Position Report on Saturday 12th April 2014

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sat 12 Apr 2014 15:56

Position Report on Saturday 12th April 2014 at 0800


09:08.9S  126:02.1W


So far, we've done 2,270 miles with 775 miles to go.  In the last 24 hours, we’ve done 145 miles.  We’re sailing at 5-6 knots in 6-8 foot seas, still heading on a course of 265 degrees. If we keep up this pace we’ll be there on the afternoon of the 17th – only five sleeps to go.  It's another lovely sunny day.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


11 April 2014   Galapagos to Marquesas (Day 16)


The weather is very consistent at the moment and we've both fallen into fixed routines, so the following is a typical day in the life of Glenys:


It's 4 am and Neville has just woken me to do my 2nd watch of the night.  It's hard to get myself out of bed, as I was deep asleep after a restless time the previous off-watch.  Going up into the cockpit, it's a lovely night, the stars are out, the wind is steady at 15 knots. It's gradually been calming down after a week's constant 20-25 knots from ESE, and the sea swell is less, although we continue to roll.  We still have both headsails out, wing on wing, giving us a fairly comfortable ride.


I've been using an app on the i-pad to recognise some of the stars and constellations - I'm pretty good at knowing where Vega is now, as well as Alpha Centauri and Sirius.

We turned the clocks back one hour yesterday, so I only have to wait an hour before the sky begins to lighten.  I've been trying to capture a perfect sunrise on camera - today I go to the back of the boat to take some shots, rather than just leaning out of the cockpit. Hopefully, one of them will pass Neville's quality control.


At 6 am I write our position in the log and put the kettle on for a cup of tea. I'm a bit random as to when I write an entry, but at least we'll have a last known position if the 3 different GPS devices on-board all decide to fail.


Just after 7am, Neville pops his head up the companionway and catches me doing some sit-ups.  I've started doing exercises on the night shifts to help keep my body from atrophying and also to help keep me awake.  I've found a great position for sit-ups, sitting sideways on the cockpit coaming next to the genoa winch, and leaning back as far as I can go.  For each roll of the boat, I pull myself back up - the deeper the roll, the harder my stomach muscles have to work.


I make breakfast, orange juice and cereal, then get out the ingredients for making bread.  1/2 hour later, the dough has been kneaded and divided into 2 loaf tins, ready for proving.  I place each tin inside a black plastic bag, put them in a sheltered spot in the cockpit, and retire to bed for a couple of hours. When I get up, the bread hasn't risen as much as I would like, but I put the oven on anyway, and bake the bread. By  12.30, I've made some tasty open-topped sandwiches for lunch - Neville asks for more.


I wash up straight after lunch. There's no hot water, so I have to boil a kettle before I can begin.  Because we're rolling so much, I have to wash up in one sink, and put the dishes to drain in the other.  If I put them on the work surface, everything would end up on the floor.  After drying and storing everything away, my galley is now clear and ready for the evening meal's preparation.  There hasn't been any hint of a bite from fish on the lines yet, so I've taken some chicken out of the freezer just in case.


I check on my remaining fresh fruit and vegetables to make sure none have gone bad.  Half a cucumber needs throwing overboard, and a couple of limes are nearly past their sell by date, but otherwise they all look OK.


Around 1.30 pm Neville goes for his afternoon nap, leaving me to sit quietly in the cockpit, reading a book, making a mental note of little jobs that need doing, catching up on my overall  tan.  I like this part of the day.


3pm - the fishing line on the rod whizzes out, and out, and out. This must be a big one! Neville hears it in the back cabin and rushes upstairs pulling on clothing as he comes.  He spends the next 1/2 hour reeling the fish in - is it a wahoo?  No, it's a 5 foot long sailfish, and we definitely do not want it on-board.   So after playing  it for a while, with me taking as many photos as possible, Nev gets ready to cut the line. The sailfish saves him the effort by jumping off the hook in a successful bid for freedom. What a buzz!


Having had no luck with fishing today, (and to be honest, I don't really mind), I start preparing a chicken pasta dish ready for us to eat at 6pm, just as the sun is setting. Again, I wash up straight after dinner, otherwise the clanking of dishes in the sink all night would drive us mad.


I then have a quick, refreshing shower - plenty of hot water now, having run the water-maker for an hour earlier on - say goodnight to Nev and into bed by 7pm.


At 10pm, I'm woken again for the 1st of my night watches. We're rolling a fair bit, so I guess the wind must have died down some more.  I jam myself into a secure position to put my contact lenses in.  When I go up into the cockpit, it's another lovely night, the stars are out, the wind is steady. 


I read a book, ('Game of Thrones ' - it's brilliant!), make the odd minor course correction to cater for wind shifts as cloud systems go by, make a jam butty, do some sit-ups to counteract the effect of said butty.   When Neville comes up at 1am to take over, I am more than ready to go to bed and get my 3 hours sleep before the start of another day.