Day 6: On the way to Rio

Jan Morten Ruud
Sat 28 Nov 2009 12:42
Dear readers,

if you're looking for evidence that the hunter-gatherer instincts are clear and present in Norwegian 16-year-olds, look no further than Stian. Ever since he and Snorre caught El Grande Dorado and the Mighty Mackerels he's been one big smile and gotten that killer instinct in his eyes. To their big disappointment, the Captain has temporariliy withdrawn Atlantic fishing licenses because (a) the captain is tired of cleaning and preparing fish (an art that has escaped the kids....), and (b) half the fridge is occupied by pieces of fish.¨

But there is more to Stian than fishing. He has taken a huge interest in tropical squalls, and has read everything about the subject that he can come across. And given that we have a decent ship library, that is quite a lot. Stian claims that his interest is purely professional and has nothing to do with being just a little scared of the stuff, and we grown-ups nod a very understanding nod. After all, some ten to fifteen years ago we were 16 years old ourselves.......

In addition, Stian likes to play with the chart plotter. When the Captain is trading positions with other boats on the radio, which our dear captain tends to do quite a bit, Stian writes the position on his hand and runs up to the plotter to figure out how much ahead we are. (Well - ususally how much behind we are - but be warned - we are still just warming up!) And now that his hands are filled up he has started on the arm. The "armed positions" now look like tatoos, and Stian has a lot of them. So as long as he is around we are certain that can wander through the seedier streets of Rodney Bay (do they exist?) without trouble.

It was during one of these positioning excersises that Stian zoomed out as far as Raymarine would let him. And after 30 seconds worth of analysis, he asked "What are we going to do in Rio? Because that's where we are headed!" We discussed Stian's question. There are a number of things to do in Rio. One advantage of going there now would be to get tickets for the Football World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. And the carneval is in March, isn't it?

Plus, there are a number of other reasons to not change course:

* We're out of practise. Last time we tacked, Jan Morten and Harald were clean shaven and clean smelling. Now they are not clean shaven......

* Our track record isn't that hot. Last time we tacked, we bungled up what should've been an easy gybe. Now that we are in the middle of the freakin' oscean we'd better get it right.

* Having gone directly downwind for almost five days, we have had the waves comfortably in from behind. A change in tack would change all that.

But eventually, reality struck. In order to make it to Rodney Bay and to our beloved waypoint of 20 dgrN, 35 dgr W, we would have to change tack. So we did. And we did it very nicely, thank you. And OH MY GOD SHE FLIES! The new course, a nice broad reach (at least that's what we think it's called in English, when the wind is coming in at ca. 120 dgr - "Rom slør" in Norwegian) and with winds of 18-24 knots throughout the night was something else. When going with the wind, one does not really feel much of the wind and wave strength. Now, we feel it all. In fact, we had to reef the sails in order to decrease speeds so that the Ruud-reinforced water generator stayed in the water and not jumping from wave to wave.

And that is all for today. Thank you, as always, for reading, and feel free to mail comments to ruud {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com {DOT} Tomorrow we will discuss marine elecrtcity economics and lots of other interesting issues.

Ship ahoy from your affectionate crew aboard S/Y Ronja

Coordinates: W30.38.062., N20.58.062

Distance totalt current rute: 2720 Nm
Sailed distance last 24 hours: 162,2
Sailed distance since start:1013,2 Nm
Distance left (current route to St. Lucia): 1776 Nm