16 March Blog

Lars Alfredson
Wed 17 Mar 2021 13:18
Dawnbreaker Blog 
Updated 17.50 hrs 16.03.21
Welcome back "Blog Readers"
Please accept my apologies if this blog goes a bit "wayward" but we have had a catastrophe on board.
Capt. Lars has just broken the last "posh" glass that we had, and even worse was that it contained his pre dinner/sundowner Gin and Tonic.
As you can imagine I immediately stepped up to the plate and offered him mine - which he accepted in less time than you can say "Yes Please".
Anyhow this meant I was now dispatched to the galley to sort myself out a replacement "drinkie pooh".
In order to maintain, the now, limited supplies of Gin & Tonic I sacrificed myself and elected Vodka and Diet Coke, unfortunately I didn't have Kenneth with me to explain the recipe, so after 6 attempts I am now feeling very mellow, blocking the companion way and tipping on the compoooter.
7.30 am yesterday (Monday) morning saw us preparing to leave French Guiana and embark on this, our last leg, to Grenada. All was going well until we discovered that our mooring lines had become VERY VERY tangled around our mooring buoy. Capt. Lars, who is very experienced at tangles, set off in the tender to untangle said tangles, Kenneth was promoted to helmsman in order to keep us on station as and when freed, and I assumed my usual post of Deck Hand, which on this occasion allowed me to hurl laughs and abuse, as the Captain uttered Swedish expletives whilst trying to "Free" us.
Fortunately said "Swedish expletives" could be heard a mile away in the Marina Managers Office and the ever gracious, helpful and friendly Samuel came out in his electric powered dinghy to see what, if any, assistance he could offer.
Eventually Capt. Lars, with just a little assistance from me, managed to release us. All good so far ?
Yes - just that now we are drifting with the 3 knots current and Capt. Lars appears to be have some technical issues with the tender - "The engine won't start" - Huge lol from me, Finnish chuckles from Kenneth and then the hero of the morning - Samuel to the rescue, as he grabs the painter from the stricken tender and motors it over to me.
Decision Time - Pull the tender in and save our Captain or cut the line and mutiny ?
Having read about what happened to the Mutineers on the Bounty I wisely chose Option 1 and rescued our Captain.
O.K - enough of this nonsense. A favourable current from the dropping tide and by mid day we found ourselves in open water. The ever slick "Deck Hand" had the main sail raised (with the second reef in) with the minimum of shouting and swearing from his Captain, the No. 2 genoa was unfurled by Kenneth and WHOOOOOSH .....
25 - 30 knots of wind from our 4 o'clock and 10 - 12 knots of forward motion.
15 - 20 degrees of list and some really testing "G" forces as Dawnbreaker sped through the heavy seas but - Woo Hoo .... This is fun.
I had my post, evening meal, snoozaki (4 hours worth of 'Z's) and just before midnight took over the helm from Lars.
The only matter of interest was whether we could outrun/get in front of a Norwegian boat which was towing 6 miles of cables behind it - a 10 nm diversion if we couldn't.
Obviously Capt Lars had great faith in his AIS (which was giving us a 1 miles separation) and my nerve and so he went to bed !
Breaking News - Dawnbreaker won the race.
The next matters of interest were a conflicting/crossing our bows Venezuelan cargo ship (Astra G) coming across from our 5 o'clockat 14 kts and the AIS predicting a 2 mile down to 200 yards separation (lets hope for the 2 mile option) and also a strange light hue on the horizon at my 11 o'clock. By "light hue" I mean that in the pitch black, just over the horizon line, it looks as though someone is shining a torch directly up into the sky. What you now need to realise is that the horizon line is about 10 miles away, so that must be a really strong torch !
Over the next hour I watched in amazement as the "hue" became one light then another then even more until what I could now see at 10 miles off, was what appeared to be a floating Eiffel Tower.
AIS confirmed it was Noble Sam Croft, an oil exploration platform and her posse of support vessels.
Astra G got closer and closer and then just as she was crossing our bows about 2 miles ahead changed her course to about 300 degrees, probably to keep clear of "Sam Noble". This however meant she was now taking a course only 10 degrees different to us, so we were now in effect following closely behind. She gradually pulled away from us over the next few hours as we passed another 3 floating cities/oil platforms.
At 6 am Kenneth was up on deck and pleased with the 65 miles I had put behind us over the last 6 hours. I was just pleased that he was there and I could go to bed, as I said before the speed and heavy listing really knocks it out of you.
Our mid day report showed that we had covered 251 nautical miles over the last 24 hours, possibly an all time high for Dawnbreaker.
The rest of the day has gone well with clear skies and no Fishing Boats to avoid.
AIS is predicting an early hours Thursday (18 March) arrival in St. Georges, Grenada - We may even need to slow down.
So with the fragrant smells of Chicken Livers in a creamy, rum infused, sauce accompanied by Kenneth's wonderful Garlic fried Potatoes wafting from the galley it is time for me to set the table.
Stay Safe - Stay Strong - Stay Smiling
Remember to check in on "that" friend.
Deck Hand Pete x