Sun 26 May 2013 16:01
Sunday May 26th 2013
Position  1:0S 42:0W
Which is unusually consice, but that is exactly where we are. But it is the squalls that I want to moan about, ther are getting more frequent, and much stronger. I am trying to type this in the aftermath of an hour's force 8, wallowing in short steep seas. Especially at night they come without warning, and I take in more and more sail at dusk to anticipate these blows, so overall we slow down quite a lot. At 02.00 this morning we had the typical situation of a full on attack on the AIS, from a tanker calling herself 'Joanna', and a squall with zero visability. It was reassuring to be able to raise the watch officer using the DSC. After a slightly worrying pause he came back to say that he could see me well on his radar, and that we were not going to collide. At that stage we were at 6 miles range, in the middle of real weather, so the 'Sea me' obviously does work (but why the pause: when did they last check their radar?). He said he would turn to port a little, and we subsequently passed, stb to stb at a distance of 500 metres. Nothing since then, and we are too far out for fishing vessels, which don't seem to venture over the edge of the continental shelf.
So the bland weather forecasts belie the real situation, but after all we should be in the doldrums now, so squalls are expected, why then complain?!
Not much news from the culture vulture in me, this activity having been supressed by the violent seas and with some stugeron anti sick pills: better safe than sorry, I always take a couple when the seas get rougher. Sunday afternoon, I could be home taking an afternoon nap, perhaps watching a gentle game of cricket. Ask no questions; what has to be done!