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Date: 02 Feb 2013 17:53:05
Title: 6 days out of Mindelo Swimming and Repairs

Saturday 02 February 2013
14 42N 036 30W
We still have 1216 miles to go and with no sign of an increase in wind, progress continues to be mostly engine assisted. The one advantage of calm seas and gentle breezes is the ability to make no way at all and go for a swim. After dropping the sails, turning off the engine and scouring the horizon for shark fins, it was time to take the plunge.
After two and half weeks of floating on the ocean, it was time to plunge in. The sea temperature is the same as the air, 30 degrees Celcius, so a mid-afternoon paddle was the perfect way to cool down.
Even with zero boat speed through the water, the current is powerful enough to push Diatonic along at almost a knot, so the floating line that Tony trailed astern was necessary to avoid requiring an Olympic-calibre front crawl to keep pace. Barrie’s waterproof camera came in handy, letting him take a shot of Tony being towed along. If we’d been going any faster we could have got the water skis out. Having avoided becoming lunch for any creatures from the depths, it was time for our own, a feast of hot dogs and fried onions, to help replace the thousands of calories we pretended to have burnt.

Unfortunately, even the simplest of meals are dependent on a working stove, and our diesel-powered unit has proved troublesome. Tony and Ian pulled the oven apart, but lacking any replacement parts, were forced to reassemble it without having actually done anything. This didn’t stop them from taking credit when the oven decided to start working again.
Ken continues to act as the trip’s videographer, and if the wind doesn’t pick up, he’ll have enough footage to make a feature length film. The options for material is rather limited, with no traces of life, human or otherwise, besides the occasional school of flying fish or sea bird, in the last two days. Our diligence in maintaining a watch on the endless waves is wavering, so there’s a good chance that pods of whales or dolphins have escaped our notice.
Planning for the halfway party continues. We’re taking bets on the exact hour that we’ll drop the hook in Barbados and if you’d like to play along at home, Ken has promised to pay out on any winning guesses at 10-1 odds.


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