Sheltering from Strong Winds

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 4 Jun 2010 23:07

At anchor Caleta Hale
Wind: north, gusting F3-7 gentle breeze to near gale .
Weather: Overcast, heavy rain, clearing later, cool

Early this morning the wind started to blow and the rain to pour. I was glad to be anchored in a nice secure caleta. There was to be no thought of continuing on today so, once I had looked at the morning weather fax, I returned to my bunk to make up for the long day yesterday.

Being an indoor sort of day, after a late and leisurely breafast I decided to attempt to fix the oven. It has never worked very well since I bought the thing in Trinidad back in 2004, but it had definitely gotten worse of late, not that I use it very much. In speaking of it to Ian, skipper of Persimmon, he had told me of a similar problem he had had and suggested I pull the oven burner apart, look for a small jet and check to see if it was blocked. This I did and while the jet itself did not appear blocked behind it was an accumulation of dust that must have been there when I first bought the stove. I cleaned it out, put the oven back together and lit it. Sure enough, the flame burnt higher than it has ever done before. I immediately got on the VHF radio and informed Ian of my success (Persimmon is anchored about 17 miles ahead of Sylph), then got down to some serious cooking, the baking of two loaves of bread. Previously a loaf of bread has taken me two hours to cook in this oven, this time the two loaves were crusty and golden in the prescribed 45 minutes - a definite boon to ship’s morale on such wet and windy day. One loaf is already half eaten, I shall try to save the other loaf to share with Persimmon if we can catch them up tomorrow.

This afternoon the rain eased to a very light drizzle so I donned foul weather gear and rowed to the two streams discharging their rapid torrents into the Caleta with the idea of replenishing water. The first stream I inspected led to a small lagoon into which a waterfall fell. I rejected it as a source of water as I would have had to have stood under the waterfall to collect its bounty, a very wet business, if the ambient temperature had been several degrees higher it might potentially have been a pleasant way to collect water, but such of course was not the case. The second was almost a river after the heavy rainfall, it also had a waterfall above it but the rapid running stream was an ideal place to collect fresh water from. I stood on its edge and immersed my containers into its cold clean water. A couple of dinghy trips saw one water tank almost full and the second significantly replenished.

Now ’tis time for a nice hot curry.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

A good day, plenty of opportunity to do what I do best, sleep that is. I am an expert at eating tuna as well of course but that is a mere pastime compared to my one true vocation. The heater is on at last, now for a proper nap … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.