02:27.102'N 85:56.105'W The Lonely Sea and the Pie

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Thu 30 Mar 2023 23:14

Day 9


Our slow and frustrating days continue. We are well and truly in the doldrums it would seem. Wind, when it comes, is very light and rarely from any consistent direction. Keeping sailing is quite an art form. We regularly lift and set sails only to eek the barest mile or so out; or not, and then drop them again.

Last night we dropped all sail and drifted. Both getting plenty of rest although Jamie did keep a watch every 45min for shipping.

We lifted sails at 
0830am and dropped them again shortly after 9am.

It seems the clumsy red-footed Boobies may have managed to bugger up our masthead wind indicator with their bloody clown-feet as we feared might happen. It seems to work ok in decent winds but in light winds the arrow head seems to stick. Obviously we have had a lot of light winds to notice this though. Jamie grabbed his bosun's chair and I lifted him up the mast to take a look. With the long slow ocean swell on our beam and all our sails down we were rolling in quite a horrible motion - particularly unpleasant for a mast climb. This was Jamie's second foray up the rigging in less than 24 hours; as we dropped the spinnaker last night it snagged in the lower set of spreaders and I had lifted Jamie just a few metres to untangle it. Today he went a little further but I didn't get him near the top before he looked up and saw the indicator had started working. In the rolling conditions he decided it wasn't worth going all the way up to inspect something that was working. Instead I lowered him to around the lower shrouds where he tied a woolen "tell tale" to each of the port and starboard shrouds. With a bit of luck if the wind instruments fail these will give us some indication of the wind direction as they flap from the rigging.

In other failures; well most of our electronic instruments seem to now be working only intermittently. Jamie is concerned this might be a processor issue as the electronic depth-sounder and wind gauge seem to have now joined the log in reading only intermittently. I imagine by the time we reach Polynesia we will be sailing without any electronic instruments at this rate! We will have to embrace the traditional ways of the old ships who's wake we travel in; using a lead-line to measure depth and judging the wind by the breeze on our faces!!! I am extremely grateful that we don't rely on an electronic autopilot that would use all these instruments to steer by. The wonderful thing about our windvane self-steering gear is that it doesn't use any electronics; it literally steers by the wind. So we don't need to be too concerned by the instruments… fortunately! In prepping Hamble Warrior for ocean sailing we always planned for redundancy of electronic equipment and hence we have so few electronic systems on-board. We heavily favour the simplicity of manual and mechanical solutions which can be investigated and resolved with the tools we carry on-board. Therefore the loss of electronic systems is no great tragedy and we can manage without.

I feel like it's been a slightly negative blog today but it's really not been all bad; we haven't thrown ANY eggs or veggies overboard today (yet!) HURRAH!! Best of all at around 2pm after watching black clouds approaching for some time they finally disgorged their load; along with a healthy rumble of thunder and a little lightening. We set to with our buckets and water catcher and managed to catch 55 litres of lovely fresh rainwater. We now have completely full tanks and cans. Every single water can that we brought out here full is now full again!! It's a really wonderful feeling. It is also a reminder that we really do have everything we need and we can take as long as we need to make this passage. We want for nothing (apart from Nutella and Polos) and we can take our sweet time... Jamie thinks I am turning into crazy sailing legend Bernard Moittissier who just kept sailing around the world... He even dedicated an appendix in his book on how this could be achieved indefinitely with no need to ever return to shore!  But you know; no Nutella and Polos so we WILL have to stop eventually!

For now we have everything; I have started my 4th book of the passage so far; Richard Osman's "Thursday Murder Club" while Jamie is just finishing Sir Francis Chichester's absolutely brilliant account "The Lonely Sea and the Sky" ...both highly recommended!!!

Our 5pm to 5pm daily run comes in at just 25nm in "sort of the right direction"... still better than yesterday AND we have filled our water tanks AND we still have eggs... happy dance, happy days :)