3 – 6 December 2006
wind remained generally 20 knots, sometimes going down a little, but just as
often going up. It was not that
comfortable, but I got used to it.
I have stubbed my big toes and they always seem to get more hurt when I
am continually trying to brace myself.
The waves are usually huge and quite mesmerising. I have left the sprayhood up, it might
give me an extra bit of speed downwind, but there are also waves that crash over
the top. Sometimes they come from
the back and both sides all at once, but they tend to wait until you turn your
back before they crash.
am doing well with the book and
tried to settle in the cockpit to read in a little bit of sun. I was immediately dumped onto the floor,
more bruises, back inside.
wind went ESE at noon and I changed to port tack. So far this is enabling me to stay on
course. I am prepared to go off the
line if necessary, but I have a line on the GPS and find it quite comforting to
see my little diamond right there where it should be. My instruments go up to 9.99nm XTE, but
I keep it down to below 5.
only tack the once after noon and back again before dark, when the wind changes
back to NE.
do plot my progress on the chart, but that is not so exciting as I move about
1cm a day. I put the plotter on
once or twice just to see it in colour and to make sure all my instruments
agree. Basically as long as the sun
rises behind me and the compass says I am going generally W then that should be
enough, but it never hurts to double or triple check.
am headed for Barbados, but Trinidad is always there if I
1700 there was a freighter going the other way. There are no shipping lanes where I am
according to my books, a little further out going from America to Cape Town, I
should have asked him.
decided to make pancakes for tea and clean out the fridge and do the washing and
wiping up. Sounds simple, but it
was actually a bit ambitious for the conditions.
1800 the sea went chaotic. I
managed the pancakes, cleaning out the fridge was frustrating. I got a very small bucket of seawater
for the washing up and it went everywhere except in the sink. I did the washing up, but had to resort
to going outside and having a heated discussion with the wind and waves, The genoa started to practice its
origami technique round the forestay and that was too much; one and a half reefs
before he even know what had hit him.
I was only going to do one, but refused to let the extra back out.
was time to change tack and so I ended up losing out and he was back at 1
reef. I did the wiping up, before
it had a chance to throw itself around the saloon. I must say that the new draining board
and rack are very sucessful and I can leave stuff to drain in reasonable
Conditions worsened and as it was now dark I ended up reefing and reefing
and eventually only had a very small bit of genoa out, but still we plod
on. I tried to listen to the boats
on the radio, but reception was terrible and gave up within minutes rather than
make myself feel ill. I knew what
the conditions were and could do little about it if they got worse. The conditions always seem worse in the
dark. 20 knots in the day and I
will let the genoa out fully, 20 knots in the dark and I am reefed up to the
forestay. I don t want to have to
go out and play in the dark if it suddenly goes berserk. In the dark I am on starboard tack and
the problem with the genoa sheet and the furling line on the same side is still
unresolved. It has always been a
problem that I vow I will solve, but never do. I have to take the furling line to the
winch on the other side and climbing over the rope in the dark is not something
I do happily. Rather like the
winch for the main is only one speed, I need it to be two speed. When this leg is over will I do these
things, £££, or will it all be forgotten until the next time they get me into
6:30 this morning I started letting out the reefs, bit at a time, they
were all out by 9:30. The other
reason for not going into the cockpit in the dark is the fish. I cannot concentrate on what I am
supposed to be doing if I am checking for fish underfoot. I can now pick them up by the wings and
throw them overboard. This morning
I had started returning them from whence they came when I decided to count
them. I collected them all, except
for the one that had been squashed under the ranging plank, I had 50 little
ones, one a bit bigger and two that would probably have made a meal. I did think that really I should try and
see if I could cut it up, as I had not had to kill it, but that has been put off
to another day. Possibly the same
day that I am going to go in the water for a swim. Manyana.
am now 2 hours behind GMT, but am not changing anything. It is not like I have to be anywhere at a certain time. If I save all the hours up until the end
I can have a long lie in.
115nm since yesterday noon.