Down dropt the breeze ...
Wed 27 May 2009 19:41
Weather: Sunny, mild Sea: Calm on a low swell
Day's Run: 63 miles
"Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be:
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!"
The wind remained light and steady from the west yesterday afternoon as we passed south of Sable Island. We passed two oil rigs and met an American flagged yacht which we had a short gam with on the radio, Tides End bound for Scotland. She seemed to be taking a slightly more southerly route than us so by late afternoon she had disappeared hull down to the south. And it must be confessed she is probably a little faster than Sylph, especially in the lighter airs.
Overnight the wind went very light, I dropt the mainsail and left a bit of jib up to dampen the rolling and hopefully pull us along at least a little. This morning I tried the drifter, I don't like using the drifter at night as it is light weight and easily damaged. The drifter carried us along for a little while but even that ended up sagging all over the rig, so we dropt that as well. Now we have been drifting since 10 am . some breeze will come eventually.
Celestial navigation continues, the magic box remains blank faced, hopefully it won't get all temperamental on me and refuse to work when I need it. I think I have a pretty good idea where we are, completed a set of stars last night, the first in many years, and seeing as we are barely moving at the moment, the position lines plotted from a couple of sun sights must have us pinned to within a couple miles. My noon position above is actually local noon, ie when the sun is directly overhead, or meridian passage, which occured at 1 pm local mean time (the time on my watch) which will gradually get earlier as we head east until we cross into the next time zone, then I will change the time on my watch by an hour and local time will be an hour earlier. Anyone following all this, questions later.
A hump back whale passed close by this afternoon, heading west.
One bonus, the calms have given me the chance to repair some repairs on the mainsail, some patches which were coming loose have now been stitched back on. I wonder if this sail is going to make the distance, in fact I wonder whether Sylph, or indeed I will make the distance. None of us are getting any younger.
And will I make the distance? Who asks, who cares, where are we going anyway? Wherever it is:
"Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But do not in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years
So that when you reach the island you are old
Rich with all that you have gained on the way, ."
We all end up going to the same place anyway, well if you've been good like me that is, after all, how much trouble can one get into when one's job is to sleep all day. Back to it, nose to the grindstone, sloth is a sin you know . Zzzzz
All is well.