Have we been at sea for 5 days or 6? When we started I was unwell and in the middle my birthday passed by, I'm sure of this, but when you are becalmed time slips away unnoticed, the hours and days have little meaning. Your mind slips into another gear. I've finished my last book and started writing postcards. We have been experimenting with our camp cooking too; our flat bread is pretty good and yesterday lunchtime we produced some half-decent hamburgers from the remaining onions and corned beef. Klaus has started playing Tango music on deck in the late afternoon before he dishes out the planters punch, but I'm still waiting for him and Nada to give us a real Tango demonstration. Nada has started singing show tunes and I'm thinking that it might be time to establish a card school.
So it's day 6 (or 5 or something), we are still 20 odd miles from Treasury Island and all is sunshine, small white, fluffy clouds and flat seas, so flat in fact that they look like glass. And it's quiet. The boat, like all boats, normally issues a 1000 creaks and groans, but when there's not enough wind to move even the lightest sail there is almost perfect silence. Last night whilst I sat alone on watch this incredible spell was only broken by a whale that surfaced so close to the boat I could smell its damp breath.
Your mind turns to many things when you are becalmed. All subjects are considered. Before the whale shocked me back to this world I'd been gazing up at stars thinking how great it would be to travel to worlds all those light years away. Before that I was designing the perfect boat and before that wondering what Barak Obama would be like down the pub. We have a lot of time on our hands, tons of it. Today we should probably scrub the decks or something, but when you're becalmed the most rewarding activity is internal. It's too damn hot for starters and in any case much more rewarding to stare at the turquoise sea and dream a million day dreams, plot a thousand schemes and try to guess just when exactly the wind will blow again.
- Matt Fletcher