Red Lid, II

11 Mar

Day 113

Noon Position: 44 30S. 109 43E

Course/Speed: ENE7

Wind: NW18

Bar: 1018

Sky: Clear: cloud front windward

Sea: NW3

Cabin Temp: 58

Sea Temp: 51

Miles last 24 hours: 132

Longitude Made Good: 125

Total Miles: 15,484

Miles to Hobart: 1673

Light winds overnight—from the southwest until early morning, and then gently they swung into the northwest and stayed light. I rose every hour and a half. Each time there was more south in our course. Finally at 4am it was too much south. I dressed, had a snack, and then swapped the headsails—larger genoa to starboard, smaller to port. And off we raced east. Wind kept its migration into the north as the day matured, and by noon we were back to main and the working jib. Average speed, 7 knots.

Yesterday I did an inventory of beer and wine aboard, this for Oz customs, who apparently don’t mind my having a liberal supply of both…as long as they know how much that is. One locker reserved for beer is the ice box in  the galley. It’s long term storage—I don’t go in there much. Upon lifting the lid, I noted a peculiar smell, a smell very unlike the malty, hoppy odors left over from a can that exploded in the tropics, though those were present as well. This odor had a spicy quality to it reminiscent of the aftershave splash my dad favored, pleasant enough on its own but not the best accompaniment to stale malt and hops. Some digging turned up a disfigured and desiccated Old Spice deodorant stick sans lid that had wedged between two bottles of Cape Horn Lager. Aha! One mystery solved. How did it get in there?

One thing that is coming home to me is just how far Mo went over during the knockdown that blew out her port window. This icebox lid, for example, came off. That’s no mean feat. The lid is about a foot long and a foot wide and six six inches deep, and under normal circumstances, it takes two hands lifting straight up to unseat it. But I recall looking into the galley after we righted. Mostly I saw water sloshing everywhere, but there too was the icebox lid tipped up against a cupboard. (Luckily nothing came out as much of what it contains is glass.) This can only mean that for a brief moment, Mo was well past 90 degrees over, and I’m beginning to suspect that we weren’t simply slammed over by a breaker but actually were pushed off the top of a sea and fell into the trough.

In my estimation, only that kind of force could have blown out the window, leaving nothing but shards around the rim. And unbeknownst to me, as Mo fell, a red stick of deodorant flew from the head and across the boat to the galley, where it collided with a cupboard, which separated it from its lid. The lid fell behind the  stove and the stick did a hole-in-one into the icebox, neither to be found for days and days. Which begs a curious question: what  is a solo sailor doing with deodorant aboard anyway?

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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