Astra Log Day 14 - The Hole...
Now the hole is something to be avoided as we on Astra now know!! The hole is an area of confusion where the hunter becomes the hunted. We who were hunting for wind were smelt out and found ourselves at the mercy of the hole. The hole though windless is smelly. There is no direction, one just bangs around. After our fair share of banging the only way out was to use thrust! So we motored away from the hole. (the hole, ref: oxford eng dick = an area of variable and light airs, that is likely to drive mariners insane.)
Whilst motoring at full speed we came upon something out of the ordinary, a little yellow French submarine, (see pic) JP got over excited, he steered close waving frantically, but apart from a few bonjours nothing was understood.
Pimms party was under way, and the boat was left in familiar hands, some say he has sailed upside down around the Horn, others say he counts ants when asleep all we know is he is called ‘Alfie’! (stig)
Now for our more serious minded readers!
Whales sighted on the starboard quarter. The fact that we now have time to look around us shows how much conditions have improved. The whales are visible by their spouts, and we also think we can make out their flat backs as they pass disinterestedly across our stern, and continue on their path.
We enter a wind hole. This is perhaps a sight into the seventeenth dimension that most earth-dwellers do not see. After turning the boat round a few times, all sense of space and time is lost. In desperation we put the engine on and clock up our first hour of engine time.
A beautiful and peaceful night after the last two rotters. There is lightning well away to the north, but we are making 6½ knots in a flat sea, the boat reaching easily on a constant southerly breeze. Everyone is getting some good sleep, much needed after the turbulent times we have been through.
It’s not that we’ve become lethargic. It’s just
that after going through the wringer, none of us feel like doing much more than
necessary. Nicky is topping up the tan on the foredeck. Jeremy P is checking out
the chart of
Alfie, of course, is driving the boat.
General rejoicing as I discover a stash of beers under a seat that everyone swore contained only Sprite and UHT milk.
We are all deeply confused about the time. As we have decided to stay on GMT, it doesn’t get light till ten, breakfast is between eleven and twelve lunch is about now, and it stays light till after nine at night. Whether we change the time is a subject of debate that keeps coming back, but none of us can be bothered to do anything about it.