November 1999 - Crossing the Atlantic


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Posted 11 November


We saw a robber. He went into the water and climbed on a boat from the back and started climbing down the hatch. Then a man on another boat who knew the people on the boat the robber was on gave an alarm and the robber jumped into the sea and a man on the boat the robber was on went on his fishing boat with one oar and started paddelling franticly towards him and then hit him on the head with the oar whenever he could reach. Then policemen came marching up with funny helmets on and frog marched him off with hand coughs while he was swearing at the man who set off the alarm.


We went walking (or driving) to the parador. It is a hotel (or restaurant) up at the top of a mountain with Catrina. We bought a few things in the market and then went for a walk. On the way we saw a donkey tied up and caught in a tiny bush-like tree. Mum helped it and when we were going it ran to say goodbye and thank you. It was so cute!! We felt sorry for it because it was tied up!


We saw dolphins on the way to Tenerife with Nicole and John. We saw their tails sticking out of the water saying hello. They came to see who we were and then they went away after a short while and sticking their tails up again to say goodbye. It was really funny. Then a huge school of porpoises came to play at the bow for ages and ages. Then at last they went and we said goodbye.


We went walking up the mountain. A really high one. A volcano. We went to Montana Blanco underneath Teide near the crater at the top. We went with Nicole and John. They have gone now. It was very tiring. At the top I had a snickers bar and ham and cheese sandwiches. It tasted lovely after the long walk. (Dad kept saying ‘it’s just round the corner’ but of course, it wasn’t). Then we went back down again. That was much better. I fell down as we were just going down the last bit. But I was OK. It was fun.


All the masts have buntings to show who is going in the ARC race across the Atlantic. We had a parade this afternoon. We got a flag that had the Maltese ensign on it. We went in the parade holding our flag up high. Everyone else was doing the same. We were the only Maltesers around. Then we went next to poles and when they got the signal, someone has to haul their flag up the pole, and I was that someone for our team. Then we went to a dinghy race. You had to start from the start and row to the finish and we were third out of about twenty boats. Quite good!! Hannah was scared because we were playing water fights with other people to slow them down and she HATED it!!

Posted 25 November


Day 1: The start was brill. We were racing against 250 other boats. Dan did the timing for when the gun was going to to go. We were one of the first boats over the line. Before the start we were flying our Maltese battle flag. A HUGE flag!!! The photographer was on a boat and he took photos of us sailing to go in a magazine, and instead of cheese we all said "IN THE LEEEAAAAD!!" We tried to put up the spinnaker but it ripped because it is an old one. There were lots of collisions with boats abandoning the race altogether, and one boat’s life-raft came up by mistake!

Day 2: That day was a rest day. It was quite rough seas. We saw a HUGE tuna that was as big as Hannah and a dolphin jumping out to chase after it!!! In the evening, me, Sally, Dan and Hannah sang songs. It was great. I stayed up quite late too. It was nice looking at the stars and the moon.

Day 3: Day 3 was also a resting day. Dan was supposed to do a watch in the night but when he woke up, it was seven o’clock in the morning! In the evening we saw a shooting star. There was also a full moon. Me, Dan, Hannah and Sally played a song game. You had to say at least one-and-a-half words of the song and the others have to guess it. Then we fell asleep on Sally and woke up at bed-time!

Day 4: Today we saw loads of porpoises. They came to the bows and stayed there for ages! One porpoise stayed with us and wouldn’t go away as if he was stuck on with duck-tape to the boat. Then at last he went. We have to wear life jackets and lanyards to make double sure that we don’t fall over board. We have to be hooked on with the lanyard AT ALL TIMES!!! Then there was another HUGE school of dolphins. They came for about a minute and then went. In the evening I read my book ‘A Christmas Carol’. I am really enjoying it and have nearly finished it.

Day 5: Today my Mum and Dad saw a baby whale. It was some way away from the boat and they saw it for a split second. Then, in the morning, we washed out the gulleys (what we do every morning because they always get very dirty, very, very quickly). Then, while we were eating breakfast, Hannah’s tooth fell out! Then, while Dad was demonstrating to Sally about how the fishing line works (we have it out AT LAST!!) as soon as he said ‘bite’, a fish bit the line and quickly got free again. It was a shame, but WEIRD!!! Then we saw a big line of flying fishes in pairs really close. It was exciting. Then Hannah did the washing up (we take it in turns every breakfast while one of the other two wipes the table). Then me, Dan and Hannah are doing our diaries and then we are going to wait for something else to happen.

Posted 30 November

Day 6: This morning I made bread with mum. First I mixed the flour and the margarine together with my hand. Then we put in the yeast. Then we put some water in. Then it was all gooey. Now mummy has put it in the pan to rise so that we can eat it. Yummy, yummy, yum. There have been watches going on at night and day for two hours each. The grown-ups have been up all night (well almost) to make sure that we don’t go off course. That means that usually there are people sleeping in the day so we have to be very quiet when we come down below.

Day 7: Yesterday we caught another fish!! It was another lampuka. Andrew cooked it with spagehetti and it was delicious! It was a beautiful blue in the water. But it lost its colour but it still had a beautiful pattern, the colour of greyish yellow. We also saw an owl. It was a beautiful and pretty brown and had a lovely face. In the evening I was on watch with Dad. I saw faint phosphorescence and in the stars I saw the Seven Sisters.

Day 8: Today we caught another fish!! Another lampuka! While Charlie gutted it, a HUGE fish bit the line and let go. Now that’s a shame! Then, while Charlie was steering, he turned to check the line and he couldn’t pull it. Then he pulled it again and he could. I think a fish had come and hooked itself and a bigger one ate the smaller one. We have now caught another lampuka. This one had babies inside. It was small for a mum! Then another fish had come (we will be catching them every five minutes) but then it came off. Well I think we’ve already had enough fishes for today!

Day 9: We caught another fish! That was a lampuka too. This time Danny gutted it. It only took ten seconds to gut the fish. I CAN’T WAIT FOR SUPPER!!! Then we caught another one but half-way through reeling it in, it went! What a shame! Then another fish came along and bit but that fell too. Well, I suppose we will catch lots of others so it doesn’t matter. Last night I was on watch from 11-12pm. I loved it! I looked at all the stars. I saw Orion, Seven Sisters, Jupiter and Saturn. The computer helped us with a CD called Starry Night Deluxe. I had to go to bed early before the watch.

Day 10: We caught a Wahoo!!! It was 30kg and was one-and-a-half metres (even bigger than Hannah)!!! Dad hurt his finger when he was reeling it in. Hannah was crying because she thought the rod would break. It looked like it would but it survived. When we cut it, we hardly did half and the biggest tupperwear box we had got full up! I tell you it was HUGE!!! We are going to hang its tail on the back stay (a pole at the back of the boat).

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