Hello Thomas, Peter has written this blog. Can you please publish it.
I am in contact with Niklas and he is in Saint Helena repairing his watermaker!
Tuesday 05.00hrs 02.02.21
Greetings from the middle of the Atlantic. We are currently (well I think we are – the bloody navigation/AIS froze up 5 hours ago and I don’t want to wake Lars in order to reboot/fix it) half way between Walvis Bay, Namibia and St Helena where we plan to moor up (we are not allowed to go ashore) and hopefully get a sim card and get some proper “interwebability”. A Swedish friend of Captain Lars, who left Cape Town the same day I arrived (15th Jan), is currently stranded there – he is single handing to Brazil in a Bavaria 31 and his Water Maker has broken down. We have received a rather disjointed message from him so will see what, if any, assistance we can give.
I was violently ill again for the first 2 ½ days of this trip. Heavy rollers and flukey winds made the boat very rocky although it still didn’t slow her down – over 200nm in our first 24 hours. My life was spent sleeping in my cot, the occasional meal and religiously doing my 2 hour stints on night watch where I took the opportunity to regularly feed the fish.
Day 3 saw some improvement both in me and the sea state and so to make up for my “missing time” I volunteered to do 3 back to back stints on watch 2am – 8am. The guys were a bit doubtful to start with but I saw it through and so today (now) I am doing midnight to 8am. All is good but I do wish the AIS was working. When I took over from Jeremy he reported that the system was down and all of my attempts to reboot failed. At about 1am I had a contact at my 1 o’clock (starboard) at about 10 miles showing red. We didn’t appear to be in conflict but as time went on I noticed the space between the white deck lights getting bigger and bigger and further apart. I realized it was a HUGE tanker/container ship heading straight at us about 5 miles off.
Oh dear, then I saw the Red (port/left side) light go to Green (right side) –. Fortunately, by now, the vessel was at our 3 o’clock so no problem and it passed safely by our stern about 2 miles off …. Phew.
Another funny from tonight is that I was attacked by a flying fish. I was standing on the top step of the wheelhouse looking over the top of the coach roof surveying the horizon when something hit the left side of my head, I was still recovering from the shock when I heard a strange noise from the wheelhouse and saw it was a bloody flying fish. Said fish is now in the fridge and will join the others that we have been collecting from the decks. Kenneth cooked some up earlier today (yesterday) and other than the little bones they are bloody yummy. Hopefully we will have some more today and I will break out the Ouzo to accompany them.
Right it’s 6am – time for my 2 hourly caffeine fix.
UPDATED 23.30hrs Tues 02.02.21
Well to end my 8 hour “night shift” I knocked up a Fried Eggs n Beans on Toast for brekkie, Once joined at the helm by Kenneth I went and collected a further 4 flying fish from the fore deck and then a well-deserved 4 hours kip.
Lars and Kenneth were already enjoying a mid day beer when I woke up, so I felt obliged to join them. We were later treated to the sight of a huge shoal of flying fish – honestly 100’s and 100’s of them skimming the surface of the ocean, some of them 2 metres above the surface – I now understand how I got a “fish slap” last night and then …. Wow …… a pod of about 10 – 15 pilot whales swimming less than 20 metres off our port beam for a few minutes – What a magnificent sight. If 2 ½ days sea sickness was the price of admission to this show/feeling ….. It was a bloody bargain.
The rest of the day has progressed well.
The guys have decided that they really appreciate having “Insomniac Pete” as part of their crew. Capt. Lars has hastily reorganized the “Night watch” rota to have ‘Jonah Jeremy’ 8 – 10pm, Capt. Lars 10pm – midnight, yours truly midnight till 8am and then “Boxer short clad Kenneth” (not a pretty sight) 8 – 10am.
UPDATED 17.30hrs Weds 03.02.21
The night watch passed without incident and when I hit the sack at 8am slept soundly until about 10.30amwhen I was awoken by the sound of flapping sails, Capt. and crew complaining about failing wind and a group decision (not involving still slumbering me) to start the engine. The instant I heard the engine start I could hear/sense that something was wrong and the loud mutterings of Capt. Lars confirmed my suspicion.
Hmmm ……. Middle of Ocean, Crook (poorly) engine – not the best position to be in.
Those who know me, know that I love engines, grease, sweat – yep all that lovely Alpha Male yukky stuff, so together with Capt. Lars we set about investigating the cause of the problem.
Diagnosis showed us – No water from exhaust system, Intake water filter clear and then an “Impellor” which looked like it had done 24 hours at Daytona !!!! Powdered rubber, torn impellor blades and not a lot else to pump the vital cooling water round.
Another hour of cleaning associated parts and fitting “bloody tight” new impellor resulted in – NOTHING …… Oh bugger, engine won’t start !!! A quick check of the engine bay revealed that in our “cramped space” efforts to refit new “bloody tight” impellor we had disconnected the earth lead to the starter solenoid – wow at last – an easy fix.
Turn key, alarm buzzes, engine starts, alarm buzzer stops and “glug, glug, glug” from the stern exhaust confirms a healthy running engine – Woo Hoo ….. Time for a Beer.
Lunch time was a “Flying Fish Feast” cooked by “Kenneth the Kook”, but I now hang my head in shame as I admit that I forgot to break out the Ouzo. Never mind – It is a big ocean and I am sure we will be joined by many more of those tasty flying wonders.
The “Biggy” Today was however at 15.20 hrs and 55 seconds when we passed the 0° Meridian Line and passed from East to West. Capt. Lars insisted that this was a “Naughty Call” event worthy of celebration, so Rum and Coke all round. This was such a new experience for me (normally I have Brandy or Disarona with my coke – ask my daughter) that Capt. Lars (a very wise man) insisted that the toast should be repeated.
“Kenneth the Kook” is now busying himself in the galley. As usual sweet fragrances of garlic, onion and olive oil are wafting up to the deck area where Nina Simone is serenading a reading Capt. Lars and typing “yours truly”.
Happy Daze …..
Deck Hand Pete – Over and Out.
Ps – Just in case my mum gets to read this – “They still haven’t found where I have stashed the “Sailing Survival Kit”