Tuesday 19th June - Early Days Yet
Tuesday 19th June – Early Days Yet
It’s 2100 on Tuesday evening, dinner has
been and gone and the boat is settled for the night’s sailing. Since leaving on Friday evening we’ve
covered a bit over 660NM over the ground as the crow flies (assuming that said
crow knows about great circle flying).
Yesterday was a little slower than the previous 2 days, returning a
distance run of 148NM compared with 173NM or so for the previous days. We’ve got a pretty steady SE breeze that
averages around 15 knots and puts us on a port broad reach just abaft of beam as
we head west.
Hector the Hydrovane on Sunday morning and he managed pretty well with the
steering for the next day or so whilst we were under mainsail and yankee. Yesterday afternoon we decided to hoist
Percy the Parasailor. Percy was a
bit dozy to begin with. We haven’t
used him since we finished the Atlantic crossing – the wind has generally been a
touch too far forward for that.
Whilst slumbering he’d obviously done a certain amount of tossing and
turning because he’d managed to get all the fussy little lines and strips of
cloth that make up his wing knotted up into a ball. So, when we hoisted him initially he
wouldn’t fly and we had to haul him down and take him below to sort his life out
for him. Since then he’s behaved
impeccably and we’re maintaining good speed thanks to his efforts. However, he is a bit of a thug (albeit
well-meaning) and Hector and he don’t appear to get on. He needs the power of the main rudder to
control him on a fairly shy spinnaker reach as opposed to the little job that
Hector comes with. So, Orville’s
back at the helm.
This is all
pretty relaxed. As usual when we
fly Percy we have no other sail up.
We’ve got steady wind from a helpful direction, hot sun throughout the
day, stunningly clear starlit skies at night and no major equipment hassles –
yet. We’re finding jobs to do about
the boat to keep us occupied and the library is taking a bit of a
battering. Thanks to Carol’s
preparations we’re eating like Kings.
Every dawn sees the watchkeeper doing a squid and flying fish patrol to
clear the decks of all the marine life that has come aboard during the
night. One intrepid flying fish even
managed to fly in through the main saloon hatch to inspect the on-board
facilities this evening. We’ve seen the occasional ship but with ever
We attempted this evening to join the SSB
(HF radio) chat net hosted by Joseph and Marci Paravia at 2400 GMT (1800
local) but everyone was having great difficulty in getting through. They are a few hundred miles to our
north – about as far north of the Equator as we are south - and heading home to
Fishing, did I hear you ask? No; Percy and fishing rods do not mix. The palaver involved in getting the Parasailor down to get the fish fought, reeled in and aboard just ain’t worth it.
That’s it for the moment. Speak anon.