15th June 2009.
morning to all you blog watchers.
dawn , I came on watch at 06:00 am, relieving Lucien who has returned to his
bunk. He was a little under the weather yesterday, suffering from a headache and
some sea sickness which is unusual for him. We have come to accept his
enthusiasm and happy disposition as
the norm, I hope, with a little more sleep he will be back on form. Drew
has also been under the weather with tiredness the main problem. The watch
system is gentle at two hours on and six off compared to some boats but is still
disruptive with sleep patterns and the natural cycles and rhythms of
are now more than halfway to Falmouth and we have been blessed with fair winds
since leaving Horta in the Azores. We have enjoyed North West winds ranging in
the most part from 10 to 20 knots with the squalls keeping us all on our
toes, the occasional gusts of 30/40 knots, our technique for reefing in a hurry
have improved enormously.
seas have been constantly from the North West but vary hour by hour. At present
the sea is relatively calm with a 3/4 meter swell but we have had big rollers
with breaking crests, sweep right over the top of the boat and knocking her
flat, stripping the speed to nothing.
had an encounter with a French sailing yacht in the night, I was on watch just
before midnight a bright white light was flashed about two miles astern of us,
the vessel was showing no navigation lights. I attempted to call him on VHF
16 with no response I then tracked him on our radar for a while and signalled
him with our aldis lamp. Eventually he responded to my second attempt on the
radio and claimed he was French and did not speak English, I roused Lucien from
his bunk to speak with him in French and ask if he required assistance. Lucien
being half asleep failed to understand the situation .He did mutter a few words
in to the mike but no response from the French yacht, I can only assume he had
turned his radio off, he did the same with his navigation lights a few minutes
later, I can only think he was conserving his battery power or ignorant of the
basic International rules for the prevention of collision at sea!!. showing
appropriate navigational lights for his type of vessel during the hours of
darkness and maintaining a constant watch on Ch 16 VHFand or 2182 Mghtz on
have met many French sailors on this voyage and it has been my experience that
they lack even the most basic
skills of seamanship, often making up the rules as they go along
this morning came late and slow with overcast skies and variable winds, the
barometer is steady but the forecast is for strong winds in Fitzroy, our sea
area today, maybe we are in for another blow.
was on galley duty last night and rustled up a great cottage pie using the last
of our precooked mince followed by a peach crumble. So as you can tell the
standards are not slipping .
wind seems to have deserted us at the moment with slating sails and 3:4 knots of
speed. Let’s hope it will return soon and get us back on track. These sorts of
conditions are hard on the rig and a careful eye needs to be kept on chafe,
sheets and halliards can wear through in no time.
I will wish all a good day, bonjour from us all on Libertad.