One of the joys of the deck saloon layout is the ability to maintain a watch from inside in inclement weather. Maybe we are going soft but I call cold, grey and raining pretty inclement. Being able to sit at the chart table monitoring the radar and plotter for traffic in 5000m depth with therefore little chance of lobster pots is something of a luxury not enjoyed in the busy pot strewn waters of the south coast.

My position, sat at the chart table, right next to the VHF radio did mean that I could respond immediately to a call by name (so the AIS is working) from ‘French Warship’. They warned us we were entering a dangerous area because of a gunnery exercise and asked us to change course 20 degrees to starboard for the next 2 hours. I changed course without argument!

Expecting comment from Peter regarding the victualing and general standard of the grub, I think I should get my retaliation in first and point out that I have not catered for such a fussy eater. Peter doesn’t like: muesli, chorizo, tuna, olives, seeds in bread, any more than just a hint of cheese or anything smoked. AND He has sugar in his coffee so we had to buy some just for HIM.

Peter writes.-

An interesting facet of carrying the Midnight – 4am watch is that it is fast becoming the most popular watch. Nick & Barry can hardly let one pass without coming up to enquire how things are going. This is particularly so with regards to Nick since he’s started sharing his Emperor-sized bed with Miss Yankee. It’s possible they might be trying to catch me having a quiet chocolate biscuit, or so.

Since leaving port a week ago, most of the fresh provisions are behind us. Not having a renowned fisherman on board, such as Stephen, leaves us at the mercy of the Purser’s provisioning. His generosity apart, this leaves us trying to remove the rust from the tins to see the contents, never mind the date stamp. Fortunately for me, Barry is rather discerning and knows a thing or two about tins.

On a personal front, those using the crew heads have succeeded in avoiding a mutiny, or what’s worse – avoiding a shower, through our earnest representations to the quarterdeck. Against the Purser’s natural instinct, we have succeeded in wresting a door hook for supporting a towel. This has revolutionised the shower process and promises much sweetness & light. A dry towel !

Not a lot to report on the wildlife front. An occasional dolphin, the odd Brown Booby, a pair of Storm Petrels & a Manx Shearwater is all to report. Approaching land should result in more. Nothing further has emerged from the Stateroom on four or more legs. If the score is more than 1 – 0, it hasn’t been declared. We are being most tactful.