TRANSGLOBE: Army ‘Challenger’ is closing in on Oz and thoughts turn to home

Thursday 05 November – Greetings from White Watch!!!  At the time of writing this blog we are approximately 763 miles from throwing a few shrimps on the bar-b in Perth.

With the brilliant White Watch providing the culinary delights for the past 20 hours, morale on the boat is through the roof.  The entertainment on board as been brilliant as usual, last night it was ‘Naughts and Crosses’ followed by ‘Hangman’ on the white board.  It really does amaze us how the simple things amuse the most.

Since yesterday afternoon the good ship Challenger has been motoring along as the wind has taken a prolonged break.  This is the worst kind of setback we could have imagined as the longer it takes for the wind to return the less time we will have in Australia.  At this rate we will have two days off when we get there.  The majority of this time being spent cleaning the boat and conducting repairs.

There was a welcome change in scenery when Hayley, Davy and Austin were sprayed by a Whale as it surfaced.  Hayley still maintains it was the best facial she has ever had!!!

Thoughts on the boat are now turning to ‘What have we missed’ mode.  In this modern tele-communications driven world it is very unusual to be cut-off from the outside world for such a prolonged period.  The sorts of questions being asked are quite funny:  How is the mighty Aberdeen Football Club getting on in the SPL?  Who won the F1 championship?  Is Tony Blair the head of Europe?  Who shot JR? And most importantly, when does the new series of Top Gear start?

As we have been at sea for four weeks and not seen land for over three, we are now starting to feel like extras in the Kevin Costner movie ‘Waterworld’, and we all know how bad that movie was.

The issuing of nicknames has also provided a good morale boost.  The Skipper has now been renamed ‘Dr Evil’, Austin is his ‘No 2’.  White Watch are now known as the following : Dave Mason is now ‘Sir Davey’, Davy K has been allocated the title ‘Princess’,  Hayley is ‘Bambi’ even though this was hotly contested between her and Dave M, (they’ve both had equal trouble  finding their feet, resulting in a few bruises and lots of laughter).  Tony has announced he will only answer to the title ‘King Ginger Love Thing’…

Wed 04 November – As we near the end of the trip much of the discussion on board is centred round ensuring our rations will see us through to Perth.  The scarce rations have resulted in members of the crew displaying their culinary skills creating masterpieces from nothing.  White Watch started by producing Cinnamon Swirls, only to be outdone the following day by the Chelsea Buns of Red Watch.

Over the past few weeks the crews sailing knowledge has increased dramatically, people are now confidently calling out the process as we tack through the wind, or taking moments to put in a reef as the wind increases.

There is now an expectant air amongst the crew to determine who will be the first to see land or get the first mobile phone signal as we close down the last 800 miles to Australia.

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