Back to the BlueTerug in het blauw

Back to the Blue

So here we are, back on the open ocean again! I must
say, the Falkland Islands were beautiful and the reception we received was, in
short, wonderful! Arriving onto land for the first time in 32 days was an
exciting experience…as most readers will know we were eased into
‘civilisation’ and land pretty slowly (thankfully…I think all our social
skills were a little rusty!) A couple of really nice days cruising, walking and
exploring around the east coast of the east island settled us back into the ways
of the world – we checked the news, laid in the grass and submersed ourselves
into the Falklands culture. And what a place! We roamed through fields of mud
and grass, watched shearers wrestling with over-hairy sheep, walked with
penguins and seals, met local farmers and tour guides, ate sausages and mash and
fish and chips and even enjoyed a gin and tonic at the local pub! It was great
to meet with our fellow ships, swapping stories of storms and epic winds over a
beer or two and I think I can safely say that we have all enjoyed an experience
like no other sailing round Cape Horn.

But back to the deep blue and up
to the north and the promise of sunshine and hot weather! We left second out of
the three ships, waiting for the North winds to ease and for more westerly
breezes to help our passage. With all essential family communications done we
started setting ourselves for a different climate. Jet restocked us with fresh
fruit, vegetables and meat whilst Linda bought some pretty snazzy denim shorts
at the local supermarket. There have also been essential grooming
adjustments…Herkki disappeared one day to return to us beardless and fresh
faced as ‘the Estonian formerly known as Herkki’, Emmanuel popped to the
hairdresser for a ‘summer trim’ and I, much to the shocked face of the cashier,
bought the supermarket out of suncream (my english skin is not one for long
sunny sailing days!). The bets have been placed…we reckon Tuesday will bring
us our first taste of temperatures around 20 degrees and Wednesday could be the
first day for shorts! Just think, Christmas in flipflops…what an idea for
those of us from the Northern Hemisphere! Ah Christmas…we’ve been trying to
adjust to the idea, slowly but surely – the decorations are up, we’ve been
drinking spiced hot wine but having lost November to the sea the fact that it’s
only two days away seems a little surreal!

The weather has been good to
us, with occasional spells of fog thanks to the cold sea and warmer air. As I
write we are about to experience another stunning sunrise into completely
cloudless skies filled with the Southern constellations we all know so well now
and a brilliant moon that has kept our watch bathed in light despite it being
12-4. The wildlife has been pretty awesome too…whales, closer than I have ever
seen them, playing in the bow and dolphins surfacing here and there. The engine
has just started thanks to the wind eventually disappearing and we have 755
miles until the Argentinean coast. It’s all setting up to be a beautiful fair
weather voyage, a stark contrast to the last months but a nice change.

extend a warm welcome to David and Chris who have joined us and send our love to
our fellow shipmates who left in Stanley – fair winds and safe travels to the
three of you! With love to our friends and family at this festive time, here’s
to the heat and the sun!  Adios Amigos, The Red Watch (now Emily and

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