38N 18W, Mammoth Ships and Awards

IDEA Sailing
Idea Yacht Racing Ltd
Thu 4 Jul 2013 10:44
Mammoth Ships and Awards

Good morning all and hello from the ocean. As we've been sailing along closing with the coast of Portugal (still in excess of 400 miles away) we've seen an increase in traffic. The Mammoth cargo ships that ply the worlds waterways are just mind boggling to see and contemplate.

On board we have an information system called AIS, which almost all other commercial vessels have and many private ones as well. What it does is broadcast information on the boat - Heading, Dimensions, next port of call, speed, exact direction, and nearest we'll get before they cross our path. As we read some of this info it really makes you wonder how some of these boats actually float.

Yesterday afternoon we were passed by a cargo ship that was over 1000 feet long. 1000 feet, no matter how you look at or say it that is simply a HUGE number. A thousand feet of steal, a totally non-buoyant material. So how does it stay on top of the sea and not plunge into the watery depths of Davie Jones Locker.

Engineering: In a word that's how they float. Some really smart people with the aid of some really powerful computers have designed these leviathan machines that weigh in excess of a brazillian tons (in truth I have no idea how much they weigh but good lord it's got to be nuff. Like real nuff, Nuff nuff to be exact), and despite their size and weight they can power through the sea at 20 knots. Mind boggling is putting it mildly.

Garbage: We've touched on this before and we'll say it again. STOP LITTERING! As we sail along everyday and every night we pass remnants of plastic buckets, and bottles, and all manner of other non-biodegradable trash. It's an eyesore at the least. The littlest bits and pieces are eaten by the birds and fish, never to pass through the digestive system taking up space in the little tummies best used for actual food.

Is it really that difficult to keep the trash where the trash belongs? On board we hoard our trash. It gets a bit smelly, but keep it we do until land is reached and it can be disposed of properly. How does it wind up out here then?

Awards: We are proud to announce that Sian D. wins the IDEA Google/Wiki Award for letting us know that what we passed through the other night was a "Smack" of jelly fish, and that phosphoresence is spelled. . . well, just like that => phosphoresence. Unless of course you are talking about a single phosphoresecent. Then it's spelled => phosphoresecent. Thank you Sian and at some point you will receive your prize. Something from our chart table.

You'll be pleased to know that we've returned our pet jelly fish Kennedy (JFK to us) to the sea. Sadly it's been separated from it's smack, but we're confident that he'll drift into another smack soon enough. It was a very personable and charming jelly fish, not to mention good looking, so it wouldn't surprise me to hear at some point that he's been elevated to smack leader. It was however a sad parting as we'd all grown very fond of him. Join us in saying "Farewell and good luck Kennedy".

Right now we're about half way to the mainland, or a third of the way through this trip. We have finally sailed into a slightly better breeze too. As we go we should get yet more breeze making the second third of this trip faster than the first third. It remains to be seen what the last third will bring us.

TTFN - Ta Ta For Now