5 January 2014

It’s my birthday! I’m 55 today. What’s an old fool like me doing out here on his 55th birthday? I should be in the comfort of my own home with a cold pint and a slap up feed on the table, family around and taking it easy. Ah well, that’ll be next year. I’m here this year and it will be something to look back on next January.

Where does all the time go? It’s only a few years ago that I was leaving school and starting a job and yet shortly I’ll be 60! Where’s all that time gone? This life is pretty short and we have to make the most of it while we’re here. A lifetime is no more than the blink of an eye in the great scheme of things. Carpe Diem!

The gale had eased down during the night but I waited till daylight until I put up more sail. By that time I could set the jib and the main with one reef in. The wind was SE’ly about F4-5. A couple of hours later and it had backed more to the east and dropped to a F3 allowing me to set the full main and the genoa.

I opened presents that the family had put onboard before I left. Socks and sweets, puzzles to keep my mind active and exercise stuff to keep my body active, a pendrive with loads of good music and podcasts and a blank jotter for me to draw some of what I’ll see this year. All brilliant stuff! I phoned round all the family and thanked them all for thinking ahead and making sure things were onboard.

A few of the masks in the netting I have around the foredeck had come undone so I re-tied them to keep everything together and also pulled down the topping lift to check it for chafe. It was fine. I gave it a fresh coat of Vaseline to hopefully keep it that way.
It’s been overcast all day with barely a glimpse of sun. I did get a morning sight when the sun was behind some thinner cloud but there’s been no blue anywhere in the sky today. The temperature is still pleasantly warm, 27º C inside the cabin, a lot more bearable than the mid 30’s we were getting a couple of weeks ago.

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