Hec signing in from the deep blue here. Quins Trump tales are a hard act to follow but I’ll give it my best and no it was not fake news - we really are a keeping a tally!
So...since you last heard from us there has been a bit of the good, the bad and the ugly. Getting the bad out the way 1st - the prop issues ( propeller to any non nautical nerds!) mentioned in the last blog seemed to continue and the dragging / brake feeling didn’t really subside. Having checked every single part of the system, from the pedals, chains, cogs, drive shaft, prop shaft through to every nut, bolt and washer in between, we were left baffled as to what it could be. Nonetheless we cracked on as we were still holding a fair rate of knots. With the issue playing on our minds we spoke via sat phone to our mechanics back in the uk. Having identified a few possibilities as to what could be causing the newfound lack of speed, Max and Paddy jumped in on Thursday morning ... 15 mins later Davy Jones had taken our propeller and metal bracket holding it on the prop shaft - 1-0...nat good. We sat down and put our salty minds together and managed to bodge up an idea of how to replace this bracket using an old propeller that we sawed off - 15 mins later the Reveller was back purring along - 1-1...get in. Speeds have now subsided and with it our ambitions of a sub 35 day crossing. However, a serious result seeming as we were looking down the barrels of having to Row the rest - not so bad after all then.
Moving on to the ugly - a few contenders here. Some knobbly knees knocking around after 12 days at sea or the sporadic heavy rain showers we’ve had. But the smells and sights of some our freeze dried foods probably takes the biscuit. No offence @firepotfood - just salivating over some veg and a burger!
And the good...so after the trials and tribulations of Thursday - losing the quickest propeller and our metal bracket to hold it on, the mood was slightly dampened. Then suddenly, at about 5 in the afternoon as Quin and I were chugging along, we see a pod of dolphins come right up to the boat. Epic - just what we needed. These jokers of the seas seemed to be loving life: surfing waves, racing each other and also launching themselves in the air up to 20 feet high ( vid to follow). Whales, Jellyfish, flying fish and now dolphins , keen to see what other treats Poseidon and his band of mermaids will gift us next.
In other news: my phone is KO’d after a swim she spent 4 days in a packet of Dahl and rice in an attempt to save her...but it was too late. Quin woke up half way through his 2 hour break in the middle of the night convinced it was his turn to pedal. Max laughed it off and told him to go back to bed you fool, only to find to repeat the feat 2 hours later! For all worried about Paddy’s toothbrush saga...we found him a backup and he is now back smelling minty fresh.
As odd as it may seem, it is quite nice to be actually getting on with the challenge we have been planning for 2 + years. I know some of the other lads have mentioned that we have truly settled in to our new surroundings and lifestyle. We have all woken up in a daze 10 mins before our next night shift, not knowing how we had got from our last shift into bed - mind playing tricks on us! We are not quite letting ourselves dream of Antigua yet as we still have a lot of graft in between us and there but instead we are setting ourselves small targets and rewarding ourselves with galaxy and cokes for every milestone hit. We find breaking the days down, 3 day shifts and 3 night shifts - pretty simple if you think of it like that eh.
Bar that all well and absolutely loving all your messages of support, newsbites etc, massive smiles all round when we read them out so please keep em coming. Patch your rabbit story was sensational, so more of those please boi!
FYI- For anyone thinking of joining our shindig in the Caribbean, our new aim is to try and average 2.9 knots from now on, which seems achievable with our current pedal system situation.
Big Love from us all.
Hec & the lads.