Mon 19 May 2008 06:57
Rebel and her crew are now One thousand eight hundred and seventy six miles
from St. David Bay Grenada, their departure point for the return passage to
the UK .Now have some 830n m to run to the Azores , their intended stopover
port before onward to the uk. It is some 875nm to Hamilton, Bermuda, and
interestingly the nearest point to land is St.Johns Newfoundland, NOVIA
Scotia, that is just a mere 731nm from our current point. Jon and Tony were
appalled being warm weather sailor's at the best of times , what do we want
to go there for was the less than enthusiastic comment., it's b... cold
there at this time of the year.
However over the distance we have travelled we generally experienced medium
to light winds along the way, with just a few notable exceptions. The very
wet weather spell over two and a half days, with truly torrential rain, so
much so that such was the soaking that Rebel and crew received, Barry who
had a quite long stint at the helm, although under a canopy was drenched and
after he finally came in to Rebel's saloon area like a drowned rat stood at
the door, and before you could blink was treated to an emergency inflation
of his lifejacket. We all heard the explosive whoosh that accompanies such a
inflation. Barry who obviously had had a very wet time thoroughly
pissed,that I do not need, was now firmly trapped in a very tight embrace of
a fully inflated life jacket.The downpour had activated his automatic
inflation device. the rest of us found it extremely amusing as he struggled
to deflate the jacket to realise himself . On serious aside later we
discussed the pro's and con's of automatic lifejackets, versus a manual
I for one am of the opinion that manual ops come out on balance just ahead.
Our mods to boom fittings are holding up and over the last 40 hours we have
achieved some respectable distances, more importantly in the right direction
using Maximus our 110 metre Parasail . Rebel has been making 7.2 knots at
times in not much more than 11 knots of a very weak westerly breeze.
Averages have floated around 6.2 knots. This has lifted the crew spirits
considerably as it is very evident that a massive high is now moving over
the general area, that of the Azores. Our approach to the Azores is from the
West, with just a touch of south in it along the 37 parallel as we attempt
to pick up both more favourable westerlies and currents.
Spare parts for the various walkabout pins/lugs, small items as they are ,
have huge bearing on the safety and working manageability of Rebel's sail
systems are on there way to our arrival port. Such are the wonders of the
modern communications systems and the internet. But for now it's human
ingenuity, endeavour, and resilience that is assisting Rebel onwards to her
The past efforts of all have taken it's toll on the watch system aboard,
and individual members of the crew are struggling a little to re-establish
the watch rota that all had become accustomed too. As result we treated
ourselves last night to a trip to the movies , a once a week event aboard
Rebel conditions permitting. To date we have seen The Bourne identity,
Sleeping with the enemy, and Master and Commander, the last we saw in port
and all failed to see it through as we all fell asleep whilst showing. Hardy
Rebel is as I attempt to complete this log motor sailing, under main sail
and engine (David) as the fitful breeze has for now disappeared. David is
the name of one of Rebel's two 30hp engines, the other being Goliath, Tim
the owner of this Yacht has names for most of his sails,hence Maximus,
Picasso, The Big Black Bastard, etc, and we felt we should maintain that
tradition, so the autopilot became Hercules, and engines named David
(starboard) and Goliath (port). It all adds to the fun of things and brings
a wry smile to all faces when the names which are now used with such
familiarity in conjunction with wind, weather , and direction desired. For
example bring that Big Black Bastard and get Hercules to sort him out, and
if that doesn't work Then Maximus should be put on the job . And if all else
fails then David and Goliath will have to do the job with Hercules..........
Barry our new boy has become a enthusiastic member of the ship's crew and
as ship's radio officer, being a former Radio officer in the Merchant Navy
is a valued part of the crew compliment. He has hoverer failed to pick up
one radio weather forecast, despite hours tuning ,listening on all four of
our on board radio's , I have had to get internet down loads for updates on
weather systems.I even sneaked a couple of Radio reports for conformation of
down loads received. He obviously gets stick for his sterling efforts. But
make no mistake everyone aboard is delighted he is on the boat, he is a fine
sailor and great fun.
Along the way our fishing exploits have been mentioned but of recent the
crew skills in that area appear to have deserted them . We now only get to
see fish when they are flying over the water, or on occasion land
inadvertently on deck. On this trip I have seen more flying fish than ever
before. A few sea birds and very little else so far.
I did say motor sailing not any more, have just but Maximus ( who as on
standby )away and we are now reaching under main and foresail. Changing
sails at night in the light of a full moon under the stars is always a
magical moment, and Barry who is working this night watch with me I am sure
enjoyed it as much as I did.
Must go , things to do and places to see, and people to meet as they say .
The middle of the Atlantic just the place....
Take care to one and all