07 July 2014

Escapade - Vanuatu Updates

Eventhough the story begins at the top of the page, those who are unfarmiliar with the "Stowaways" that appear on each of her adventures, click here to jump to an introduction to all, including the much loved Vladamir!  

Link to:

ESCAPADE 2nd Report 3 July, 2014

ESCAPADE 3rd Report 6th July, 2014

ESCAPADE 4th Report 6th July

Update from Escapade: 3/7/2014 3:56:20am

At last, time to sit and relax, well, its more like cling and relax since the boat is still rockin an a rollin, pitchin and a swayin. After two days and nights of downwind roller-coaster rides we are having a quiet, hopefully damage free, night runnning downwind in 20 - 30kts under #4 alone, no booms to gybe, no poles to break, no brand new expensive sails for the skipper to await furtively for a 2am damage report after it takes 3 minutes to get it off the forestay were it is flogging mercilessly. final damage list for last night - Spray dodger collapsed while attempting to provide drogue services during last night's knock down, frame OK, Dougie has a massive sewing job ahead of him. Tracker washed overboard in same incident. Spinaker pole socket and traveller 3000m down after being dislodged, pole recovered without causing or being damaged (just as well, last time the pole went over the side it cost $220 for Colin to recover it and I'm thinking it would've cost a lot more this time) Mr Harken will be a few dollars better off as a result. Brand new CTI #2 .... recovered intact by quick thinking, fearless crew. And there seems to be a bucket missing although that maybe Andy's work.

Several hastily prepared letters of resignation from Escapade crew/ORCV membership (see separate email) were withdrawn today as the air temperature noticeably lifted and was described as warm by some and positively tropical by the Scottish contingent. Seasickness medication cut in for a few luckless soles after a visit to Doctor Feelgoods little bag of happy pills, there's something for everyone in there!

Life aboard is settling into routine minus the occasional trips to the rail.

Got to go, mutiny is brewing (again) in the cockpit as I am due on the helm in 5 minutes.

Cheers Captain Rob

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 2014 Melbourne to Vanuatu race - ESCAPADE Report 3 July, 2014

Bit of a different day today, started running downwind with just the #4 in 25-30 kts doing 6s and 7s, finished the day with our largest rags up - full main and asymmetric spinnaker, doing 6s and 7s in 8 - 10 kts. In between the wind moderated gradually, the sky cleared, the sun came out and, oh, TRYBOOKING are spotted astern. "run out the guns" cries Captain Rob, "Clear for action" chirps Joey with a face splitting grin; enough of this cruising, lets get back to 'racing'.

A call to TRYBOOKING establishes that it is indeed them we can see. Our suggestion that they are the "sweep" boat and are not allowed to pass us is met with a response of "we're having cinnamon buns for breakfast". Back too work ... Main is up and reefs are shaken out, #4 replaced with #2, still looking good. Now for the big guns - the .75 Asymmetric - furtive looks are exchanged - no guts = no glory, lets do it.

Then, just to spoil our day, the spinaker halyard jammed with the spinaker 1.5m from the top but fortunately still in its sock. OK, we say tie it to the pulpit while we think about this. Hmmm, OK someone's going up, unnamed volunteer harnesses/helmets up, a plan is developed and they get as far as the spreaders before calling to be lowered. Mast is swaying too much.  Murray chips in with a previous solution, Robert and Joey come up with a modification - the topping lift is bowlined and looped around the sock, attached to a retrieval line and hauled up to pull the halyard free. Ah, I love it when a plan comes together.  A record (even for this crew) of 2 hours to launch the spinaker ... 10 minutes later the wind builds to 18+ and combined with the sea/swell state we round up 4 times before I give up "sock it". Back to the Main & #2 until it moderates properly around 4pm.

We're now expecting a night of light winds veering northerly and its a beautiful starry night with banana lounge moon lighting our way :)). full main and spinaker are still drawing us along as the wind lightens further.

Highlights of the day, toast and vegemite for breakfast, Moroccan Lamb and rice for lunch and the first issue of the ships grog (the fun way to avoid scurvy) is made at the 1800 watch change to the usual toast of "The King" (Neptune, Elvis or the Bonnie king over the sea for the Scottish contingent). The ladies have cheered up with a round of body wipes and fresh underthingies. The blokes are waiting for next monday - official "underwear change day" except for Joey who had a forced change after taking a wave while upside down in the anchor locker fixing the furler. Mr Gough "everything was was wet except my socks, that was until I stood up"

Its the 2100 watch change now so I'm off to bed.

Das Vidanya,

Vladimir, Tatiana and Svetlana

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 Update from Escapade: 6/7/2014 00:24

"Mama, we're all crazy now"
Life goes on aboard Escapade, the crew get crazier and think they are normal, the alter egos become reality with a sighting of Andy throwing a sail tie over the side backed up with witness statements! The watches have bonded and are happily sharing toothpaste, brushes, towels and bunks, final step is underwear.
Happy hour was finally instituted yesterday with a surprisingly convivial (weather still a little unfriendly) gathering in the cockpit with cheese, biscuits, corn chips, salsa, olives, etc consumed with vigour and more grog. Bad news of the day was the discovery of a broken bottle of rum :((( Buried at sea with full honours, presumably a casualty of the knock down a few nights ago.

