Down on the pontoon, it's a crazy house, the lighter boats dancing around in their pens, masts tipped like crooked pencils, halyards angrily knocking against masts. I haven't seen Scurvy today. She's ship's kitten on the Canadian boat alongside us. D.W. Crow is a sturdy little North Atlantic vessel, also de-masted, but in this instance by her owners' choice. Bob, Martha and Scurvy are heading up the canals, bound for the Black Sea.
They're friends we met in a marina on the Queensland coast towards the end of our first season cruising. They've parked their lovely wooden yacht Sassoon in a marina in Malaysia, and are going to sail with us in the Med for as long as it works. At the moment, it's working just fine, though you'd hardly call this sailing. Today, Dave and Alex fixed the life raft to the deck (as always, Murphy made an appearance), and Dave seems to have fixed the leak in the fresh water system. Bravo!
Melinda is custom-manufacturing a mosquito net to cover the companionway. Before the mistral came, we wondered if we'd get out of here alive - the invasion of gigantic mosquitoes at dusk has been terrifying since the weather has turned warm. Melinda has made a similar net for Sassoon. She says she likes to sew. I'm not complaining.
My role, as ever, is somewhat undefined, since my practical skills really don't amount to much outside the galley. I tell myself that my on-line RYA yachtmaster course is bound to bear fruit one day, but every problem involving tidal calculations in secondary ports sends me straight back to the agony of sixth form mathematics.
I am by nature a swot. I will make a place for myself here at the nav station, if it kills me..
PS to my beautiful children, and my own mother - thanks so much for your messages today. Guess who forgot to factor Mother's Day into her calculations? Never too late to catch the celebratory tide....