Day 131 – More Htichhikers

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 23 Apr 2022 08:35
Noon Position: 04 00.3 S 067 20.0 E
Course: N Speed: 4 knots
Wind: WSW F3 Sea: slight
Swell: SE 0.5m
Weather: mostly sunny, hot, humid
Day’s Run: 88nm

After a couple of low daily runs, today’s run is approaching something a little more respectable. We are still at the very beginning of the SW monsoon season so I am not expecting the winds to increase significantly anytime soon, but hopefully we are past the worst of the doldrums and the winds will be a little more reliable and Sylph’s daily runs will be closer to the 100 mile mark as we get further north.
Ship’s husbandry is on hold at the moment, partly because there have been a number of thunderheads threatening rain (none of which, unfortunately, we have managed to intercept) and otherwise it has just been too hot out in the sun. We did get a little bit of rain last night. At 0120 I woke to the sound of the rain drumming on the deck and immediately got up to change over the water collection containers, but when I got to the mast found that the water pouring out of the boom-bag was missing the collection bucket and none of it was going from the bucket into the container. So I quickly re-rigged the bucket to catch the water spouting out of the forward end of the boom-bag but by the time I had done that the shower had passed. Still, we managed to collect about eight litres of water and I enjoyed a nice freshwater wash down in the process, rinsing all the salt off my body.
Gannets continue to hitchhike of an evening (actually, on consulting Harrison’s “Seabirds”, I think they are Red-footed Boobies). Last night we had two, one on each of the aft solar panels. Presumably the birds have kept an eye on Sylph during the day while they are out fishing and then return to her at sunset for a rest. I don’t mind them taking advantage of our presence, just as long as their tails are pointing overboard. They seem pretty unperturbed by my presence when I went on deck on a couple of occasions to trim sails and adjust the windvane. A third bird tried to roost on the windvane self-steering system but fortunately was unsuccessful. If it had been successful it would no doubt have sent Sylph off in the wrong direction. The boobies take off at dawn to start their day’s work but this morning I noticed that there appears to be very few of them about. Rather, there were quite a few small shearwaters (of the Wedge-tailed variety I think) floating on the water, which Sylph sent scurrying by her approach.
I wonder whether we will have any company tonight.
All is well