Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Thu 10 Oct 2013 03:56
11:13.56N 024:18.68W

0245z 10/10

A bit of everything the last 24 hours. Good sailing through the night
after leaving Verde behind - close hauled and on course in 12kn of
breeze for 8.5-9kn speed. Some threatening clouds started to appear an
hour or two before dawn so added a reef to the sails and enjoyed a fresh
water rinse from several rain showers. Not much extra wind initially
with the showers, but distant lightning indicated possible thunderstorms
and squalls ahead. Right on dawn the wind dropped and went on the nose,
so furled all sails in and started motoring - around 10 minutes later we
got hit by a 40kn squall and very heavy rain. I'd just come off watch
and had endured several soakings over the last couple of hours, so
enjoyed watching Rob catching up with me in just a matter of minutes,

An hour or two later the storms cleared and the wind returned from the
quarter, so Rob killed the engine and pulled the sails back out and
continued on our way at 9-10kn. Mostly ended up being a perfect day's
sailing. Breeze maxed around 15kn and generally allowed us to continue
heading S, healing over with the gunwale just clear of the water and
surging along powerfully as we displace 80 ton of water off each wave.
The breeze died later in the day after turning to the S so we're
motoring again and waiting for the predicted lighter breeze to come from
the SW and give us a nice reach SE towards the doldrums.

Another fishless day, so had to suffer with beef steaks for dinner
instead of tuna steaks. A few more squid and flying fish cleared off the
deck, so there is something down there frightening them into sacrificing
themselves to their floating gods above the water's surface.

Much of the crew today just spent time enjoying the warmer weather and
the great sailing. "Shipwright" (when needed for his skills, otherwise
he's "Cabin Boy") did a magic job getting a small footswitch (for one of
the powered winches) to fit into a larger hole as we ran out of working
spare large footswitches. Now we have low speed control over our
mainsheet again.

The Knot Tying Competition got under way finally with the first
unofficial timed runs for tying/untying the six basic ship's knots. For
the last week the crew could be seen nearly always with a piece of cord
in hand when sitting on deck, as they spend time honing their seamanship
skills. In fact most have now progressed into more advanced decorative
knots like monkey fists and turk's heads, and a fair bit of whipping was
completed today.

So the prelim timing results for the knot tying was Robbo 65 sec, Ryan
80 and Jed a surprising 53 with several fumbles. Julie was noticeably
absent and Rob was sleeping (but we safely assume he knows these knots).
So now the practice will continue in earnest before the official timed
competition runs.

If the seas are flat tomorrow we will do our stock take in preparation
for the half-way mark. Certainly we still have plenty of the Ship's Cow
left, and there must be at least 50kg of the 200 or so kg of olives we
bought, and 500 cans of baked beans that were surely bought as a joke.
As most of the boat is finally stowed away (we've been living with
crates of spares and engine parts and potatoes sliding around the floor
searchiong for a home) it's time to re-organise the food and plan our
future duck meals and bread making....