Learning New Tricks

Mon 13 Feb 2006 20:18
Well at last the good weather has arrived, northeasterly wind, blue skys
and rolling waves albeit a bit confused at times. Then the frustration set
in of not being able to make the best of the conditions, we went this way,
then that way, cross the waves, down the waves, every way. If we were not to
row the atlantic distance twice we had to learn and learn how to cope with
the conditions quckly. This also came at a time that Tim found out that he
had an infected left elbow. We think it is one of the many knocks taken in
the storm. Its pretty red and swollen We were a bit down, we drifted for a
sorting out options, Tim spoke to his local GP through Deborah Graham in
office. Wonderful these sat comms. Tim is now on antibiotics and rowing.
Regarding the
boat control, it all comes down to trim. I alluded to the problem in a
earlier blog, the cabin has a lot of windage due to its shape whilst the
forecabin has little. Therefore the boat tends to weather cock with the nose
coming up to wind.We completely cleared the forecabin except for very light
items and reloaded the most of it into our cabin at the rear of the boat,
even more cosy now!. All warps have been stored in rear locker. The life
raft has been moved into the 'swimming pool area', the well in front of the
rear cabin door which usually gets filled with water everytime we get with a
big one over the bow.

We set off again hoping that we had scored on two fronts. We hope now that
Tim's elbow is on the mend and guess what the boat performs a dream . We can
now surf the big waves and hold a course. We have to make adjustments
periodically to the rudder position but this isn't a problem from the rowing
position. Hopefully our daily mileages will reflect the change.

Our first 15 days on the water have exposed us to many aspects of ocen
rowing.What did Kenneth Crutchlow (of ORS) say to us in one coversation? You
will know all there is to know about ocean rowing in 10 days, well in our
case it took a little longer and we are still learning.

We had our first contact with shipping last night a tug boat towing a ship
on an 800m line came fairly close, we able to communicate with the bridge
using our VHF radio. After a bit of correspondence and mutual identification
the tug and tow veered to starboard to give us more sea room.

Being back on the oars is hard work but every day gets us neared to Antigua.
It probably too much to have that as our near objective, so what we call our
Great Circle Way point is our objective, approx 560 Nm away on a track of
255 deg mag from our present position I won't hazard a guess when we will be
there in case that disturbs the weather demons. Near this way point we will
swing onto to our final way point, Antigua.

Tim here.Well cheesed off with the elbow but hope to have caught it early.
The pills might cure my feet, hands, leg,bum as well as my elbow. I just
keep snagging myself on sharp bits that keep taking out chunks.

Life on the Ocean Waves.
Sea.me Radar Refloector -. It is an electronically enhanced radar reflector
which sends out an
enhanced image to the radar screen of nearby shipping.. It bleeps everytime
a radar sweep hits it. Last night as Mick said a confrotation with a tugl
was very soon recognised and action taken. It has just bleeped now
which means there is a boat with a radar somewhere between the horizon and
us. it goes a bit manic if the vessel gets closer. Mick fitted an buzer
overided switch to it the other day to stop driving us mad.