Nestled between two high-pressure systems, at 38 56N and 36W still a few days away from the Azores, Flyer was pleasantly motorsailing along in the wee morning hours at a speed of 6 knots. The crew had been able to enjoy dinner on a relatively flat surface the evening before and were entertained by a star show on the night watch. Things were copacetic, and as any sailor worth her salt knows, this is not the time to tempt fate with sloth.
Though nothing was discussed, it must have been on all of our minds. No sooner had crewmate Todd Mennillo washed and stowed the frying pan and spatula after another of his splendid fried egg breakfasts, then out came the bucket and dirty laundry, shower gel and towel, fuel measuring stick, and tool kit. The boat was abuzz with activity, on deck and below.
Crewmate Xabi Lastapis headed to the cockpit with towel and Old Spice shower gel. Skipper Rick Martell stayed below, and after removing a floorboard in the sole of the saloon, measured the fuel level in the boat tanks.
Meanwhile, crewmate Manfred Arnold had a load of laundry to tend to. As he was hanging clean, wet clothes on the life lines, Manfred — seeing things through the lens of the rigger that he is — spied a few screws on deck. Immediately he figured they’d worked themselves from the bracket on the main’s boom vang and got out the tool kit.
Todd jumped in and helped Manfred redrill the wayward screws into the bracket, then went to assist Rick on the refueling task.
After studying a diagram of the boat’s fuel tank capacity, he and Rick figured it was time to add 20 gallons more from four jerry jugs on deck to the port tank.
Out came tools of a different sort: latex gloves, a fuel line assembly, and the key to unscrew the fuel line cap on deck. Manfred helped untie and retie the jerry jugs, and Rick and Todd handled the transfer. After priming the fuel line and making sure not to spill diesel from the jugs onto the deck, the task was accomplished.
All that work could only mean one more thing: Appetites had built, it was time for lunch, and now time for yours truly to get busy, too, making sandwiches.