Another day at sea, another day learning what the boat wants in order for her to zoom along. The wind can get light out here – 5 knots or less – but most of the time it’s 7 to 10 knots. Right now the wind is 9 knots and we’re sailing between 7 and 8, which is amazing all by itself. The power of this boat under sail is breathtaking.
We are about 500 miles from St Helena. (S 20 degrees 39 minutes, E 0 degrees, 19 minutes). We’re not even sure we’re going to stop there, although we’d like to, just because we left so late in the season. The sooner we get across the equator the better. The winds can get very light this time of year, and sitting around with no wind, or only a knot of wind, is not much fun. It’s nowhere near as satisfying as what’s going on this minute – surfing the swells coming in behind us, mainsail up and working, big Code Zero sail filled and casting a soft shadow on most of the boat, and the sound of rushing water everywhere.
The garden is showing new signs of life since I tossed those freeloading caterpillars overboard. Just in time, too, because our fresh green supplies are dwindling by the day. Also out of bread now. I may have to start baking some, or come up with other things to eat for lunch. I had brought sliced bread on board. It went bad quickly.
Next time I will follow the advice of the authors of a cruising book, who said to buy it unsliced, and paint it with vinegar. Apparently you won’t taste the vinegar, and the bread will last a long time. The remaining bananas are in the freezer, I hope that works. There’s plenty of food – much of it in cans, stored by the dozens under the pilothouse sitting areas, so there’s no danger of us running out of things to eat. It’s just that fresh is just so much better.
We’ve got our watch schedule down, and it seems to be working. After dinner I go to bed, sometime between 7 and 8 PM – and sleep until 1AM. Then I get up and start watch, and Philip sleeps until 8 or so. We both eat breakfast, do what has to be done with the sails, then I take a nap. Then lunch, more sail work, and then PZ takes a nap until dinner. The extra naps are necessary because we’re both not getting a full night of sleep during the long watches.
Still haven’t seen a single ship out here. Just the very blue ocean, the long, big swells, and the smaller waves on the surface of the water.
Lots of clouds but no rain yet – it would be welcome, as I’m hoping to catch enough water to do a clothing wash, and the boat could use a wash – we got a lot of salt spray on the boat when we were on that wild ride out of Cape Town. Philip has been running the water maker each morning, which is keeping the water tanks full.
As I write this, I am struck by how pedestrian this all sounds. I mean, it’s really just eating and sleeping and working (I’m starting to work on my second book, for example). It’s just life going on, except we are out in the middle of the ocean, on a very lively waterborne platform that requires you to be careful how you move around.
I may post less frequently as we continue this part of the trip, just because it is so pedestrian. Don’t assume that silence means trouble. So far this boat is incredibly friendly to humans and a very seaworthy vessel.
Below is a shot of the view from my “office.” I tend to sit on the port settee while I’m typing, facing the center of the pilothouse. When I look up, in addition to the view of the sea from all the pilothouse windows, there’s the view out the aft door to the afterdeck. You can see a bit of the garden peeking through, under the inflatable dinghy, and the deep blue sea beyond.
Philip and Kristin