Still Storms

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Tue 22 Oct 2013 13:24
17:38.20S 024:56.46W
1424z 22/10
More of the same the last few days. Close reaching in 20kn of wind with gusts to 30+. No sail changes for a while, so still staysail, 3 reefs in main and corner of mizzen. The wind is trying to shift to the ENE/NE which'll give us our reach across the bottom of the ocean straight into the nearest open pub in Cape Town.
(Oh, I think Rob did ease the jib slightly the other day, not sure if there was a purpose to that or he was just keeping in practice.)
HAL is spreading throughout the ship, learning to control more of the ship's systems. Last night a hydraulic deck winch decided to activate, fortunately just on an unused halyard which stretched tight then the hydraulics overloaded and shut off (they are all set for actually a fairly low overload limit). Prelim tracing of this this morning has led nowhere so far, probably water under the deck switch is shorting it, Cabin Boy (or "Shipwright" when we need him to do something useful) will attend to this when waves stop breaking over the deck.
Shipwright (also sometimes "Jack", as he yelps a lot and wants to be taken for walks and chase bits of wood like his replacement back home) has been creating a cockpit table for the aft cockpit. Built from a few bits of string, a couple of pieces of driftwood and Robbo's and my ever critical construction and design comments and advice it is serving a useful purpose for our afternoon snacks and cocktails, but don't think it'd win any design awards.
Meanwhile Jed remains in a mostly comotose state, putting in a guest appearance at meal times and most night movie sessions. Julie, when not cooking or cleaning spends time on that other Planet where I think most vegetarians hang out. And Robbo - I think there's only one of him on board - is somewhere between conducting excercise class on the foredeck, to checking the fishing gear, to monitoring fridge plate temperatures, to cleaning bilges. In his downtime he writes notes on everything so we can all attempt to be as organised and disciplined as he is.
While all our bilge and engine room antics are going on, Rob is happy at the wheel dodging storms (mostly without success) and keeping well clear of us. He is also the only one on board with the full set of sailor clothing, wetweather-this and waterproof-that. I've settled on a large towel wrapped longee (Burmese for sarong) style as my storm pants, after each downpour I just hang it in the engine room and put a nice warm dry one on.
Getting quite cold at nights, and considering we're around the latitude of Cairns, I think we're all going to be feelingf it over the next week or so...