Motor-sailing until about 1600, unstable winds but fair and warm weather. Lots of activity in the horizons. Rolled in the genoa in a squall from clear sky and both chain-clips loosened/ broke in the process as the genoa flapped violently in the building wind. Only down to reefed fock and 3. reefed main.
85nm/24h = 157km
Squally, squally night—
Good progress, and the seas could have been worse.
At last check-round before bed, I found one solar panel hanging halfway down in the water as a wave had broken off the aluminium mounting. Easy fix, no further damages.
Concerned with my radio as it is getting worse; just shutting itself off and immediately on again. This interrupt and breaks off the winlink/Pactor connection when sending and receiving emails. I took the units apart, checked connectors and opened the radio but my care did not bear fruits.
86nm/24h = 159km
Celebrating that the dark chaos is at stern and fair weather and sunny days ahead.
Going mad with a clinking sound originating presumably from the floor or the water-tank (which is in the keel). I`ve heard it before in similar conditions, but it has gotten stronger. I attempted on ripping up the floors, which is all glued, to no success. Cut up a part of the floor under the table with a fein-saw, and then a square hole through the 12mm fibreglass down to the tank. No discovery of cause, but at least now I have a window to see the water level. It`s like a heavy ball of lead or stone is suspended in the tank on a string, bouncing endlessly off the walls and resonating. It`s pure pointlessness through the fiberglass in the floors and the table. AAaaaawwww!!!!
Concerned with my radio, it`s getting worse; just shutting itself off.
Played through a Dream Theater track on keyboard (The Count of Tuscany) I have barely even heard since 2011, but my fingers remembered, fascinating.
Super-bright starry heaven, and one particularly strong yellow-ish light just above the horizon. I checked the AIS, got to be a vessel. Nothing. Turned on the radar and scanned the proximate 20nm, nothing. I stared at it for a long time, could not decide if it was moving or not. I plotted it against the relatively vague stars in the background of this monster star and continued to watch. No movement, not a vessel. What was that?? Rare to see out in space all the way to the oceans crest.
102nm/24h = 188km
What a day of sailing!
Started the day by pitchpoling a Portuguese Manowar (Portugisisk krigsskip). Sun is shining, and we`re doing 5.5 – 6 – 7.4knots! Hope this lasts as long as possible!!! All napkins up. I got to get through the high pressure within the coming week and get north to 38-40N to catch the westerlies, a system now unfolding in the Labrador sea.
A school of Dolphins swam by, I get so happy when they do!
Baked bread and had a great lunch.
The radio finally died, and there was no longer a greater risk to open it rather than waiting for support. Luckily, it was the same spot as a year ago which had a bit of corrosion. Soldering lead with the thickness of just a bit more than a hair-straw is challenging when everything moves, but I got it back together and it works like a charm.
Got an email from another winlink station, Klaus-Dieter, a German cruising net called “Intermar”, with their QSO at 1630 UTC at 12.313mhz. They informed me about another of their sailboats just a short day ahead of me! Good to know it`s not too far to people should I for some reason need assistance.
Once again, no moon and a stinging crisp night-sky, pitch black water and mareel creating a comets-tail after Chilli, like we are a falling star on the reflection off an ocean in space.
125nm/24h = 231km
The sea is glittering with what from a distance looks like plastic bottles. Luckily, its only half deadly jellyfish; Portuguese Manowars, or sailing jellies. Strange creatures: bobbing around as if they have a float-plan. Some look like are tacking upwind, some on a beam reach while some lie capsized tanning their weird curly underbellies or sleeping off some food coma after a disintegrating feast on some small fish. Differentiating from most other jellyfish, they eat living pray and not plankton. Paralyzing small fish with their up to 30m tentacles, bringing them to the jelly central and digests without ingestion, only by spraying it with fancy chemicals and suck the fish-juice with its arms. Nice fellows.
Came across something in my Motessier book, The Long Way, which really caught my eye; three different translations from Hebrew of a biblical verse on the topic of our ability to act freely when opposing moral challenges; “Thou shalt rule over sin” (promising that we will act good), “Do thou rule over sin” (commanding) and “Thou mayest rule over sin” (leaving us with the choice). Think of sin as willful blindness or ignorance; snake-genesis. What quote is obvious the right one to follow is (at least in my opinion) the latter, but, it isn`t obvious which one humanity follows, or whether it`s even consistency in our behaviour over time. I think this problem is a meta-epicentre of a parameter to observe to find the border of subjective vs. collective (diminished) ability to act rightfully. (having the movie “The Pianist” (Warsaw, 1938-45) fresh in mind; what a uniform or (and) a symbol (marking) is able to make humans do.)
On days like this, I feel like just continuing sailing, not land anywhere, just continue. Feel this enormous freedom to not be eaten by the structures of civilization. I remember the world, but it does not exist here.
Torpedo-dolphins having a jumping competition in front of the boat, streaming like silver arrows in the ((morild)) in this clear dark glittering night.
102nm/24h = 188km
Was woken by the AIS alarm this morning, and ran out in my surprise to look for ships. Big bastard at stern hunting me in, on actual collision course. They saw me on AIS too, but didn`t seem to care much. I altered course (which didn`t change much as I was doing 2knts, and they 14knts.) Thorco Logic, a about 200m long ship passed about 150m away (feels really close!)
I download small, high detail weather maps (in addition to large scale, lower resolution) to plan a path through the light winds, with changes every few hours. In heavy weather it`s usually too unpredictable as changes in conditions happens fast and rapidly as the local systems interact with each other.
Current plan is to get to 40N 49-20W by Saturday/72hours meaning 4.7knots average, which is not going to happen, but I got to fire up Pus to not miss the party going east when the winds become too light. Right now, it`s dead silence everywhere in a larger area, so I just attempt on the most conservative path.
My Jellies, which still floats by, by the thousands, seems to have their collective period of intercourse, and threesomes, and some more-somes. Or maybe it`s family mingling together, hard to tell.
Also found all digital material from my high school/ college days, strange to look through again.
83nm/24h = 154km
As I filled the diesel tank half full yesterday, with two of the four 20l jerrycans I had left, and still have 80nm to go before I`m seeing any wind, I really count the hours of usage left. Running at 16-1700 rpm (norm 2300, and marching speed is 2750) feeling on the consumption/ speed to be the most economical but I wish there were some way to read out consumption live.
I can only hope the current consumption is wise and this is to be the last of great highs I have to plunge through with engine-power in this watery desert.
Pus finally got some rest after 24 hours of motoring. I made it. Still about 80-90l diesel left, but also 3000nm (5555km). First downwind-sail since Brazil – Suriname; A good feeling to see the massive red “Code-0” (lightwind sail) unfold (without a wrestle, for once), measuring 12m x 12m, embracing half of the boat, making us glide silently with the wind.
96nm/24h = 178km
Really appreciate the emails! Don`t hesitate to send whatever intriguing you may come across online or IRL. There`s not that much input out here except weather reports (which are getting more and more exciting). (Keep file size below 50kb-90kb, or else it takes forever to download)