Bob Dylan strikes a chord with ARC crewman Guy Hoare aboard Panulirus 13/12/06

Log date 12 December 2006

Bob Dylan has an incredible knack of speaking to people with a phenomenal directness at different times in their lives. I think I first came across him at school when, for some reason, “It Ain’t Me Babe” really struck a chord deep inside. A few years later, at university, I was spellbound by “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. Later still, after watching the gravelly-voiced troubadour play live, “Tangled Up In Blue” transfixed me and held me under its spell for some time.

Now, as I write from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, it’s “Idiot Wind”. 9 knots is frankly of no use to anybody. If there’s a skipper out there who can face a 9 knot wind, with the prospect of it dropping even lower before long and not sink into a gin-soaked maudlin slump, he’s welcome aboard the Panulirus.

Spirits are down. Trying to look on the bright side is of little use. Sure it makes for comfortable sunbathing, but so do the beaches of the windward isles and they are still a tantalising 700 miles away.

We are of course not the first to have been vexed by the conundrum of how to summon up a decent wind. Agamemnon famously sacrificed his daughter, but sadly Keith left his daughter back in London. Besides, I’m not sure Clare would sanction the killing, even if it guaranteed 25 knots. Our cunning plan was to attempt some sail repairs on the foredeck which normally produces a spontaneous Force 8 gust but today’s winds were stubbornly refusing to come out to play. It looks like we’ll just have to sit it out this time.