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26/12/12 - Tenacious
From The Lovely Watch
Another nocturnal note: we are sometimes awake during the day as well. The ship has been unexpectedly quiet since before midnight…undoubtedly the effects of eating and drinking too well on Christmas day. There was a long lie-in for everyone who wanted it, with 'simple’ breakfast available from 0800 and 'posh’ breakfast (buck’s fizz, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon) after 1000. Funny how nobody wanted to lie in then.
Some of us went ashore; others prepared themselves for the coming onslaught…which began at 1500. In the traditional way, the Permanent Crew waited on the Voyage Crew, serving a staggeringly splendid Christmas lunch of – you guessed it – turkey and trimmings, Christmas pudding, elegant cheeseboard. There was enough to drink, and many toasts were proposed and responded to heartily. Nursey had kindly provided a small gift for each of the crew, including wire puzzles that required several glasses to solve and water pistols that were used to deadly effect. Terrible revenge is still being plotted by some of the victims…
The barometer started to fall from the 1020 level it has been stuck at and the wind reappeared during Christmas day, a good westerly, just right if we had been sailing to La Palma. But during the night the barometer started to go up again and the wind has fallen light and variable once more.
The Cartagena fishermen were back to their usual routine today, leaving the harbour from 0400: Christmas doesn’t bring them much respite. Meanwhile, the fish were alongside the ship. Our Watch leader was obviously bewildered this morning (or more likely, very hung over) and industriously woke both the Treasured Cook and Cook’s Ass an hour early. He’s going to have to do some heavy-duty grovelling to redeem himself…
So this is the Lovely Watch waiting for the dawn and signing off.
After breakfast on 26th we singled up the mooring lines, got the Pilot on board and cast off, with light winds and a bright sunny day. Plenty of views of Cartagena harbour and the hills around as we motored out. Then all hands on deck as we squared the yards on the mainmast, braced the foremast yards sharp to starboard, and finally got some sails up. The three jibs, two fore & aft sails on the foremast, and the foremast course, upper & lower topsails, and the fore t’gallant. Engines off, and making 4.5 knots to the east. Time for lunch of bacon patties and cauliflower cheese.
As Port Forward came on watch at 12:30 the wind was only about 9 knots, sea had a gentle swell, ship speed was down to 2 knots for some pleasant sailing, a bit of a challenge for the helmsman to stay on course. There were a few vessels in sight, none giving us navigation problems under a clear blue sky, the Mediterranean a deep blue.
Port Forward Watch