DAY 12 15 December 2006, Friday
Was it a squall, no, I had found the front, or the front had found me. It stopped raining, but the sea was still 10-12 feet and wind did not drop below 18 for the 12 hours since it started.
It was so frustrating that there was so little I could do in these conditions, not even sit and read a book in comfort. I did manage to finish book 3 – 600 pages and I saved the last chapter till this morning, what a let down. I had promised the watermaker that I would give it a quick run every day, but it was too rough. However, there was a job I had been meaning to do, perhaps I would feel some sense of achievement if I got on with it. Very early in the proceedings I was dripping blood and had to come in. I just wanted a plaster and maybe some sympathy, but all I got was a lecture on what category of stupid playing with a stanley knife in a rough cockpit came under. Ok, I realise that 1000 miles from anywhere is not the place to start chopping yourself up, especially with the calibre of first aider around here. I got my plaster and went out and finished the job, more carefully, but probably should have waited. It was 6pm before I realised that what I needed was something instant to replace the blood I had lost, extra chocolate ration, why hadn t that been suggested before, eh Florence Nightingale.
I did pass a large buoy fender in the afternoon which is always odd. Presumably it fell off a passing yacht, don t tell me there is a lobster pot down there. I did not go and try to pick it up, I didn t want to touch it.
The flying fish are amazing, I first thought they were birds, but they really fly. They are very beautiful in flight and even when they land on the boat, they are silvery blue, dead, but beautiful. What makes a fish want to fly and how did it grow wings? Is it too late to put in for an anatomical enhancement for humans. I realise another pair of hands would look a bit odd, so just some suckers on swivel arms extending from the shoulders would do. That way you could be supported and have your hands free, one to open the cupboard and the other one to catch what is going to fall out.
The weather was supposed to remain at 18-20 through the night and maybe until Saturday evening. This morning is is still 18+, it does show signs of dropping off to 16, but it is going to drag it out as long as it can. So next time you see a front on the weather, depicted by a pencil thin line, just spare a thought for the people trying to cross it, that takes 12 to 36 hours. What can we expect when we get through, light conditions. What happened to the stronger winds behind it, something about the high pressure caving in.
This morning I had a cup of coffee with the Atlantic, I put it in the holder at the end of the cockpit and I have a bit and then the sea has a bit – it s called sharing.
The boat is doing really well, I have just the genoa out full, even through 20+ and all night. I am very pleased I mended it when I did, although if I had known the calm of Wednesday was coming I would have left it until then. 20:20 hindsight again. With a 8.55m waterline the boatspeed is limited and the difference between normal and fast is not much. I have covered 120 uncomfortable miles since yesterday, but if I had been given the option then I would have been happy with 100 comfortable ones.
1250 miles done, but still about 900 to go. I have been staying so close to my course, is the globe expanding underneath me. I have put the alarm on to tell me when I get .5nm off course, keeps me occupied. In good Philleas Fogg fashion I should now be 3 hours behind GMT. It doesn t make much difference, there are still 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness whatever time you want to put on them.