Day 71

27th December 2001

Every day, and sometimes more than once, I look at the calendar and count the days. I have come up with ways of making the time [sound] less. The main way is to deduct 7 days from the end of the trip. The last seven days I’ll discount on the grounds that we won’t be fishing, just sailing home. I’m also starting from the first of January as it doesn’t count until then because Christmas and New Year make time go faster (in theory), so instead of 42 days remaining I can reduce this to 30 days. That sounds much better as it is only a month (or less than a month if the month in question is February – which of course it isn’t, but hey).

I have other time bending ways to think about duration of the trip. I have milestone days such as the 7th of December being 50 days into the trip and a nice round number, another date was Dad’s birthday as it is about the halfway mark. The next milestone is New Year’s Day as it is ¾ way through best-case scenario.

“How long would it take a one-eyed bloater to swim through a yard and a half of treacle if butter was 1s6d a lb.?…..Time.” – Stanley James.

The other time bender is to translate units of time into units of currency. I get paid £85 per day which equates to £3.54 per hour, 24 hours a day, or £0.06 per minute. The average daily bowel movement takes 3 minutes, thus is worth 18 pence, which approximates to 25 cents or half an escudo.

Since a monetary value can be put on time, time can be compared to material objects, as material objects have value. A litre of unleaded petrol @ 78p per litre is 13 minutes of time. My car ‘Justin’ will travel about 6.6 miles on a litre of petrol which is a little over 2 minutes work. At my current latitude and longitude I am 2,202 miles from Portreath as the crow flies, if crows were seabirds. It would cost me £286.86 to drive home and would take 36.7 hours @ 60 mph, which is a fair average speed to include a short toilet stop at the services, and dodging the odd oil tanker en route. It would take 81 hours to earn enough money to drive home, and a further 3 hours to make sure I had enough money for a couple of cheap sandwiches and a cup of tea on the way. So when you look at it in these terms I am only 120.7 hours from home (36.7 hours travel, 84 hours earning passage) or 5.2 days. I would arrive home on New Year’s Day if I were to start now.

*Calculations based on Justin being able to drive over water in a straight line regardless of weather, current and tidal systems, and assuming Justin is on board now – which of course he isn’t, though I did bring a lot of luggage.*

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