Cutters, Cats and Charts

Noon Position: 13 14.5 S 148 57.3 E
Course: North east. Speed: 6 knots
Wind: South east, F4 - moderate breeze
Sea: moderate Swell: SE 2 meters
Weather: sunny and warm.
Days run: 143 nm

We continue to make excellent and relatively uneventful progress across the Coral Sea. Winds have eased a little so yesterday afternoon I unfurled some more of the jib and thought about shaking out a reef from the mainsail, but as we were making a respectable and quite comfortable six knots I decided to leave well enough alone. So for now we remain under our ‘cutter’ rig, with partially furled jib, staysail, and double reefed mainsail. Mind you, I really do not think the staysail is doing very much anymore, but it is a wet job getting it down, it isn’t doing any harm where it is, so it also stays put for the time being. Tomorrow the conditions are forecast to ease further, so when the foredeck is a little drier I will hand it then.

The only drama of any note over the last twenty four hours occurred this morning when I had to disturb RC’s slumbers on top of the ex-fridge (one day I might repair it but, given my devotion to the ‘keep it simple’ principle, I very much doubt it) to get some powdered milk out of the cupboard behind him. He did not want to budge, but when he did he tried to egress across the chart table, lost his footing, dragged the chart down on to the galley sole on top of himself and tore some great holes in it. I was a little annoyed, but mostly felt sorry for RC. I do not think he is exactly having a great time of things. However, he has not been sick again, and he has used his cat tray, so I do not think he is going to die on me just yet.

Meanwhile I have stuck the chart together with lots of sticky tape. It is only a tatty old small scale chart of the Coral and Solomon Seas, so it is not exactly a critical component of my navigational suite, and these days I do have electronic options. Nonetheless, there is nothing like the robustness of a paper chart, even when your shipmate decides to claw it to pieces, and it did prove itself rather useful in keeping clear of Bouganville Reef. My hydrographical and navigational colleagues would undoubtedly frown, but it works for me.

All is well.