17th February 2017 – 22nd February 2017
Aruba to Panama
We set off from Aruba, 600nm to Panama, for what can only be described as one hell of an adventure!
The weather turned nasty as I was concocting Penutsaus, a delicious Dutch delicacy, for dinner. This brought back such great memories of cycling through Holland with my partner in crime ChrissoB. I blooming love the Dutch cuisine, especially Crochetten and Erwtensoep!
Below deck I clung on for dear life whilst boiling water for the rice, huge 5m waves battered the side of Fruit Salid 3. The sea was messy and confused, there was no rythm to the madness! Items were flying across the room full pelt. “Noooo, not the peppers!” A plate of peppers ready for frying landed on the sofa. Sliding from side to side, I wedged myself in next to the cooker stirring the peanut butter and spices. There were so many elements to the dish! It must be perfect! As I rose up from below wealding the fully loaded plates, the wind increased to 30+ knots!
We took turns helming throughout the night, 2 hours on, 2 hours off. Pigeon went first from 1800-2000 and it was a shift I will never forget. I steered into the huge waves as they sucked up Fruit Salid from behind, grew in size and chucked her out vertically as she sped down the wave! It was a real challenge steering against the waves. The sea had control and the Salid’s were at its mercy. We bounced around like a cork in the ocean.
Huge dophins came from the horizon, fast and powerful. They leapt out the water and sped towards me. They were so energetic! Others, darted around the bow in the green starboard light, dancing in the waves. Some in packs of up to 8, some on there own. Compared to the other dophins that had swam with Fruit Salid, these ones had so much spirit and vavavoom! Perhaps the seas energy had soaked into their bodies. They were flying out the water like there was no tomorrow.
At 0000 I was woken up to the smell of Ovaltine. The stars were out. I kept a steady 230* bearing whilst learning about the Southern Cross in the sky and it’s replication on the Australia flag. Who knew!?
We had made it, thank goodness! What a night! To celebrate he snaffled a chunk of homemade banana bread then rolled into bed.
I took over from 0800-1100 although it turned out to be till 1200 after the incident happened….
On the Chart Plotter I spotted a large 1000ft oil tanker headed straight for Fruit Salid 3! I looked around and saw the monstrosity on the horizon. It was seriously ginormous! I yelled to Round in horror… “have a closer inspection on the Navigation Station Chart Plotter.” Round popper her head up saying “I think it looks ok but i’ll have a closer look after I’ve been to the toilet.” A little nervous, I kept my eye on the tanker. It was getting bigger and bigger… Hurry up Round. Why is she taking so long? A good 10 minutes later, Round’s moon shaped head appeared, white as snow. “It’s not good, seriously George.” Round uttered. “What!!? We still have time to move out the way!!” I was shocked at Round’s dismissal. “No, not the tanker!” Round exclaimed. Releaved and confused, then what is it? “The toilet” Round blurted out quietly as not to wake Dr Salid as she hovered in the companion way. “The toilet…” Round splurted as she darted back down the stairs in the direction of the heads. I was bamboozled but could not hold in my laughter… What an earth had happened in that toilet!?
Minutes later, Round was on a mission. She stormed to the back of the boat, “I need a sponge and bucket.” Nothing was going to stop her. She opened up the back locker and started routing around. I looked round from the helm and realised she wasn’t wearing a life vest. She had lost her mind! “STOPPPP!!!” I commanded. “Shut that and sit down in the cock pit!” Round obeyed “It’s so bad!!!” She wrickled her face up. “How bad is it?” I asked calmly. “Look, I’ve worked in A&E and THIS is bad!!” She shrilled out. “I just need to soak it up with a sponge then launch it overboard!” Throw it overboard, ayyyy, that’s not good for the environment. “I don’t care, sponge’s come from the sea anyway!!!!” Round shreeked. She was in panic mode and obviously not thinking clearly. Sponge’s come from the sea… Hmmmm. Pigeon let it slip. “Who puts the bucket berried in the locker, it should be easy accessible. Its rediculous!” She jumped to her feet again and headed down the stairs. At this point I was crying with laughter. I have never seen Round in such a flap before and could only imagine the state of the toilet.
Round was banging around like a bull in a China shop downstairs. Eventually she came up with a smile on her face… She waved a foodbag proudly, “perfect.” She disappeared down once again, creeping past Dr Salid. I was struggling to see clearly through my tears. 25 minutes later she reappeared creeping up the stairs with a foodbag full with brown poo water… And a few floaters. “You know low points in life, this is the lowest” she muttered as she launched the poobag over the port side. This procedure was repeated two more times. Pigeon could not understand where all the poobags were coming from! Round must have done one almighty turd to clog the whole toilet system! An hour later, sweaty and disturbed, she came up wealding the antibacterial spray. I would have given her a pat on the back but… I’m sure you can imagine why I didn’t want to touch her…
P.s. The tanker was avoided.