Sunday, 1 July 2012

Nics Diary - Part 1

Nic’s Diary

I was asked by many people who are close to me to start a sub section on the blog for my diary as mobile phone contact is poor and expensive, and so that they can read about my stories and adventures.

I arrived back to the yacht on 20th June after 5 weeks holiday in Australia for my sisters’ wedding. After a couple of days of unpacking and cleaning (again) we left La Linea and headed to Estapona for a 2 night stop over to refill all 5 of our gas tanks. We anchored both nights. The first night was fine, but on the evening of the second night the boat swung round 180 degrees and Stevie became concerned that the anchor had slipped. We reset the anchor and had a poor night sleep as we were worried about landing on the rocks!

We left for a 2 day sail, early the next morning and headed to Mar Menor. I became a little scared on my first night watch (in 5 wks) because of dolphins! Yes, as silly as it sounds, I was scared and had to waken grizzly bear, Stevie, a little earlier than expected. When I see dolphins swimming alongside the boat during the day, they are by far the most beautiful thing to watch. However, during a 4 hour night watch, in the pitch darkness, when you can hear swish – plop all around you, without being able to see a damn thing, it becomes a little freaky! Well Stevie did say I was to waken him with any problems – no matter what! Anyway, tonight I have decided to believe that they are here to protect me, and not to be scared! (Wimp – I know!)

Other scary moments in the last few days are thick fog. I decided to take watch at the bow of the boat, as it would give us approximately an extra 30ft view in front. Not much fun as we could only see about 50ft all around us. I kept having visions of a monstrous titanic style boat bow emerging out of the fog, and coming straight for us. (Yes I do get a little worried still being a very novice sailor). Of course, it cleared in around 30 min, and there were no other boats for miles!

Not all moments are scary. The sun has been out, and my tan is doing well! Today we caught 2 tunas – the first escaped, and the second is gutted and in the fridge for tomorrow nights’ dinner. Quite funny really – the minute I opened a can of tuna to make tuna pasta bake for dinner tonight, Stevie yelled to me that we had caught one! Tomorrow nights will be better – fresh caught, and will be served with a bottle of wine (been on a bit of a detox for the last week, as we have been at sea most of the time).

Sailing in the med is pretty much what they say – crap - wind wise. So far we have motored most of the way. When the wind comes, it very rarely stays. So I found out when I decided to hoist the main for the first time on my own. It took me about 20 mins as it kept catching on the lazy bag ropes. I ended up about 1 mile off course, just for the wind to die. I won’t be trying that again by myself for a long while – far too much hassle!

I have been practicing my chanter (18 yrs since I last played the bagpipes). It has kept me occupied on night watch. Who knows – I may eventually get the old bagpipes out and have a go!

The most WOW moment was one night when I flushed the loo with no light on and phosphorescence glowed in the pan! They were like fluorescent green mini shooting stars all firing through the pan - what an amazing sight! Last night (when I was having dolphin phobia) I shone the torch out of the back of the boat, to see millions more phosphorescent particles darting about in the sea behind. Well cool and definitely a WOW moment !

All in all I am having a ball! I am getting a lot more confident at playing with the sails, and Stevie has been great at teaching me! I am sure that my irrational fears of dolphins will pass – probably when I meet my first humongous whale! Will do my best to keep the stories coming so you can all hear the latest! Love to all of you - wish I could have a beer and catch up with you. Miss you all millions. Nic xxx


  1. You has a great blog. I'm very interesting to stopping here and leaves you a comment. Good work.

    Lets keep writing and blogging

    Nb: Dont forget to leave your comment back for us.

  2. keep up the blog Nic your doing a mint job sounds like your both having loads of fun! im jealous! im def goney catch up with yous when i get ma passport sorted!takecare much luv to the both of you little bruv Baz! xxxxxxxxxxx!

  3. Hey Nic!

    I cant believe that your in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but miles of sea surrounding you and its the dolphins your scared of lmfao. Glad all is going well and Im well jealous of you guys catching tuna, IM YOUR FISHING BUDDY!!! dont you forget that lol. Love that you are doing your own diary and I'll look forward to your entries now.
    That's me officially got my BSc in Applied Bioscience and Zoology (with distinction) and I'm looking forward to doing honours. I'm starting my project over the summer, I'm doing it on aquatic invertebrates (freshwater) in relation to water quality. I got a job as a part time field teacher with my work placement, I teach kids visiting the RSPB Lochwinnoch about the environment and do pond dipping, bird watching and all sorts of cool stuff with them, totally love it.
    Mark's getting better slowly but surely, he's content with his wee bit of hospital physio so far but eventually he'l be his snowboarding, cycling, hill walking self again.
    Well that's my chat for now, I'll keep an eye out for your next entry, look out for demon dolphins and stay safe mrs. We miss you and love you loads.


  4. great stuff enjoying reading it all luv lorraine

  5. Sounds brilliant say hi tO Steve for us, keep the stories coming and tell Steve to blog lol

  6. Hey sis,
    great to hear the news, glad to see u took our advice and have started leaving the blogs- will be good. Sounds great, with all the wildlife around and great to hear all the exciting stories, so different to the norm here. Sounds like Stevie is not pissing you off too much just now, and vice versa, so that's great. So, as you talked to mum last night you probably have all the news from down under, but thought I would give you a quick update.
    Jess and I are full back into the swing of work now as you can imagine, and have a few work trips planned in the next few weeks. Tomorrow I am going to Wagga wagga (pronounced wogga), to learn all about the carcase, primal cuts and retail cuts of beef, lamb and pork. I have to be able to identify the different animals (breed/ sex, etc) and know how to grade them to specification- basically learn how to be a butcher/ meat processor. Very much the applied side of things, but a great way to experience a true country town in the middle of NSW.
    jess also has work trips planned to Mackay,Melbourne and Auckland in the next month or so, so I think I will become fully immersed in the phd- not that I am not already.
    We also went and bought a couple of cars on the weekend, 1. Golf bluemotion (fuel eff) turbodiesel and 2. Honda accord euro. Both pretty decent and the second quite swavy, expecially compared to the ute!! It will be paid for by jess' work. So only one car repayments- thank god.
    Also, had my citizenship test the other night and got a certificate/ plant as well- so thats me a true ozzy. Once they read out"and from the channel islands, joanne Mountford", Jess got woken up and had to jump out from the audience and run down the front to take my photo with the mayor. Was good. We both memorised the TWO verses of the national athemn, so was funny.
    other than that, just cleaning up from the wedding and getting my stuff organised. Misssing you millions as you may expect, but stilll great to hear all the news.
    I love you and big kisses to Stevie!!!! xxxx

  7. oh yeah, i don't get council tax only rates and these are in jess & my name (not sure about getting your name on them). But they only come ever 6 months or so and I just got a bill. Not sure what you want to do about this. Some mail from ANZ, i have not opened this.


Thanks for your interest!

Nic n Steve.