Highlights were exchanged including "the pills final worked" and not having the wind on the nose at all yet (Joey after 5 days of 25+ Tasman sea Northerlies in the M2O last year). Planning for the crew song and the inevitable George Shaw challenge (issued yesterday via HF - a story, song or poem using the names of all the entrants) are well underway. for those with long memories, the team "song" is along the lines of "The good ship venus" following regular morning sightings of Venus just before sunrise.

Menu has improved at the same rate as the cook's stomach issues - Homemade beef & burgundy pies, Beef stew, Moroccan Lamb, spag Bol, E&B muffins & crumpets for breakfast and the jewel tonight in celebration of Brian's birthday - GF banana bread with a fresh rhubarb coulis and warm custard. Copious quantities of tea and the occasional flat white. Ahh, now we're racing!

Thank to the fan club member who wrote in suggesting that some of our newer members may not be familiar with all the crew aboard and perhaps a quick bio for each was in order, here goes...

Lord Admiral Sir Robert of Yewcrags. Owner and skipper of the fine vessel. Promoted to Admiral a few years ago to reduce cockpit confusion when training students. Crew were confused when both the appoint skipper of the day and "The Admiral" as he is now known, would turn simultaneously and say "Yes?".  He was knighted for services to Escapade and promoted to Lord Admiral last year (mainly to make sure he still out ranks Joey) after the victory in the Melbourne to Osaka race were he took home the coveted Osaka Cup. (actually he didn't get to take it home, it stayed in Osaka and he's still waiting to find a replica for his mantel piece).

Admiral Sir Joey of The Old Railway Station. Sailing master and watch leader. Similarly knighted and promoted after last years Osaka Cup victory. Designated mutineer for this voyage.

MurrayChief engineer and long time crew member aboard Escapade.

Brian. Outgunned for the position of mutineer in this race by Sir Joey, Brian was also appointed Chief Engineer by the skipper to see what happens when two people have the same job title?

Nicki.  Has achieved her lifelong goal on this voyage by being named "Cabin Boy". Smiling from ear to ear, Nicki proudly announced that hence forth she was to be know as "Roger".

Aimee. Has failed to realise the honour bestowed upon her by being named "General Dogsbody" in honour of her versatility and willingness to abandon her career plans for three weeks and go sailing with dad.

That's the watch crew - Sir Robert, Brian and Nicki. Sir Joey, Murray and Aimee.  Then comes the long list of idlers.

Deb. Designated bird spotter, Deb has found other duties to amuse her such as boat manager and moral officer.

Tatyana.  The cook, after stowing away in the starboard quarter berth, Tatyana has agreed to work her passage as cook .. under the guidance of the very experienced -

Vladimir.  Yes, our beloved Vladimir returns to the place of his birth. Born 4 years ago aboard Slinky Malinky as "The Cook" in Bass Strait, his chest hair has been a regular feature of the eggs Benedict aboard Escapade ever since he was pick up in a pre-draft swap for Paulie Neilson. Neither boat has yet declared who was better off? Vladimir is so chuffed that he has now been promoted to "Chief Cook" and only has to "direct" Tatyana that he has turned his hand to bottle washing as well (don't ask how}

Silvio.  Formerly know as "Otto" the autopilot in recognition of his germanic attention to precision and reliability, he was renamed Silvio after apparently emigrating to Italy, the land of high performance but highly unreliable equipment after a major malfunction last year. Named Silvio in the tradition of using the names of foreign leaders who are a little bit distracted by anything with two X chromosomes as with any good sailor.

Andy.  Has been know to be aboard on most Escapade voyages but only because it must be him that throws the pencils on the floor and looses the sail ties and shackles all the time since it could not be any of the highly trained and diligent crew. First confirmed sighting was this morning

and finally we announce the birth of our newest crew member (well we will tomorrow - she's an elective caesarian) ..

Svetlana.  Our very own maid and personal masseuse. Pictures to follow. Svetlana was deemed necessary after the defection of the Sir Robert's personal steward to some skiing club, humpff

There it is, the full crew. The marketing department is currently planning the production of the "Escapade" summer calendar. a preliminary photo shoot is planned for the cockpit during tomorrow afternoon's drifting session. Watch this space for the pre release of a few of the shots. Avoid disappoint, order yours now through our FB page 

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Update from Escapade: 6/7/2014 23:24

"Svetlana makes her appearance on Escapade"
Sunday has been a day of fine sailing in light winds. But that was not the feature of the day!

After the 10 a.m. watch change, all the crew were in the cockpit, enjoying the sail, sitting around in shorts and T-shirts, and discussing how much fresh water we would be sacrificing for showers on the after deck. To our astonishment, the apparition, Svetlana,suddenly appeared from the cabin. As expected of a one-track-mind Russian maid of some experience, she was gloriously dressed in a skimpy something-or-other with fish net tights and an absence of anything hiding her bum.

She propositioned the men outrageously and the women dismissively. In our concern about such a situation on a normally well disciplined vessel, we would have liked to have had the skipper take control, but he was nowhere to be found! Svetlana having pranced all round the the deck, extolling her virtues and posing suggestively for photos finally, and none too soon for some, vanished whither she had come.

Soon afterwards, we finally found our skipper who seemed unconcerned at the flagrant breach of discipline that had occurred on his ship, so we must let the matter lie...except for the small piece of evidence attached.



Chief mutineer (wondering now where his loyalties lie...if anywhere)


Photo: Update from Escapade: 6/7/2014 23:24 Back to Top

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