1200 UT Sunday 5 Feb
Finlay has asked:
“Is Grandaddy on the wheel all the time or does Granny have a go sometimes?”
Well the answer is that we all take it in turns to be on the helm/wheel. Someone has to be ‘on watch’ all the time looking out for various things, for example
1. Passing ships – we have only seen one since we left the Cape Verde Islands – but you never know when one might appear and we do not want any collisions!
2. The sail – is it trimmed correctly ? If the sail is flapping, the person on watch may need to tighten up the lines. If the sail is straining and is too tight then the person on watch may have to let out the lines.
3. The course - is the boat sailing in the right direction and keeping the course set by the skipper [Grandaddy]? The waves, the wind and the currents can push the boat off course and if this happens the person on watch has to adjust the course back to the correct setting.
4. The wind – has it shifted or changed direction? If so the person on watch may have to alter course.
5. Squalls – these bring a sharp increase in wind speed. You can see them coming because there are big clouds, often with rain below. They are more difficult to see at night unless the moon is shining, but the person on watch can usually feel the wind increasing and the air temperature getting colder. This morning we had to take down the spinnaker when a squall arrived and then we put it back up again when the squall had passed by.
Here are some pictures of us on our different watches.
Bungles on the early morning watch with the dawn.
Michael on the morning watch.
Lulu on the afternoon watch – note the big swell behind her.
Grandaddy on the evening watch with the sun setting behind him.
And finally, Granny on the night watch!