Friday, January 07, 2005


OK, plotters, here we are at noon on the 5th of January:

POS: (Position) N21deg57' x W29deg00'
COG (course over ground): 245 deg
SOG (speed over ground): 6.5 KN
DTW (distance to waypoint - Tobago): 1934
WIND: E, 4-5
SAILS: Main, double-reefed; Genoa, full
DMG (distance made good, 24 hours): 181
MGTW (made good to waypoint): 168

and here on the 6th:

POS: (Position) N21deg07' x W21deg21'
COG (course over ground): 245 deg
SOG (speed over ground): 7.0 KN
DTW (distance to waypoint - Tobago): 1779
WIND: E, 4-5
SAILS: Main, double-reefed; Genoa, full
DMG (distance made good, 24 hours): 155

Our course has been bent south a bit by a bit of a creeping northerly
element in the wind, but this seems to have corrected itself, and we are
creeping back to our original great circle route. Fixed the creeping head
ring of the Aries self steering, meaning we have not had to make any further
manual corrections. The "repair" is extemporaneous - a cheap carpenter's
furniture clamp to keep the bugger from slipping - but it works. We keep
wanting to rig a jib boom for the Genny, but everytime we think about it too
hard, the wind picks up.

(This is an excerpt from a letter to my darling wifey, at present at play in
a pond of her own on the other hemisphere)

If we keep up our present speed (it could happen), we may be in Tobago
before the 20th. We crossed the 20th parallel today, which means we're
officially in the tropics! But we knew that already - the night air has been
softly warmish-cool for a couple nights now. I go on deck for night watches
with only shorts on. Today Erika saw the second ship we've seen in five
days. I saw the only bird we've seen - some kind of petrel, maybe, flying a
drunken course somewhere. You'd think a bird way out here must be going
somewhere, and that the most effective way to get there would be a straight
line - apparently this one had another agenda, or was coming home from a
really wild party. Around noon, we were startled and delighted when the
first bright flock of flying fish exploded out of the water just off to
starboard, gliding gleefully into the wind, twisting and turning and finally
slipping back under water, returning to their schools like good little fish.
We are likely to find some of them on deck in the morning - if so we'll
invite them to breakfast!

Also, I got baptized today, thought you should know. Dressed in fresh, clean
clothes, I was repairing the dock lines that got chewed up by The Grinder
(the wharf at La Restinga harbor), with my back to the sea, when I heard a
big "whump!" - I knew without having to look (not that I would have had time
to, or been able to do anything about it if I had), that I was about to have
a religious experience. Sure enough, in about .3 nanoseconds I was as wet,
cool and salty as it's possible to get without actually being a dill pickle.
I finished my rope work with all clothing dripping, and a smile on my face.
I have been officially blessed by the tropics. All praise to the civilized
impulses of the owners again for the shower, and lots of fresh water
storage! I was all fresh and desalinated a half hour later, my rinsed
clothes a-flappin' in the breeze.

All for now -


1 comment:

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