DAY 5 - Thu 24/11/05
- Mid Day Position 25.30N 23.50W
has been used in some corners of the World as a means of torture - and what a
tortuous night it was for everyone.
With no wind the
boat just lolled around, rolling and rocking in a random fashion, very
unlike the comforting motion of being heeled over, powering through the
Strange noises had
also stopped us sleeping - the rigging had not been happy with no wind to
fill it's appetite. We'd crawled all over the mast with torches, trying to
assertain the source, but with not much joy.
It is very unusual
for Tollers to pay attention to anything so early in the morning, so even more
suprising when he enquired if we were experimenting with a new kind of radio
He pointed out that
there was a 12 foot rod hanging perilously out of the main sail, about to
drop off the boat, and be lost in 4 km depth of water.
The crew moved
quickly to secure the rod - it was one of the batons or ribs that helps keep the
shape of the sail like an aircraft wing*.
*[Sailing uses the
same same science to move forward as a plane does to stay in the air - just like
a wing on it's side - for more information you may with to read "Fluid Dynamics
and Octopesal Bodies" by Professor W. Vindy.]
daylight now shed light on further problems - and answered some of the previous
We had a big tear in
the main sail. One of the cars which hold the baton and sail to the mast had
been smashed off, and further to the baton we had rescued, we had lost another
overboard in the night.
Whether it had been
the previous storm, or the following calm, the rigging had taken a battering and
we were in poor shape.
What happened next
could only be compared to scenes reminiscent of the
Sails came down,
tool boxes came out.
While Ron sewed the
sails, the rest of the team went about the other repairs, having to make from
scratch parts for which there were no spares - one even being cut and drilled
from a plastic chopping board!
Bailey broke briefly
from the open air workshop, to make a delicious tomato and pepper soup for lunch
- all from fresh ingredients - no tins in sight.
We started to put
the boat back together, everyone working well as a team, when Charlie, up
the mast, saw the first signs of a wind break in the water far away. With
perfect timing the wind filled our sails and we were flying
As the crew tidied
up, a shout went out...
We were suddenly
surrounded by 20 to 30 dolphins, all swimming along with us. As our boat jumped
out of the waves, so did the dolphins, in almost a choreographed dance - they
They stayed with us
for about 10 minutes, playing, and almost showing off in front of the bow of our
boat. Then, as quickly as they appeared, they turned and headed off
into the ocean - one briefly pausing as if to say goodbye.
What a great reward
for a hard days work.
Simon russled up a
great curry for tea, and after domestic chores, it was into the night
watches. With 9 knots of boat speed, and a heading of 254 degrees, spirits were