ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu (M2V)
Of Mice and Sat Phones.
You know how you have to leave bait around cars and machinery parked in barns on farms, so the Mice don't get in, try to nest and eat all the wiring? Why do they like plastic coatings anyway? So it seems we need to send urgent supplies of mouse bait to the Coral Sea!!! Here is the latest in from the Samskara Mice...
"The day was going perfectly. Something had to go wrong. Having had a sumptuous feast on Kenn Reef, we upped anchor and headed towards Australia. We soon settled in to a much softer sea state than we had been experiencing previously, with a full main, #3 heady and about 17 knts up our clacker. Very nice!" (Ed. About the only time it is!)
"Then, something possessed Alby (their onboard Alby Mangels look-alike) to seek greater volume from our sound system and without warning or discussion, he set about a total reconfiguration of the nav station wiring. Chances are it had something to do with the 43 jugs of fine Bordeaux that he had consumed with every course of our long lunch, including the Apple Pie miraculously created by the Cabin Boy, who had indeed returned from the second spreader (up the mast). The result of Alby's tinkerings weren't ideal. There was no music, no navigation capability and no power to the all-important refrigeration!!! An understandably unimpressed skipper, after a very long silence, came out with a collection of words, which even though were intended to be serious, made the crew of mice laugh uncontrollably, albeit quietly. A number of calls were made on the Sat Phone to Harvey Norman, Leon the incredible, our Encel consultant and before too long, all systems were up and running again!"
"Before quietly retiring for a well deserved snooze, Alby was heard to say, 'There. I knew it wasn't my fault!"
"Soon after, relative calm was reclaimed and the ship's course was set for the Hydrographers Passage instead of The Capricorn Channel, which had been our previous choice to get around the Great Barrier Reef. The Second Watch took control of the ship for the 19:00 - 22:00 session, whilst the First Watch had a rest and kept Alby confined to his quarters. The Second Watch members are your correspondent (Mike), the Stud, The Wriggler and the Cabin Boy (Ed. Poor old Roger). It was our clearest star washed night so far, which led to some very deep discussions about the universe that we inhabit. For anyone who has sat on a boat in the middle of the night on watch with a bunch of people they don't spend alot of time with, they will understand it when I say that you can have some very long conversations, about absolute crap. It was one of those nights!" (Ed. Hello to my mate Andy McKinna and all those poor souls who endured our night watches. Miss you mate...)
"However, one item of interest did emerge. Through something as simple as a fart, we determined that somehow we have managed to neglect the nose when it comes to the measurement of speed. Currently we talk of the 'speed of light', which is all about sight. We talk of the 'speed of sound', which is about your ears, but we never talk about the 'speed of smell', which we feel is unfair to the olfactory nerve. We will publish on this further, but we currently contend that the speed of smell is somewhere between the speed of light and the speed of sound. This was evidenced by crewmembers smelling other crewmember's farts, before they heard them. Interesting hey?"
"So, currently our position is 22 14.180S 153 47.365E. The kite is up and we are sailing at about 7kts in 12kts of breeze. We have changed our mind again and are heading to The Capricorn Passage via Bundaberg , one of our spiritual homes. We Have all sung the RWYS songbook version of 'Happy Birthday' to the Ship's Cat and all is well, except for the Ship's Cat who enjoyed her last day of being young."
Life aboard ship, eh?! Just charming. Let us know if it is too much information, but everyone wants to know what goes on on those long voyages... We hope the Mice can make it past their spiritual home and get to Hammo... Kim - get the book out again, please.
By John Curnow