Let the sun shine!Let the sun shine!

Let the sun shine!

wow it’s hot! We have had a beautiful last two days,
instantly the weather has been remarkably different to any we’ve had before and
we sit in the sunshine, with a lot less clothing than we’ve ever worn these past
two months. Yes, it has been two months now since this motley crew of strangers
joined the Tecla in Auckland…it’s a strange thought – our lives are at one
with the ship and each other now, we don’t count days and barely pay attention
to the dates (exceptions being slightly prominent religious festivals and of
course, beer sunday!). We sit and discuss the world (and of course our wise
solutions) with our watchmates, eat fresh bread and delicious meals at set
times, climb into our bunks when the night closes in or when our watch finishes,
read, relax and we watch the sea and sky go by…but now, now we are travelling
up the Rio De La Planta towards our final destination and our time here is
almost at an end.

What a journey though and one none of us will ever
forget. This beautiful ship has taken this small company of sailors over a third
of the world…We’ve sailed across the Pacific Ocean; watched Albatross soar in
flight over gigantic waves and tumbling surf; clung onto the helm whilst the
wind screams in our ears; gazed across clear skies of hundreds of stars and also
gazed into the looming fifty shades of grey of the Southern Ocean. Whales,
dolphins and seals have all played at our bow; kilometers of rope has passed
through our calloused hands; the sails have been raised, reefed, raised and
lowered and have pushed us through the rain, Barber winds (technical term of the
day: ‘a cold wind carrying sleet and snow which freezes on hair and beards’!),
sunshine and spray. All of us can speak proudly of our acquaintance with the
Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties, what it feels like to dance to keep
warm for four hours in 4 degrees of air temperature, what it feels like to have
water of only 2 degrees running inside our foul weather gear, to see snow settle
on the masts and the joy of having hot noodles dribbling over your chin at 2am.
We’ve learnt incredible amounts about the ship, her sails, weather, lines and
navigation but also about each other, the family of the Tecla and silly things
like how long you can leave a plate of stew to its own devices in a storm before
the gravy tips over the edge! (note. a mash potato fort may look childish but is
incredibly good at helping with gravy flow!). But most of all, we did it! We
rounded Cape Horn! In incredible weather we sailed round the Sailor’s Everest
with smiles on our faces and pride in our hearts. What an accomplishment! (…We
definitely deserve this hot and sunny Argentinean weather!)

So back to
now. As I write this is probably my last 12-4 night watch and what a nice one it
has been – clear skies and warm winds with the glow of land on either side. I’m
barefeet in deck shoes, leggings and only a thin jumper to keep the wind
off…it’s very warm! Our plans have changed slightly – instead of Buenos Aires
we are heading to La Colonia which is just across the water, a smaller town
famed for it’s old buildings and beautifully kept streets…a beautiful
alternative to the hustle and bustle of a busy gigantic city. New Years is
almost upon us too and it will be great to raise a toast to our wonderful
shipmates both present and past, our fantastic crew and our friends and family
who have been watching our progress all over the world and sending their best
wishes and thoughts. But most of all, here’s to our amazing achievement and to
the beautiful Tecla! We wish her fair winds and safe sailing for the rest of her
world voyage.

So, with lots of love to friends and family and crewmates,
here is the final Adios Amigos from The Red Watch! ‘Dos cervezas por favor…!’

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