If you ever thought two days could be the same on the Lord Nelson, how wrong you would be! My morning started as usual with a 0615hrs turn to. On arrival in the galley, I was informed that night watches and the mate Mr John Fisher had searched in vain for the biscuit barrel. Who had hidden it? I needed to investigate. I spotted a crushed bourbon biscuit on the upper mess deck, which had been scrubbed by the bosun’s mates Alice, Gareth, Josh, MVB and John West, the night before. So the biscuits had to be somewhere. Crumbs, what a challenge! The biscuits were found lodged behind the cereals. In the meantime, Mike (MVB) has his own personal supply of Frosties (he thinks they are grrrrrreat!!!) Yikes - Somebody had switched them for a non-Frostie type! Who was it? Who had done this dastardly deed? Was it the same person who hid the biscuits???
Of course, Cookie got the blame!
The morning was great sailing as we approached the Needles and continued about ½ - 1 mile off the coast past Freshwater Bay towards Ventnor. I phoned one of our past crew members, who lives in Ventnor, Duncan Ratcliffe, and told him we were sailing past his house. Duncan is a man of many talents, one of which is as an artist who has painted a lovely picture of the Lord Nelson. He said he would be standing in his garden taking photos as we sailed past.
Jon West our lovely second mate, had a surprise birthday cake at this morning’s smoko. Jon is one of three John West’s on board (2/O, BM and VC) so we were lucky to be singing to the right one!!!! Everyone had developed healthy appetite’s for birthday cake as both lifts had simultaneously decided to throw a sickie, requiring us to haul our wheelchair users up and down the companionways (stairs) between decks – until our engineering team, Rachet and Alec, came to the rescue!
The day was going well, even the brass got polished in the upper mess on rumour the Old Man Neil would be inspecting in the morning!
As Mike Redshaw (supernumerary cookie) and I prepared dinner of a beef madras curry with poppadoms and bits, we both couldn’t stop going outside to watch Ivan who climbed out of his wheelchair and up the fore mast to the first platform, ably assisted by our bosunski Marcin and Fred the Stitch (one of our tailoring watch leaders) – what an achievement! We all cheered and choked as he came down with a big grin on his face – good man!
After dinner, it was into the bar for a spot of horse racing, commentary provided by MVB, heckling by the voyage crew and Cynthia his wife who had a remarkable resemblance to our BM Josh. Many of the crew got dressed up. I was wearing my pair of cookie trousers that BM Joyce (the Voice) had redesigned – they have a sequined star over the crutch and ‘cook’s ass’ written well, you can guess where! Rachel (C/Eng aka Ratchet!) wore a rather fetching number made from a rag roll; Alec 2/eng wore his usual going out hat which everyone thought was from the dressing up box! Natalie (2-6-Heaver) looked rather fetching in her foul weather jacket and a smile!!! John BM became the dodgy bookmaker assisted by ‘Betty the Sure Bet’ aka Rachel MP. As I write, my horses are still running ah-boo! But we all had a laugh and raised some much needed cash for our cause - £125 on the night making our effort towards our third thousand pounds, well on its way with a total of £217 raised since Neil made our pledge at the JST reunion night. Many thanks to Alan Boxhall-Hunt owner of the winning horse who donated his winnings to the Trust. If you want to find out more about the 800 Challenge have a look on our website www.jst.org.uk
Dave Stanley, Cookie LN