Lia's on the home run

Lia is on the final run into the Western Approaches now and starting to get worried by the increased traffic on the water. She is taking plenty of precautions & having fun thinking about the shockwave’s resemblance to a Christmas tree. Her food fantasies are becoming more vivid as she nears the coast, so we are planning a trip to M&S food hall before going to meet her. At 0900 she had just 180 miles to go and was making 10 knots, so her ETA in Plymouth is still looking like 9-10 tomorrow morning.
Lia’s words….

“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family” (with 288 miles to Plymouth, I am rocketing toward the mouth of the English Channel) “Choose washing machines, cars, compact disk players and electrical tin openers” (The voice-over is Ewan McGregor’s) “Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase” (suddenly there are boats everywhere) “Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends.” so reels the opening scene of the Irvine Welsh film, Train spotting.. In the highway of the English Channel, this means being vigilant and being seen. “Choose your future, choose life.”

I am rummaging through the dry-bag of spare safety gear. Remember the ’80s adverts for cyclists safety? “Take a brush to your bike, use some paint if you like, get yourself seen?! My navigation lights (masthead tri-color) will not run when the battery status is below 12 volts (neither will the tracker, Yacht-control incidentally is you were alarmed and thought I had fallen off the continental shelf!). The wind generator is doing a fine job in keeping up with pilots thirst for amps, but the generator, as you know, I’ve duct taped marked with “out of order”. I pull out emergency nav lights (the cheap plastic ones that you can pick up at any chandlery) for the bow. I pop a “D” cell in each (red, green and white). They are good to go. “Cyalume glow sticks?” I ponder “for a bit of colour at the masthead perhaps!? I am having about as much fun as dressing the tree at Christmas. There are snap stick in four colours.. green, red, yellow and blue. Question: what is the blue for? A bit of ambient mood lighting for the interior?! I can’t help chuckling at the thought of the Christmas lights on Tim Allen’s house in the TV comedy sitcom “Home Improvements”! If I had a flashing reindeer, why not hoist that too?!

In the qualifier, I hoisted a life jacket strobe to the masthead. Legal in US but not in Admiralty waters. I find this the most effective for multihulls. It advertises the speed of the vessel. Not quite in admiralty waters yet, I opt for the strobe and set about building the radar reflector. On your 25th day of being alone at sea, this makes for quite a fun afternoon activity..

The GPS tracks max speed at 18.8 knots, UTC 09:46 as I scramble into foulies and onto deck. Time for a reef don’t you think? Another wave picks up Shockwave and propels her into an almighty surf as I ease off the main halyard. We are on a reach with a 5-6 foot following sea.. “All horses go the fastest in sight of the barn”, American friend Debbie Druan, who campaigned the ex-“Biscuits Cantreau” Formula 40 “Toshiba”. It is the home run.

Choice morsels of calves liver wrapped in bacon with caramelized onions, broccoli (al dente) lots of it. A Marks and Spencer luxury prawn and mayonnaise sandwich. A fresh jam doughnut dusted in icing sugar. A large bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with cold milk and all the orange juice- with the nice juicy bits that I can drink. I imagine the crunch, the texture of the cornflakes and the cool milk bathing my throat as I swallow.. The food fantasies have begun!