FROM 1-20. Belmore and Pete swims

Sep 11, 2005 - 0415hrs UTC │Facial Reconstruction, Blind Spots

0415hrs 11 Sep 2005 UTC 12’45”N 024’53”W Ref 349

There’s a layer of haze all around the horizon and a very bright star or planet in the SE, just below Orion’s left foot and just above the haze – it is so bright that it has its own sparkling reflection on the water fleshing towards us and sometines disappearing behind what’s left of a NW swell. The star itself changes colour through all the primaries (Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain and all that) presumably because the tiny water droplets in the atmosphere act as little prisme with ever changing faces. Noice. Very.

On Imperfections #1: We all have a blind spot in each eye where the optic nerve meets the retina – there’s an easy way to find it if anyone wants to try – but I have an especially big one in my left eye as a result of an injury 40 years ago. Once a year or so, I sit in front of Michael G’s Field of Vision testing box and have tiny pinpoints of light flashed at me by a computer to check that the blind spot is stable. Michael, out here, I can do an instant FoV – just close the right eye and a lot of stars go out in that rather familiar comma shape that indicates the damage to the left retina. Good fun – and much nicer surroundings! The point being that I am especially conscious of both blind spots, but particularly the big one, as I sit here at the computer. There’s a row of blinking LED’s on the dreaded USB gizmo at eye level to my left and if I look down at the keyboard and back up, one or more LED’s sometimes disappear into the blind spot and I have the momentary surge of doubt – did it really go out? Is the damn thing shutting down again. Keeps one one one’s toes – or something. Bum bone?

Imperfections #2: The right side of my face is shored up with chicken wire and a handful of titanium screws – the result of the foredeck incident that Hugh talks about (and fixed up by another Michael G, by coincidence as I’ve just realised) – looks good in some dental xrays – and, because the injury distorted the original arrangement, I have an improvised tear duct drilled through a bit of face bone from the inboard end of the eye into the nasal passage. Makes for an interesting sensation when I blow my nose. In the local heat and humidity, I can actually feel all this stuff in my face – not as a painful sensation but I’m conscious that it’s there. There’s a spot of face under the eye where the nerves have gone and I have no feeling yet that bit particularly seems to be talking to me. Fascinating.
Hope you’re all enjoying your coffee!

Back in tractor mode – the equation is getting some form now, as we reduce our fuel and can see what might be left of the job it has to do. We are part way through the Doldrums – with a bit of luck, this week should see them off, and then we should be in the trades to the back of the high in the S Atlantic (Steve or Mal, could you please give me a rough fix on its centre?) and then we might get caught by the Horse Latitudes if we are not careful, so more tractoring. We should just have enough if we conserve whenever possible, and as long as the Ampair and the Solar panel keep working and we don’t need the engine to charge the batteries. It will be something to keep monitoring all the way in.

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