ps...the skippers contribution towards ensuite showers has been deferred

Day 12

11 January 2019
stephen foot
We are trundling on very well. Indeed we have company on the high seas today. We saw another yacht during the night and are now following it - it seemed to be gaining on us, so we have just raised the spinnaker which gives us another knot or two of speed - we hope to overtake them later today. We continue to look out for the rowers, but sadly no sign of one as yet - hopefully we will find one before we reach Antigua.

I saw a whale yesterday! Sadly I was the only one to see it,so the others just had to believe me. About 50m ahead of the boat. By the time I registered what it was, and shouted to the others, it had gone - so sadly not a lot to go on, but it was good enough for me. The winds continue very good, and we are making excellent progress. The night was good, a bit of heavy rain on Ian's watch, but otherwise a nice night. The moon is a lot higher again now, staying up till around midnight, so that enhances night sailing even more. We continue to eat very well - a delicious fish curry for lunch yesterday - Graham continues to work his magic in the galley - amazing work. And I contributed yesterday to the cooking! My dear wife Katy had sent me off with some bullet proof bread making mixture, which even I could hopefully cope with. It was put to the test yesterday. I prayed to the baking gods, and got cracking. Some black treacle and milk was added to the mixture, and then put in oven. About an hour later, something which certainly looked like a loaf of bread appeared, to my huge relief - the pressure had been on. Not only did it look like as loaf of bread, it fortunately also tasted like bread! It was enjoyed at tea yesterday, and hopefully with lunch today. So I have contributed a little bit to our diet! Stephen continues to work his magic around the boat, always attending to things that need some attention - his range of knowledge on everything on the boat is extraordinary - we are in very good hands with such an excellent skipper.

So all is very good - we are making good progress, spirits are high, the sun is shining, and the humour is good - perfect.

The sombre and melancholic Graham's condition has been somewhat exacerbated by the slightly depressing book he has now finished. He said something about missing the insights of Mortlake Mike - which havent appeared, but could be on the blog - which we cant read.

Love to All

The merry crew on Water Music
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