A Little Wind

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 3 Oct 2009 13:21
Noon Position: 29 35.0 N 014 46.5 W
Course: Southwest Speed: 2 knots
Wind: North, light air
Weather: Sunny, warm
Day's Run: 75 miles

At 7.30 p.m. I heard an awful tearing sound, and looking up to the drifter saw rhat one of its seams had rent for several feet. Bother! The wind was too light ot fill the jib and the sea for some reason was quite short and steep for such calm conditions - away to our northwest was a low pressure system which I presume was the culprit. I set some jib, not so much to make any way but at least to reduce the rolling. By 9 p.m. we had a little more breeze, I contemplated putting the mainsail up. "Will I or won't I?" I thought. "It will only slat and I shall have to drop it again" But in the end I decided to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was enough wind to fill it and Sylph was stable enough that we only experienced the odd tremor as the mainsail crashed for one side to the other. Over night we actually made some ground towards the Canaries, only 55 miles to go.

This morning I worked on repairing the drifter. I pulled the old manual Singer sewing machine out into the sunshine in the cockpit and starter resewing the seam. As I approached the leech (the trailing edge of the sail) I realised that the edges weren't going to match up, somehow I had stretched one panel more than the other. So with a mild curse I unpicked the whole lot and started again this time making sure to match the panels more exactly as I sewed. I won't be applying for a job as a sail maker anytime soon but it is back together and functional. The wind has dropped off again, the mainsail was making a racket almost as bad as BC in his cups, so we've dropped it and are back to the drifter drawing us along ever so slowly. Maybe we will get a breeze later as we did yesterday. If we do we should make the Canaries tomorrow. Don't hold your breath unless it be to blow a little wind my way.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

I have one sympathiser out there listening to my pitiful cries, unlike the skipper. Thank you. Please keep the pressure on, maybe between us we can get this cruel merciless hard case of a skipper to kill a fish for me. Please, if there is anyone else out there, write to us and tell the skipper to have mercy, feed me a fresh fish.

I shall sleep more peacefully knowing that perhaps humanity is not all bad. Zzzzzzz.

P.S. Ways to summon a wind, from least to most efective:

Stick a point of a knife into the mast.
Throw a penny overboard.
Say the word "pig".
Say the words "black pig".
Throw a penny over board, and at the same time say the words "black pig"

Then hold onto your hats.

Also according to one Henry Fielding the drowning of a cat is the surest way of raising a favourable wind.

I kid you not. From "A Mariner's Miscellany"

P.S. from Bob Cat: I heard that, this bad taste humour is going too far. I shall treat it with the disdain it deserves. Now where was I? Oh yes . . . Zzzzzzz.