Kuki has now settled into her 8 to 12 watch and is of course starting to
take over the above deck functions as well as those below already stamped
out as her territory. She is a dab hand at getting Charles out of his bunk
at midnight and John at any other time through the after cabin hatch. She
was up at 0630 this morning, much to Johns surprise. We made contact with
the group of yachts (4) within a couple of hundred miles range using the
newly established schedule set for 1200 Z. We have now got them to change
their frequencies so that they are using standard ITU channels. Previously
they were using one ITU and two ham frequencies. This is difficult for some
including us as we have a commercial HF radio that is "not allowed" to
transmit on ham frequencies although they can be received. So we now have a
nice little group drifting slowly up the Atlantic at the whim of the wind
god - who has obviously taken a couple of weeks off. These yachts are all
long range family style cruisers as opposed to charter yachts and therefore
are limited in fuel and crew size as well as money. Most carry around 75
gallons plus some on deck in jugs. We are fortunate in having 225 gallons in
tanks and before the transfer yesterday were carrying a further 30 gallons
on deck. In comparison Kismet a large charter yacht which is now moving well
ahead of us is averaging 13 knots and will have consumed USD 30,000 of fuel
on the passage.
Kuki turned out the usual stunning breakfast - piles of pancakes and maple
syrup to supplement Charles's cereal starter. We then turned to for
the weekly clean ship - topsides- sea water hose connected to the deck
washdown pump - decks scrubbed, varnish work cleaned of salt and polished,
cockpit and cockpit area scrubbed and cleaned. It was amazing how much muck
came out of the teak decks. Pity we don't have any holy stones on board - we
could all get some exercise and clean the deadwood out of the teak at the
same time! When the job is done it is good to be able to touch surfaces
without there being an encrustation of salt, which gets everywhere. The crew
were obviously exhausted by all this activity and promptly returned to the
horizontal position on completion of the work.
We still have no wind worth talking about although what there is of it is
presently in the right direction. We have had the engine ticking over all
day and are all fed up of its' noise.
"Notes from a Small Boat in a Big Ocean" - well another day passes, without
any decent wind. Late in Charles's watch this morning the wind did
strengthen, so he promptly unfurled the Genoa, cut the engine and for about
10 minutes Osprey was sailing. Then the wind died, so on came the engine,
the Genoa was furled and Charles gave the watch over to Budda and retired to
his bunk despondent.
Anyway, a morning of activity cleaning the topsides passed the period
between breakfast and lunch. Crazy Kuki supervised the work from the
pilothouse and somehow Charles ended up doing all the deck scrubbing - go
figure that one.
After lunch, John retired for his period of quiet buddhist meditation and
Charles was cleaning the galley - suddenly a front came through, the wind
rose and the rain descended. John & Charles got soaked by the torrential
downpour - but Osprey was sailing, zipping along at a reasonable 6.6 knots.
However, there was no time for celebration, as as quickly as it arrived the
wind died down and then started rotating around the compass. So the Genoa
was furled, engine came on and it was back to motor sailing.
The torrential rain was an opportunity to get a good fresh water shower on
deck, which Charles took. Also, the rain further cleaned Osprey so she now
looks less like a salt encrusted vessel stuck in the Bermuda Triangle.
The crew remains upbeat, if a little frustrated by the lack of wind - but
sense that the front that came through early is the start of the weather we
have been seraching for. The only crew member who seems totally unaffected
is SC Ted, who remains philisophical - espousing Hume, Cant & Voltaire to
the rest of the crew!
The crew has also had to give some serious deliberation to a very important
matter today - as regular readers will aware our Skipper John, has been
receiving some amusing nicknames. However, his latest one - Budda - which
suits his meditative lifestyle from the aft cabin needs some readjustment as
he has had to take his belt in another hole. Therefore, that vital part of
the Budda's image - a substantial belly - is decreasing, so the crew have
started calling him Mini Budda.
Until next time, happy drifting.