Day 10: The heart and soul of the ship
This morning I was woken by Sean’s alarm clock and we headed outside to see the sunrise. We also tried to see if the satellite phone would work as for the previous two days we had been unable to get signal. At first it seemed that this would be an issue again but finally we managed to retain the signal by leaning over the rail in the very awkward position ensuring that we did not move the aerial very much.
I managed to talk to Karey and it was great to hear her voice even if it was very briefly. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs some of us headed to the engine room for a tour. The engineers on board seem to be the heart and soul of a ship like this and they were very keen to show us the many compressors, generators and the main engine of the ship. It is very noisy and we are all supplied with earmuffs to protect our ears from the constant turning propeller working at 82 revolutions per minute.
The engine room covers five floors within the superstructure and is extremely hot, even though we did not get it at its hottest which we are told gets up to 60°C. The ship still has a steady roll from side to side but the speed is a steady 12 to 13 knots, so we are making good progress and we are told that we will be making Brazil at around 8 to 8:30 AM Friday morning.
The good news is that they hope to have us taken directly to the wharf and have been asked to provide a time for when the pilot should be ready. This is very positive news for us as there had been some speculation that we would be put to anchor outside Vitoria Harbour for several days or even months and this would have made it very difficult for us to get ashore in a quick time.
We are now hopeful that at the very least we won’t be on board for more than 2 to 3 days and some are very hopeful that we might even processed through customs and passport control on Friday, which would be brilliant if that is how it turned out. The expected arrival and whether we’re going to need to anchor or not, as well as the expected process, keeps changing though, so we’re never sure.
After visiting the engine room, it was time for coffee and then off to the bow for a walk and some exercise. We are still trying to ensure we get a tan by the time we get to Brazil, so we spend our time finding ourselves with our shirts off. Looking over the bow the big blue ocean ahead speculating what it be like if we were still sailing has become a habit for all of us.
We are hoping to be able to see some of the yachts from the Cape2Rio race as we get closer to Brazil but we are not sure where they are and whether that will happen. The route we are currently following is not taking us past any ships apart from the very first evening after coming on board.
I relaxed in the afternoon writing a bit of the blog and then after tea we head off to “swim”. This consisted of sitting under some pipes that push water out from the ballast in vast quantities at various points around the deck like small fountains. The ballast tanks need to be continually emptied and refilled with new sea water as they cross the Atlantic for environmental reasons. Sea water from South Africa must not be moved to Brazil in case it brings foreign organism.
After showering it was time for dinner again. After dinner, we decide to have an early night. I spent some hours reading.DONATE