Up at 4.30 am and pull on the shoes and up onto deck, Warwick, Shaun are already there and Mark is just waking up. He has taken to sleeping in the cockpit as he rigs a hammock on the one seat. It is much more comfortable than the pigeon hole he was sleeping in. He made the change after falling out of the pigeon hole on to his back, a fall of 1.5 metres, fortunately he is a “old Sea dog” and didn’t hurt himself.
The added advantage is that the night shifts are only 2 hours each now as he is on deck and close to hand for any questions or emergency etc.. I had the 10pm to 12pm slot and the boat was silent. I was tired but spent the time reading and checking the barometer for any sudden changes as we headed west in fairly good winds and a calm undulating sea. The night was stunning with a waxing moon which we have not had since we left Cape Town although for most parts of the journey it has been obscured by the clouds. The shimmering of the moon on the vast sea in front of us was something to behold. We are 7 men in a 49 foot boat in this vast ocean, not even a dot on the landscape we are so insignificant. One wonders at times if any one has ever been over this piece of the ocean yet (currently under the yacht) and are we the first? You certainly get a feeling for what it was like when those first seafaring adventurers head out into to this vastness – at least we know where we are going and Rio is at the end, they just went!
Soon all the crew were up to what was a beautiful day with the typically high wispy clouds of the trade winds. There is no door to the trade winds, you just know when you are there according to the skipper. Then its day after day of the same like ground hog day if we are lucky – more of that later.
Mark downloads the weather files about 6 every morning and checks our route and the weather. Sailing is all about the wind and high and low pressures. We trying to track between the 1020 and 1015 pressure zones. We headed west most of the day but will have to turn North tomorrow so we are not caught in the dead zone in the centre of the high known as the doldrums. We made good progress for the day over 200 nm.
We then changed the sails from the goose wing to a beam reach and it was done with a lot more fluidity than previous time so we are obviously getting the hang of the boat now. We stayed like this for entire day.
Mark made what is now his favourite breakfast dish. Pork sausages baked in a eggs with lots of herbs, which comes out like pork sausages and herbed scrambled eggs. I certainly tucked in.
We spent most of the day chilling out on deck and shooting the breeze. I am starting to get through my books. Dinner was split between steak and chips and the left over previous night dinner of lamb stew on toast.
Kevin keeps threatening to have us out doing an aerobics on the fore deck locked in with our harnesses. I have taken up his challenge but he seems to find a valid excuse to put it off to the follow day. Shaun was caught singing “its ee bits si, teenie weenie yellow dot bikini”. I have a feeling he already has expectations in Brazil.
Till tomorrow …
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