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Old 20 July 2004, 18:36   #41
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The longest way round is the shortest way home...

Dark Night of the Soul...

The night passages were tough …we both stayed on duty as far as possible but had to give in to sleep for an hour or so each 24 hr. Down past Dublin was reasonably busy and as it was a bad visibility night (fog) we had our mugs pressed up against the screen a lot of the time trying to count flashes and figure out approaching nav lights.
The second night round West Cork and Kerry was not much easier because of the head seas and Fastnet looked desolate and angry…no reassurance there. The third night was the loneliest of all as we seemed to be alone out in the Atlantic with seas bigger than the boat…when the sky finally blacked out completely it was almost a relief as we could no longer see how alone we were. That night was our lowest point as we considered heading for the coast and possibly a harbour and shelter. The only human contact we had was the coastguard’s voice as he issued severe weather warnings. Our mobiles weren’t receiving and the radio wasn’t transmitting.

The radar was intermittent but that hardly mattered as we were the only eejits out there. Our final night passage followed our engine repair up in Donegal and it was less frightening perhaps because we were nearer home …and also because we could see the coastlines of Scotland and Northern Ireland. It was a busy area though and the radar went on strike so we were scanning all the time. Tiredness got to both of us…but we only gave one wrong bearing each…once Fiona was taking us to the Wicklow Hills and that last night I aimed us at JWalker’s front door (wishful thinking perhaps J) When 2.00 a.m. would arrive I remember looking desperately for a glimmer of grey anywhere in the sky that would announce approaching dawn. We took turns driving and navigating and were delighted to find we worked so well together. Considering Fiona was stuck with Missus Back-Up Plan!!!
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Old 20 July 2004, 20:16   #42
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Good piece, Kathleen, I can feel it. We need the full story...all the details!

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Old 21 July 2004, 01:49   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalker
Good piece, Kathleen, I can feel it. We need the full story...all the details!

I agree, great written work, it's feel like we were there with you.... all we need now are the pictures...

Kim
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Old 21 July 2004, 02:20   #44
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I know what you mean Jeff..Paul said the same...I'm writing it in clumpy bits because that's how I remember it. At the end I'll get the stats from Alan & Fiona and put them down in a linear/ logical way...

Kim I have some photos but I've not even unpacked the camera yet!!! I'll try to find one or two to give you an idea...

Missus
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Old 21 July 2004, 02:34   #45
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The longest way round is the shortest way home...

Part 111 Ladies who launch

Fiona’s an interior designer so I was half-expecting dado rails and frilly curtains in the JS cabin. We did bring some girly stuff …cushions and rugs and even warpaint. During some of the long and relatively incident – free stretches we had wimmin-type moments with creams and hairbrushes and bits and bobs that I’m sure Alan Priddy and crew never even imagined on their huge adventures…I brought loads of chocolate though Fi warned me my rear was expanding by the minute. (Just you wait till you reach my age Fi. It ain’t that easy you know)
Fiona brought her CD player which she gaffer taped to the console…the batteries lasted quite well and we had an eclectic range of tunes from Fleetwood Mac to Bob Dylan. We sang all the time as well and then shouted at each other for not remembering more than the first two lines of any song!!!! Ideal tunes for future reference include ‘Show Must go On’…’Don’t stop Me Now’… ‘We all live in a Yellow Submarine’ (to be sung with fingers crossed !!! ) and loads more which I can’t now recall for tiredness……
Fiona speaks Arabic and taught me an Arabic song…my offering was a Kiswahili song. We thought we were brilliant but all we did was frighten the seagulls!!!
I’m not so sure I’d like my home redecorated by Fiona as she uses gaffer tape for just about everything…all our little talismans and useful items were taped on somewhere inside the cabin with the evil looking stuff… (Hey gaffer-tape queen; here’s a good page for you to google
http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/gaffer/ )

One of the big issues of the trip (so to speak) was toilet arrangements. Now I hope you RIB designers read this because it’s about time someone said to you it’s just not right to completely ignore the ensuite facilities. I agree about the importance of the hull and tubes and engine and it was great having a cabin…but I’m sorry ; it’s just not good enough to say ‘down the back and fire away’.
As it was we were quite alone for most of the time (cf Part 11 ‘the only eejits …’) so we were relatively unhindered apart from the fact we could have fallen off the RIB at night, never to be seen again. I was imagining that one on my headstone…’well she went to the toilet and, sadly, never came back’.
The other matter (apologies) was of course that the process involved an obligatory Jacuzzi ..indeed full immersion in a following sea. Suffice to say whatever we could produce, the Atlantic returned a hundred fold.
And that’s enough about that.

When we were attached to the lobster pot and waiting for the lifeboat we took a very practical female RIBSTER approach…checked the boat….tidied up a little (well people were coming round !!! OK OK my idea… ) and brushed our hair. (That was a morale-boosting thing )
As an all-female crew we decided to give the equipment girly names as well…thus Eileen the Engine….Roisin the Radar, Geraldine the GPS etc. Which of course gave rise to another tune…’Come on Eileen!!!!’
Back in port now, the Jolly Sailor, Fiona and I are three ladies slightly the worse for wear…but hey; nothing that a little gaffer tape can’t fix eh Fi???
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Old 21 July 2004, 02:42   #46
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Kath and Fiona

Nice one on the trip

Regards

Mark ( boatless )
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Old 21 July 2004, 02:49   #47
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cheers Mark. Not too long now before you're reunited. Hope all is well in HK.

Missus
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Old 21 July 2004, 03:22   #48
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I've got loads of piccies...will try to be selective :)

1) Being seen off and signed out of Donaghadee

2) Fiona puts up the RIBnet burgee I brought (Hightower...I have a dreadful confession to make....)

3) Donaghadee...start and finish point (near Belfast) ...nicked that pic I'm afraid but JK's on hols so no probs
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Old 21 July 2004, 03:39   #49
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Congatulations on the trip, a great endevour.
Glad you all came back.
Jelly
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Old 21 July 2004, 04:26   #50
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hey missus,ive got a big smile now.......................................
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