Sunday, April 25, 2010

"WHO LOST THE CAPTAINS COCONUTS?"


Paradise is not the word to describe our anchorage here at Kelefecia.Talisker Bounty Boat is tied alongside our support boat Ianthe in a hole amongst the reefs and about 100 mtrs from the most beautiful Island you can ever imagine...in fact everyone has been ashore today relaxing a bit as we are poised to head out to the site of the Mutiny only about 20 miles away from here.I could live on this Island forever!

In amongst it all I have my own frustrations with so many things . I have to admit that I just finally lost it half an hour ago as a few too many things have become a game for the crew.. I am not perfect and I do plenty of things wrong and maybe it is a bit hard saying that it is a game but I am faced with a huge responsibility covering every subject form safety to food to fun. I try to delegate and keep control at the same time.If it is not done then I am always responsible because some/most would say it is my expedition?...I try to delegate to create some ownership of the Adventure to the crew...and I suppose they are trying their best...in fact I know they often are...but never the less..sometimes they do not understand the importance of the simplest things that could ultimately lead to disaster, because it was not done right or I trust someone to do something, I am told it is done ..and then latter I find it is not.

Unless you have had your life depending on equipment or obligations depending on some things having to be done by set times you may not understand. Fortunately because I have such a good crew we can always get away with an alternative..BUT..one day we may not...so I am starting to feel a little like Capt. Bligh and we have not even started yet!..Ironically I know that when we are out there none of this will be an issue as they will have to and indeed will want to do every thing to survive and enjoy the experience...so all will be good. Having said that some things were not done/managed correctly yesterday,simple things to many..but they could have had disastrous consequences. Other simple things were missed when I had asked three times if it was good and three times I was told OK and then ..OPPs...no it was not..some jobs were just half done or were put off to latter when in reality they should be done now.

All I will say about yesterdays Blog is that it was delegated..then unbeknown to me, delegated to another and even though I was told it went up, it was not..that was not half as bad as finding out that the ships coconuts were left in the back of a taxi two days before, even though I was assured all was well, ( did I tell you that someone stole Bligh's coconuts and that started the mutiny!)all the fresh veggies for now had gone off as they were not stored right and yesterday when I decided to check our precious limes for the trip, they were going off stored in plastic bags in the heat below in the Support boat.

The one saving feature of this final stage is that I left plenty of time to get settled here in Tonga. I am so glad I did. Today with the help of Mark out local Cultural adviser we got our own coconuts off the island and I just organised for last nights blog to finally go up and now you will get this too!

All the gear food and water is on TBB and we did a load test. She is very ;ow in the water but exactly where I have always estimated...the bottom of the second planned is just in the water so it is OK. Now the winds are starting to pick up with the expected blow due in tomorrow. I am hoping it will drop fast or we may not be able to get out to the spot on the 28th??As I write this on the bow of Ianthe it is blowing about 25kts of very mild temp wind. I have slept on board alone the last two nights tied astern with the rest of the crew on Ianthe. Last night with wind and tide against each other we had a few collisions so not much sleep. Maybe tonight it will be better.

The moon is growing but we will loose it before Fiji which will be a real challenge as there are so many reefs..the swells are crashing on them here and all I can think about is ..How are we going to do this, each nite on the boat I use my head lamp..how are we going to feel around in the dark and yes I am still using toilet paper at the moment???

HARD TO BELIEVE WE ARE ABOUT TO SET OFF!!..Now that I have had my Bxxch!..I have to say I am incredibly happy about my crew. We are a strange lot but the perfect blend of professionalism,enthusiasm,fun and sheer determination so I could not wish for better really. I said to a reporter two days ago as I was leaving Nuku Alofa that we have a lot of fun together and that we will be laughing right to the end ...where ever or when ever that may be!!.. I mean that.

We are going to need all the luck we can to succeed , but I am feeling good about it...Don

4 comments:

ERIC SHACKLE said...

Hi Stuart.

II've just posted another story about the re-enactment in my blog http://lifebeginsat80.blogspot.com/

Best wishes, Eric (in Sydney, Australia)..

RLN said...

Capt. Bligh, I mean Don. Bet your crew is glad the recreation doesn't include a cat o' nine tails whip at your disposal :-), or you might have your own mutiny to deal with.

Seriously, your description of sailing under a new moon through reefs gives me the chills.

3 more days! Can't wait and good luck!

magpie said...

Hi crew, Just inform Capt. Bligh that this trip would not be as comfortable without the support of 'TALISKER.'
To have a beautiful photo marred by someones dungarees hanging across the sponsor's name. I liked the Aussie flavour of it though, lol.☺☺☺ Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

MJ from Brisbane said...

Losing the Captains Coconuts is pretty serious stuff!! I think you should Name and Shame them publicly!! LOL But seriously, with reading of all the last minute bits and pieces you have had to deal with such as lifejackets delayed, computer probs etc I would say that missing coconuts and poorly stored fruit was the straw that broke the camels back!! So you probably feel heaps better if you have had a bit of a vent at the boys and are now ready to get on with it!! Good luck all of you! Stay healthy and safe - whoever was in charge of the Coconuts - don't let them take charge of your Marbles!!! :-)