As we enter the weekend, we are fully focused on improving our sailing equipment and making a few small structural changes because we will soon be leaving Leros and heading to new lands beyond Greece
Firstly, today is the Captain’s birthday, and to celebrate I was given not just one but TWO rings. They are of the stainless steel variety and are part of our newly installed ‘pad eyes’. As of today, these shiny new gems are attached to the front of each hull and will enable us to have more sail options – think of them as securing the sail that holds a rounded, belly full, brightly colourful spinnaker and you’ve got the drift. A pad eye is basically a ring attached to a flat plate that provides an attachment point enabling us to run lines (boat speak for ‘ropes’) and generally provide an attachment point for sails. So with all that, it simply means these two shiny rings will enable us to use our sails and make better use of wind angles. Which means better cruising. More sailing. Better speed. Better life.
Secondly, we now have a couple of ‘Med mooring’ wheels that each have 70 metres of stern line. Mediterranean mooring (aka ‘Tahitian mooring’) is commonplace here and basically means we will be able to moor or dock at 90 degrees stern to, rather than come alongside. It also means we can tie off with these ‘lazy lines’ on rocks in gorgeous deep anchorages. For us, there is a bit of angst with regards to having to learn the Med Mooring technique but there’s no avoiding it in this part of the world, so we just have to get on and get used to it. But we now have the tools and yesterday the captain installed the wheels with the lines on them. I’m sure there must be a technical name for them but c’est la vie, they’re med mooring lines to me.
And on the day I was given these 2 rings, I am reminded that we are always grateful for our ‘marriage savers’. We use a pair of Bluetooth headphones which has fooled many people into thinking we are ‘pros’ when it comes to sailing. This is because there is never any shouting, swearing, or hollering when we are working as a team on the boat. As you know we are absolute beginners, even after sailing more than 3,500 nautical miles, but our marriage saver headsets bring a calmness from simply and calmly communicating. We love them!
And of course, there was a little cake for the Captain but it was by his choice, a low-key kind of birthday. That is because he’s saving all of his party energy for next year’s OH birthday which we plan to celebrate in massive style in the Caribbean. But there is a lot of sailing to do between now and then. Happy birthday, Captain. And thank you for the precious rings.
Fittingly, here’s a little classic Marilyn, who has probably sung the breathiest and most imitated version of ‘Happy Birthday’ in history, from ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘
“A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental,
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
A kiss may be grand
But it won’t pay the rental
On your humble flat
Or help you at the automat.
But square-cut or pear-shaped,
These rocks don’t lose their shape.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”