Wind holes, black holes, la dolce vita
Sun 25 May 2014 17:01
Sunday, 25th May, 2014
Position: 25:51N 62:18W
As predicted, the wind has died away, and we are headed for a wind hole. In theory a sailing ship should never be able to escape a wind hole, so its fortunate that they move around, and don't tow their captives along with them by force of gravity, or whatever the particle police are calling that force this week. Besides, I can turn the engine on if needs must, but at present I'm enjoying a little peace and quiet: with the big foresail boomed out tight to the end of spinnaker pole, and everything else stowed away, there is very little sail flapping going on, and the five knots of wind is pushing us along at a couple of knots, plus there is the Gulf Stream current giving us a total of about three knots, 75 miles a day. The cockpit is covered with awnings to keep the sun off, and I have wiped away a lot of the salt crystals that have been clinging to everything for the last week.Life would be fine, where it not for that hole up ahead, the future getting in the way of the present, as usual! So I'm checking to see an updated forecast, just maybe the outlook is now a little better?
Have done some fishing, but caught nothing, and now we are in the Sargasso Sea: so called because in this quiet part of the ocean, sargasso seaweed collects on the surface in large quantities, and drifts endlessly. All very well, but as you tow a fishing lure behind the boat it catches a clump of said weed every few mins. So fishing has become rather too labour intensive, and anyway, I still have a few tins of salmon and anchovies left in the now dwindling stores. Aother reason for possible fishing failure is that supplies of flying fish have dried up: usually in the tropics you have to clear the poor dessicated things off the deck each morning, but I have seen none for ages . As my fishing lure is supossed to represent a flying fishI, perhaps there is a different sort of food chain up here? Incidentally this is the area that European freshwater eels come to feed and do their business, along with the North Atlantic salmon. Stocks of both have dwindled in recent years, no one seems to know why.
It is just a little cooler now we are headed north, and I can sleep in the cabin at night without the fan on, and indeed last night I woke wrapped in my ancient Tesco 'throw'. Midday now however, and you can't walk on the decks in your bare feet: cat on hot tin roof etc.
Finished my Micheal Frayn book, A landing on the Sun, hilarious dig at love, philosophy and the Civil Service. In fact the Civil Service gets off quite lightly, highly recomended.
I wonder how life in the parallel universe of Switzerland is progressing, as the RTW fleet heads up to New York.