A story from the good ol’ days

1 10 2011

Hi all,
As you can see with the amount of messages coming off the boat that there are light winds which gives us a bit of spare time.  
Halvard and Meranda are still in front of us but we are holding on until we get more favourable conditions for our Verdier designed boat.
I have been thinking about the time when I sailed down in this neck of the woods with Halvard in the 1997 Whitbread Race – he was navigating for me on Americas Challenge. By the time we had got to the Caneries we had run out of food and cigarettes, in fact Halvard claims that we had run out of food at the Needles in the Solent just after the start.  During the whole leg to Cape Town the conversation on board revolved around food and Halvard would come up to me constantly – the conversation would go like this: Halvard ‘Ross’ and I would say ‘yes Halvard’ and he would say ‘Ross, I am f….. hungry’. After 35 days at sea I came to know what Halvard wanted to talk to me about.  Not only were we hungry, but Halvard ran out of cigarettes at the Needles and after smoking everyone elses the boat finally ran out (that is another story on how we ran out of smokes).  One day I smelt this strange smell coming out of the nav station and went to investigate and here was Halvard trying to make a smoke out of fax paper, rubbed with deep heat (stuff you rub into sore muscles) and the tobacco was tea bags. He thought the deep heat would give a menthol flavour to the smoke and hide the fax paper taste.  As you can imagine there was flames and smoke everywhere.  I had to put a stop to this because of the threat of fire. 
More stories on Halvard (if you are interested) coming soon.
I should add that Halvard is an extremely talented french yachtsman whom I was lucky enough to have navigate for me in the 1997 Round Europe Race when I was skippering a grand mistral – 84 foot Bruce Farr Maxi.  Halvard and I have been friends since.
Anyway, I had better get back to the sailing.  
Cheers. Ross