Day 31-36

Carlile Adventures
Mark Carlile
Mon 6 Nov 2006 20:54
Under the blazing sun, I write a few of my thoughts of the week passed. Sweat beads are on my brow cling to my skin like wallpaper. Sitting outside I look for respite. There is none. For the wind is not blowing and the sea is flat. I see my reflection in the glistening pond that surrounds me. My only defence from sun warrior is the bimini overhead. It provides shade covering my head and shoulders. My fingers feel sticky from the humidity. I haven't been eating honey. Inside the temperature is worse. I could really do with a cold soothing shower.

I have not really moved for the last 12 hours, and the winds have been light all week. Somehow I have passed the Cape Verde Islands and gone almost 600 miles. I had one really good day which made all the difference. I am so glad to have passed these islands. I have been seeing this as a big milestone. The next milestone will be the equator.

Before I get to the equator, I need to pass through the doldrums. These are notorious for calm weather and the occasional thunderstorm. This zone is roughly between 5 and 10 degrees north and move around. I am almost at 13 degrees north. Have the doldrums come early? I have heard of cases of people being stuck in them for weeks. This can bring on depression.

But I refuse to give in to this sun warrior before me. I have an advantage. I can see the weather ahead on computer. I WILL choose my way through picking the best breezes. So for now I head SouthWest. There is wind that way. This will take me through the doldrums.

Only eight hundred miles to the equator.

I have spent the last week doing a lot of reading between spending time on watch. With my mystery ship scare, I have been more vigilant than ever watching for pirates. I can say now that I am clear of the most dangerous spot for piracy of the trip passing my closest approach to West Africa and the Cape Verde Islands. The risk will reduce each day I get closer to the equator. In the meantime I still travel cautiously.

Witnessing hundreds of flying fish around is a strange thing. These confused fish are strange critters that fly out the back of waves in clusters and seem to skip across the sea surface On one morning I had four or five of them on deck. They were all too small to eat.

The solitude is not affecting me at all. I feel mentally as fresh as day one.

With five weeks now gone, I am about where I thought I should be, so I am happy. If only the breeze would pick up, I would be able to cool down and go head on into the Battle of the Doldrums ahead.

That's a very good day to you from Ingrid west of Senegal, Africa.


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