Day 7, Friday, 11.02.2011, 12:00 UTC, 19:53.7N 26:19.0W, 24°C, 1018
I'm sailing west along the 20th latitude north, which is pretty much the
southern route to the Caribbean. The wind is still blowing between 25kn and 30kn
from the north-east, and now the famous atlantic swell is starting to build.
Long and rather high waves, some reach already over my head when I stand in the
cockpit. But the sea is still very rough with many samller waves in between, and
those little buggers make life pretty uncomfortable when they brake, as they
spray deck full of water and toss the boat around. The dolphins seem to love it
though and it looks like they have a hell of a time jumping out of the crests
and darting beneath the bow of Gudrun V.
Despite looking out for the wind-vane very carefully it stopped working
yesterday. The stainless steel hinge that holds the servo rudder is bent out of
shape, presumably by a wave, and I cannot fasten the servo-rudder anymore. I
quickly switched to the auto-pilot and then took the servo-rudder out of the
water and dismanteld the vane. Then I had a chocolate bar. And then another. And
another :-). Now it's done to me and the tiller pilot, and we take turns on the
rudder. Fortunately I have a spare tiller pilot with me, in case one gets
seasick, as they are known to do. I have a plan on how to fix the wind-vane with
what I have on board, but for that I need much calmer weather and seas, because
it involves drilling holes in the stainless steel hinge, which I can't take off
from the back of the boat. Unfortunately no easy weather is supposed to come my
way anytime soon. Ah well, nobody said it would be easy, right :-).
There is also good news. The back-ache, which has visited me on Wednesday
after some over-enthusiastic work at the main-sail halyard, is gone. The
treatment as subscribed by the ships's medic (my humble self) had consisted of
Diclofenac-Colextyramin (2x 150mg per day), a neopren bandage around the waist,
the proper use of the halyard-winch, and a modest dose of excellent Rioja (2x
100ml per day).
Otherwise I'm surprisingly busy on the boat. The first week is almost over,
and I'm not even halfway through the book which I thought would last me a few
days at the most. When not working the sails or maintaining or fixing things I'm
mostly sleeping. Or cooking, but not very much really. I'm more tired than
hungry. I usually start the day with fruit and bread, then yesterday's dinner
for lunch around two, and a hot dinner (vegetables + noodles, rice, couscous
etc.) around seven. Later some more fruit and maybe bread with smoked ham and
parmesan. Glass of wine if the weather is nice. Not a bad diet I guess. I have
lots of chocolate and cookies on the boat, but except for special moments (e.g.
when the wind-vane brakes) they remain surprisingly untouched.
My brother informed me that not all SPOT messenges with my position arrive.
Especially the one I send every morning at 6 UTC seems not to find it's way to