Shopping trolleys and Alien Abduction

Thu 26 Nov 2020 09:36
24:14N 27:26W
0915 GMT Cog 230, sog 8knots, wind under 20knots NNE, sea 3 metres sometimes 4m but Jess says still a lot less than 30.

The table tennis was abandoned as everyone started feeling a bit green again, but Jess was winning against Ruth in early practice.

Chipi was Mom yesterday, and made nice salad things and genuine mushroom soup from first principles. But she's used only a very small part of the several months of food we have on board, including (for example) 150 eggs. A game of Egg Roulette beckons. Shopping seemed entirely logic-driven with extensive lists in Las Palmas, but I expect there was a fair bit of "rounding up" regarding how much food each recipe would need, and then more rounding up of the total, and a bit extra just to be on the safe side. It's gotta be time to start on the ice cream soon, hasn't it, what with three tubs of the stuff?

The Parasailor vented spinnaker continues to do great work, and e had a spectacular night in starry skies, ripping along at up to 18knots, not having to touch the sails at all.

I am reminded of a grumpy ARC skipper who arrived St Lucia in his Proper Yacht several days after me ("I sailed conservatively with the family on board of course" Pah!) and asked what boat I had (catamaran) and he said Oh yes, shopping trolley? Although he meant it as a mean insult, "shopping trolley" is a useful analogy. And who amongst can honestly saythat they haven't towed the kids around Tesco car park, or at least thought about it? I know I have.

It doesn't er, I mean, it wouldn't work well to just tow them along with a single rope attached as the trolley would veer wildly from side to side. Much better to have a rope from each leading corner of the trolley to the rear of the car, and have additional crossed lines too. A further improvement would be to attach all four lines (two from each leading corner of the shopping trolley) to the rear of the roof rails of the car to give a bit of lift to the front end of the trolley over rougher parts of the tarmac, drainage channels etc, and avoid steering in anything but straight ahead with the kids in the rear of the trolley for extra stability. Yeah, no need tell anyone about this, again.

All this is precisely the arrangement on Mojo, two main ropes attached to each corner of the spinnaker, pulling us along, and crossed lines to stop the spinnaker from swaying side to side and inducing too much swinging of the boat. We have to steer dead downwind 180degrees too, to avoid bringing apparent wind up the side of the boat, so I have considered turning on all the lights to indicate that we're "Limited In Our Ability To Manoeuver" but I'd need a better spelling checker than they managed in this book I found on board to double check that the lights needed are all round red, white and red.

Anyway, another bright day, lower winds than the solid 28 knots we had overnight and we're around 200miles closer to our waypoint in the last 24hours. We made over 9knots over ground and around 8.5 VMG (ie towards where we want to go) which is rubbish if you're a Vendee Globe racing yacht (how's Alex doing?) but quite good for a lardy 60foot catamaran with 1500litres of diesel, 500 litres of water, another 300litres of bottled water, 6 months of food, two fridges, a freezer and a washing machine.

One strange phenomenon we noticed (about 45 minutes after it supposedly happened) was back at 24:44N 26:30W where the track shows that the boat turned sharp left and ran across the wind for about 400yards across 3-4metre waves seas, then made an acute 135-degree very sharp right for another 500yards, ish, to exactly rejoin the path of the earlier track. The boat can't physically have done that downwind in 28knots, and it would be quite awkward even in no wind. So it's possibly a Raymarine software glitch. Or more likely a very brief alien abduction/rejection and memory wipe.

Ruth is Mom again today, and hence gets no night watches before her birthday tomorrow Friday.