Aye Mon, Long Days and Slow Boats
01 December 2007 | 12,25 Deg S; 16,25 Deg W
Shaun and Shaheda
They say everybody will have at least 15 minutes of fame in their lifetime, I guess we had ours on St.Helena when the new Governor, Gov. Gurr came to greet us and have a chat to these weirdos roaming the seas. It's four days since we left St. Helena and so we leave it behind along with our celebrity status. It's on to the Caribbean, aye mon!
Unlike the South Atlantic the trip from St. Helena in the Northern parts has been very calm. The seas have been pleasant with a swell of about 1.5 metres but with that comes the very light winds. This means that we go along very-very slowly. (Waleed you will appreciate this) To put it into perspective, the distance to our next waypoint is the approximate distance of a round trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Imagine doing this at an average of 12.6 kph! In fact most of the time we have to turn on the engine and motor along, occasionally being assisted by the wind as we keep the sails up. We set into a pattern of motor sailing at night and raising the spinnaker first thing in the morning. This has helped us take advantage of the light winds but there are times when even this is not enough. The repair effected to the spinnaker halyard seems to be holding up well. We had a small failure on one of the spinnaker sheet blocks but that was easily rectified with no problem. John and Terry has been raising the spinnaker the last few mornings and Terry and I have been dropping it at around 6pm in the evening. We have our routine sorted, I handle the tack line and halyard and Popeye (Strong Arm Terry) handles the spinnaker snuff. This is a large sheath that sits at the top of the spinnaker when it is flying and fully opened. To bring the spinnaker down we loosen one of the corners and pull this huge sheath over the spinnaker to "fold" it up.
Shaheda was still struggling with sea-sickness when we left St. Helena, however today she seems to be in good spirits and has shown no signs of being sick. I am holding thumbs that this is the last of sea-sickness for her as John is very concerned that she could develop some serious problems if she continues. We have a "Plan-B" should she not show signs of improvement over the next few days. I am not sure that she will approve of the plan but should it be necessary we will stop over in Forteleza, Brazil and drop her off for a flight back home. I somehow doubt whether she would do this willingly, despite having achieved her goal of crossing the Atlantic, but hopefully it will not be required.
I had a number of request for some more pictures. These are not that easy to send but I will try and see what we can do. Have a look at John's blog (www.sailblogs.com/member/deliveries) as he has posted some pics too. Thanks for all the comments you guys are leaving on the blog we really enjoy reading them since it gives us some connection with the world out there. This watery world is so secluded that one quickly forgets what life is really like. Since leaving Cape Town the last boat we saw at sea was off the coast of Saldanha Bay, some 150 miles North of Cape Town. We have encountered no other shipping what so ever. So all in all it can be a little lonely. Fortunately there is a set routine which we all have to stick to. Shaheda and I are both people who do not do well with routine and it has proven to be quite an adjustment for us but on the other hand it is providing us with some purpose as the days really are long out here. The date and day has become irrelevant. We constantly have to look at the computer to see what day it is. Even though we do monitor the clock closely as we have our watches to do and the logs to complete at set times the time of day also seems to have no meaning here. We have watch changes at midnight and at 3.00 in the morning. The first few days this seemed impossible but now that we are in the habit waking up at 2:45 is no big deal. This is because we sleep at all sorts of hours. This afternoon at 1 O'Clock Shaheda and I went to sleep and woke up at around 4.00 to prepare supper. I don't know how long we are going to take to readjust to "normal" time when we get back, but I think I am going to miss this. Finally on the matter of time we have reset our ship's clock and we are now an hour behind GMT.
Ever since our departure from St. Helena we have had cloudy skies, tonight though we had a small respite and the skies opened just briefly to show off a magnificent sunset. These are really spectacular when when you get to see them. We have set our next waypoint for the coast of Brazil and we were expecting to get there around the 12th of December. However with this lack of wind it could prove difficult. Since we are motoring so much we may run short of diesel, this could mean a further delay if we need to stop in Forteleza to take on more fuel.
And with that I just noticed it is the 1st December. Sorry I have to go as there is only 24 shopping days to Xmas!
Bye and regards from all on board with love.