JJMoon Diary
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Wed 10 Jan 2007 11:49

I have traduced MailaSail’s software.  Brother Martin advises that the speeds shown are in kilometres per hour.  So: 12Kph; about 7.5Mph; about 6.8 Knots; about right.  My apologies to all.


We have been bowling along pretty well for the last twenty-four hours.  You should see a good stride from yesterday’s position.  We get the occasional splash and it is difficult to move about down below but otherwise all is positive.


We nearly had a bit of excitement on Monday.  Peter from Chatti called on the satphone to say that there was a boat in trouble, drifting without her rudder and skeg.  How were we placed to help?  After a few minutes comparing positions on the plotter I called back to say that we were about 345 miles upwind of her and could be there in 48 hours.  Fortunately there were several boats much closer than us and we were stood down before we had even got under way.  While busy with the computer and phone I could see the mate washing up and clearing the ship for action.  She looked thoughtful.  I asked if she was thinking of issuing the whole ship’s company with clean underwear to be ready for any eventuality.  She said, “No,” she was thinking about the etiquette of bed linen.  Should she change the sheets to receive honoured, rescued guests, or would desperate and grateful rescuees wish to be treated as members of the family and rub along with the existing sheets?  I do not know where you look that up.


It was a good example of the increasing use of satphones; I think they must be taken on board by more and more cruising yachties.   Peter and Chris left Las Palmas before Christmas and when they rang they were a few hours from berthing in Bequia.  Hearing of the incident they had been ringing round any of their contacts who might be in the vicinity of the endangered yacht.  No doubt others were doing the same.  It must be an additional aid to safety.  Another Australian couple, Ross and Sue on Y-Not are keeping an eye on us.  We left the Canaries within a few days of each other and at the start were in radio contact.  Knowing we now have a malfunction of some sort they give us a call on the phone every four or five days to see how we are getting along; a friendly gesture that we much appreciate.


The phone has made a very significant contribution to the enjoyment of the enterprise.  I originally under-estimated the benefits of MailaSail’s slick compression software and the impact of the Google maps and position data which have given such encouragement to the e-mails and blogs.  It has been great to be able to exchange so many mails with friends who are interested in what is going on out here.  We are thinking of throwing a big party for all JJ Moon’s virtual crew.  Fiji?  Tonga?