Terns Don’t Like Cake

3 Nov

October 31, 2018

Day 27

Noon Position: 15 13S 130 35W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): W 2

Wind(t/tws): E 3

Sea(t/ft): E 4

Sky: Billowing cumulus and giant roaming squall clouds

10ths Cloud Cover: 8

Bar(mb): 1017 falling (I hope)

Cabin Temp(f): 84

Water Temp(f): 81

Relative Humidity(%): 64

Sail: It doesn’t matter.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 112

Miles since departure: 3522

Avg. Miles/Day: 130

Miles to Cape Horn: 3704

A day of annoyances.

The satellite equipment I use to send these missives has failed to work today. All lights are green, but nothing goes. Thus, no photos for this post. (This is being sent from the device that populates the tracker.)

Then the faint wind we’d nursed all night failed just after morning coffee. The trades, utterly gone, and Mo just at 15S. Nothing but the merest exhalations here and there from N and W while the sea frolicked at its release from the tyranny of the wind. For non sailors, what this means is that the crew is forever on deck adjusting sail, attempting to catch any wind that will keep the sails from slatting. Slatting is the death song of sails, and it is similar in its beauty to the death song of nails on a chalk board.

Only three of my five star shots from the night before came to anything worth discussing. True, those three did put us right where the chart plotter predicted. But what of Vega and Deneb? Why should they want us to be in the Med?

Then those trolls of the sea, squalls. Dark and wet, they came for us. I rigged the water catchment system and was humming along at the idea of a bath. I could smell the soap. What joy against the usual smells. But not a single squall was a direct hit. Though it was a veritable Noah’s flood just over there, and there, and there, we caught no rain. Salt crystals have etched their way into the paint, into the pilot house glass, into my skin. We all could have done with a fresh water rinse.

A note I’d seen the day before about the Golden Globe Racers being scourged with barnacles has put me on edge. I gave up tending sail and put a waterproof camera over the side. There, in the dark of the bilge and beyond the pelagic pale blue, a collection of Goosenecks have colonized. It’s only day 27. The words of my friend Gerd, ringing in my ear, “There is no good bottom paint for aluminum boats.”

I began to dig out snorkel gear and a putty knife. That colony would reap its reward! But wind came up from the NW. Off we went to the E.

I asked Mo to go SE. “It’s a Great Circle for the Horn,” I reasoned. But S was more to her liking.

I ate an apple. It was rotten at the core.

Then I ate an orange. Well, OK, the orange was fine.

I yelled up to a flock of passing Terns, “Anyone for Cake? I have Cake!” No answer. “Lemon or chocolate. I have both. Up to you!” They flew off.

Conclusion: Terns don’t like cake.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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