FROM 1-13. Across the Equator

May 07, 2005 – 0430hrs UTC

0430hrs 07 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 204

This one will be a bit themeless – inspiration is tatty when bashing into a short steep sea – one second my nose is smudging the laptop  screen the next my back and shoulders are banging into some very hard bits of Berri and her equipment stowed behind me. ‘orrible. We’re buack in the bus shelter, but going almost in the right direction tracking around 340T when we need North. We have a reef and the #2 to try to nurse the rig as much as possible – an added tension that personally I could do without.  I hope, though that we just might be out of the ITCZ and into the trades – with our luck and the Examiner hovering, I’m not too confident but it is looking promising. It is much cooler, indicating that the wind is coming from the north, which is a good sign as well.

And, on the subject of bus shelters, I notice that Fenwick has not signed the gust book – probably a bit of an effort for him and he’d have to chew his pencil very hard – therefore, just so that all y’all don’t think that we use the old dero that lives in the studio bus shelter as the model for some fictional Fenwick twerp I think it’s time for some acknowledgement. Allan Fenwick is a real person, a fine upstanding figure of a bloke of some 60+ summers. He is one of the very very few sailors around who can claim to have rounded Cape Horn the hard way, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, against the prevailing wind and current, in the years before GPS, effective communications and high technology boats. That dates him a bit doesn’t it? Our effort looks a bit wimpish by comparison. And he used to be able to sail quite well before he started drinking. Get off the piss, Fenwick, and get back to work. We’re going to need your wages to keep this show on the road once we get to the UK.

The UK. We’re trying now to work out how to manage our resources and time – we know when, more or less, we should arrive if the rig stays up and we have a fix list and a purchase lst and we hope soon to have a Fastnet to-do list from the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). We have been told that just parking the boat will cost us 20 pounds a day so we will need to find a way around that one and somewhere to stow all the extra gear that we won’t need for the race. To get our safety certificate renewed, we need a new liferaft which is being organised for us and we will have to slip Berri and do a few other major jobs like hucking out all the green and slimy ferals that are now living in every damp corner, not just my boots. We will have to leave again as soon as possible after the Fastnet as well, so everything will need to be ready beforehand to pack into the boat again after the finish.

Clouds – there’s clouds and Clouds. clouds are those fluffy white thingies that float around in the sky and inspire poets and make rain. But Clouds are different – they inspire awe, fear, joy, and a sense of doom. We have just gone from clouds to Clouds this evening – happens sometimes as night falls, the pretty fluffy thingies stop reflecting nice pink sunlight and become black silhouetted threatening monsters out to get us. The effect is enhanced by moonlight, as Turner’s paintings show so brilliantly. Looking at cClouds can tell sailors just about everything they need to know about the weather – just ahead out to perhaps a week in some places where there are predictable local cycles. The really nasty ones are cmulo-nimbus, or thunder clouds. These also come in grades with the really desperately nasty ones usually occurring along tropical coastlines. They are huge, greenish ferocious maelstroms of power, energy and destruction. Good to avoid these guys. I might extend this a bit as we go along but I need a break from the bus shelter effect and I must do a ship check.

Comments are closed.