after coming on watch at 2 this morning, a sudden 90 degree veer in the wind,
and some foreboding black clouds hiding the moon, told me we were in for a
"surprise". So I called Anette and we got our spinnaker down in
double quick time, and then waited. After about 15 minutes we
were hit with a maelstrom of rain and wind which lasted for 20 minutes
and left us - with no wind again!! All that rain however, did clean
the boat (it needed it as it was still grimy with African dust!).
Next time that happens I'll stand outside with a bar of soap I
think........ But the wind also parted my lazy-jacks and I
spent an uncomfortable half hour climbing around the lower mast and the
boom in the dark fixing it all.
also saw another yacht's lights on the horizon last night - almost a cause for
celebration as its a few days since we've seen anyone or
pace now is agonizingly slow. We have tried just about every
combination of sail that we have in an effort to go a little faster, but they
just kept banging and slatting about, loosening the stitches, so we put them
away, and for a few hours at dawn we had to put one of our engines on to give us
propulsion. The parasail spinnaker has been up and down like a yo-yo
and we are now (almost!!?) experts at deploying it and getting it down in any
sea and weather state.
day has been hot and sticky, with the sun always behind a thin layer of high
cloud. The weather forecast shows the wind increasing tomorrow, and
clearer weather ahead....Thats the forecast anyway, and you know how 'accurate'
they are!! I'll drink to that tonight.
point of interest.....did you know that Columbus was not the first 'civilised'
man to 'discover' the West Indies and the Americas? He was
apparently beaten by Admiral Zheng He of the Chinese Navy in 1421.
Zheng He set off from Malacca with a vast Armada and sailed not only to America,
but also to Africa, Greenland, South America where he charted the
Caribbean, then went on round the Horn chart Patagonia and islands in the
Pacific - even to Australia and New Zealand. And....his navigators
even perfected a method of determining Longitude centuries before the
Europeans. Not much is recorded however because in the mid
fifteenth century following a complete reversal of their foreign policy, the
Chinese destroyed all documents and references to anything beyond its own
shores, and even made it a crime for people to even speak a foreign
was a little serious wasn't it...!? So on a more humorous note - our
cockpit is festooned with toilet rolls and kitchen rolls! There is quite a
festive atmosphere out there!! They got a good soaking last night.