Atlantic Crossing - verse

Atlantic Crossing

How could we know just what to expect
The Atlantic´s a pretty big space
With potential for storms or discomfort at least
Or a mishap in the most remote place

In fact it´s as good as the best day´s day sailing
But for 18 continuous days
And you don´t have to pack up the yacht at night
And there´s time to relax and laze

After 1% of the voyage is done
The end seems a long way away (it is,2700 nm)
So it´s better to fix on short term goals
And enjoy what arrives each new day

There are busy times rollicking forward
There are quieter times inching ahead
There´s the rise and the fall of the boat under foot
There´the bouncing and bumping in bed

The moon begins full and lights up the sea
The stars set the night sky alight
The evening sunlight skates over the waves
Then sunrise is a most welcome sight

Some dolphins arrive and sing us a song
So we´ll all watch their tricks at the bow
The flying fish skim up the face of the waves
There´s a school dashing past right now

You learn to get by without very much sleep
With a "power nap" during the day
Perhaps we don´t spend enough time awake
Could we lengthen our lives this way?

Early on in the day there´s the forecast
And Bruce´s suggested route
And then there´s the strategy session
Should we keep reaching west or tack?

The trade winds are somewhat variable
We like it from nor nor east
When it´s east nor east as it often is
We need 20 knots at least

We have run goose-winged for long stretches
We have reached on starboard and port
For a short while we flew the spinnaker
(Not so practical,more for the sport)

It´s a quiet and sunny afternoon
The sea´s a huge disc of blue
Should we read,do a sketch,have a guiltless snooze?
A dip is an option too

Now the wind drops out altogether
And we have to motor once more
We must carefully measure the fuel supply
To ensure that we keep some in store

Food becomes an important part of this life
And the Admiral is luckily there
An amazing display of provisioning
Is followed by 4 star fare

The first mate´s responsibilities
Include the trolling line
Fancy barbequed tuna for dinner?
He might catch one just in time

The first mate is also our IT whizz
And he watches from 1 till 4
Someone thought he ought to be losing weight
It´s what job descriptions are for

The mainsail almost gets jammed at the mast
When we furl it in rolling swell
And the batteries need constant attention
But,touch wood,she´s functioning well

The wind comes up from east north east
And we´re bundling along once more
The clew blows out and action´s required
That´s also what first mates are for

We manage repairs and we´re tearing ahead
It feels like 10 knots down below
If the gear stays intact and the wind holds up
We only have 4 days to go

As we come further south the trade clouds build
And they generate the odd squall
Play it safe? Take the risk? Whatever we do
There´s a fair chance we´ll make the wrong call

We leave the sails up,and it generally works
Though one squall knocks us about
But now the track on the mast has worked out
So we can´t pole the headsail out

The angles don`t work for reaching
The swell rolls us abeam without fail
So we run down towards Barbados
Under a modestly furled mainsail

A whale drops by to say hello
He cruises close,he lolls
He stands up straight, he crashes down
He surfs,he belly rolls

He came,we hope,to bring us luck
For our last 200 miles
He did,we´re tied up at Port St Charles
Amongst Caribbean smiles

It´s been happy sailing for 18 days
As you´ll see from the Journal notes
The only occasion things nearly went wrong
Concerned the skipper´s oats.

3 Feb 2011