Sailors Trousers.

Fri 10 Feb 2006 18:07
When as a little boy going on holiday with the family, the weather typical
for an English summer, wet and cloudy, mum would always try and cheer us up
by spotting "bits of blue (sky)that were big enough to make a sailor a pair
of trousers. Her powers of observation and cheerfulness would be tested to
the maximum as again we are held up by the wind direction and in some ways
too the wave height.

Desperate to move things along at 3.30 am we had a calming sea and tried
for 4 hours to row closer to our waypoint than at present. The wind was
about f3 but the waves were coming from the west so we were trying to cut
across the wave pattern and wind direction to make some headway to the sw.
At the end of the 4 hours the weather deteriorating, we had covered a max of
only 2 miles and we were both exhausted.
It want just rowing but working to stay on a course that the elements didnt
like. We want to make the move but felt quite down when despite the effort
both the wind and waves increased, sending us on the long journey to Morroco
We had to deploy the sea para anchor again to avoid losing the little
ground made.The elements too strong for our efforts to stay on course.Wind
direction this morning is still blowing wnw and we are again going nowhere.

The morning is like the olden day summers looking for blue to make a sailor
a pair of trousers.
Mick points out that there is some blue sky about but he is sitting tring to
fix the navigation light in a rain storm lyin flat on his back with his head
in the fore cabin.

However baromic pressure is rising, there is some blue sky but we need to
row as nothing as yet has been achieved despite the physical exertions.
We are forcast favourable winds for Sunday and would love them to last long
enough to make some inroads into the total distance needed..

The time factor came home to me today when i opened a new 10 day pack of
food. !0 days out and only 200 and a bit gone. Times must change!!!!

In the 10 day pack ( For those who helped to put it together yes we have
combined 2 x5 day packs) we have a cerial/porridge breakfast, chocolate,
cakes, crisps, biscuits, cheese for during the day and night and an
expeddition freeze dried evening meal of chilli, or stew, or savoury chicken
and a choice of pud - choc pud . apples and custard. The treat for these 10
days are 2 christmas puds supplied like so much of our food from Asda
(Organised by Anna my daughter - thanks ) They would had ssome interesting
questions at customs with someone carrying out to the Canaries a suitcase
full of cake and puds.

Mick is still working away on the electrics lying on his back in the rain.
What more can I say.!!!

Mick - one positive to come out this enforced rest is that when we do start
off with quite a lot of work and improvements carried out on the boat and
hopefully with our rudder, power anchor and electric in good order.

Life on the Ocean Waves - Navigation, our main source of navigation is GPS.
We have one fixed system that we can see from the rowing position and two
hand held units as backup. We have keyed in a number of way points to assist
our passage.The normal route for cruising and rowing boats is to head off
from the Canaries in sw direction to a point about 150 miles off Cape Verde
before shaping a course to Antiga. This takes advantage of the prevailing
wind the (the trade winds) and the equatorial current. Our first waypoint
was therefore a point south east of the island of El Hierro to ensure we
give it a wide berth and from there head off down to further waypoint where
we swing west for the Caribean. We have called this way point our Great
Circle point. This point is an ideal and it is unlikely that we will actual
arrive at the point but it gives us an intrim position to aim for. When we
are sufficently near to the Great Circle point, and able to do so we will
swing on to the the Antigua way point. Should be easy, wind and weather

If all GPSs fail then we have to fall back onmy celestial nav skills, god
help us.