Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 14 Aug 2009 12:06
Noon Position: 50 06.4 N 000 06.0 E
Course: West Speed: 4 knots
Wind: Southwest, light
Weather: Overcast, mild
Day's run: 53

We got away as planned at 3.30 p.m. with little fuss, cleared the entrance
to Dieppe's Harbour and set sail, close hauled on the starboard tack with a
nice little breeze from the north, not what was forecast but actually an
improvement. But not for long, by 5.30 what little wind there was started to
fade, in response I dropped the heavy sails and hoisted the drifter, and the
wind continued to die. At 7.30 we had a tease of a breeze, the drifter had a
small tear in it from chafing against the spreaders, there not being enough
wind to hold it clear, I dropped the drifter and raised the mainsail and
jib, for twenty minutes . it must have been the winds last gasp because by 6
pm there was not even a puff. I dropped the sails and drifted. But no, not
quite the last gasp, at 8.50 we had another go, a puff, back up with the
sails . until just before midnight when again '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!' We were drifting again. No problems, we had made a
good offing and were well south of the shipping lanes, so I figured I could
relax. Accordingly I set the kitchen timer for an hour and enjoyed a
relatively undisturbed sleep for the evening, happy that I was sleeping free
of marina charges.

At 5.30 a.m. the wind returned, from the south, again not as forecast but
again better (the forecast wind being from the southwest, the direction in
which we wish to go, any other direction had to be better). We have since
held a light breeze, it has in fact now backed into the southwest but it is
such a nice little headwind, we are making a steady four knots, and while
tidal streams are relatively strong it all averages out after a while, so I
am happy.

I have set a waypoint in the GPS for Cap de le Hague, 80 miles away. From
there I think I will make for Alderney or one of the other Channel Islands.
The French Custom's officers recommended St Malo but it is a bit of a detour
off my planned track, I will ponder some more on this, for now we will
concentrate on making as much westing as possible.

We have just crossed the Greenwich meridian again, the longitude has
mysteriously flipped from east to west.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

"Mkgnau!", "Mrkgnao!", "Mrkrgnao!", "Gurrhr!".

Skipper Bob has been re-reading Joyce's 'Ulysses' again. I have been
glancing over his shoulder. Now apparently Mr Joyce is celebrated (by some)
as the greatest master of the English Language since John Milton, hmmm, well
I have to say, these quotations above, master of cat language James is not,
or are these some feeble attempts at onomatopoeia? Maybe 'pussens' is Irish
and speaks Gaelic-Cat. And really . 'pussens', how condescending! Us cats
need grand sounding names as due to our ancient and proud heritage. "Bob
Cat" for instance, is tough, compact, simple, even elegant, wholly suitable
(thank you Morgan). Really I do not think the critics have given this
important theme enough attention. I've said it before and will say it again,
the land of the Pharaohs had it right, and human civilization has all been
downhill since. Where is Elbuort? I wonder what he knows about such things.
Maybe if I go back to sleep he will appear to me .. Zzzzzzz.