9th October '07
Well, today has been a great day of sailing in lovely bright sunshine - yet again!! The wind has been up around SE 23kn (force 6) all day and, although the seas have increased accordingly (4-5m), they've not been too bad - just the usual lurch as we're hit by rather bigger waves than before..!! But not too often - just enough to keep me holding on tightly to be safe whenever I move around.. & strapping myself in when in the galley (my 'bumstrap' there has seen a lot of use recently!). We're generally
making over 7 knots - excellent speed! - with 2 reefs in the mains'l, full genoa, broad reaching. I should definitely make Rodriguez by Saturday, at this rate.
The SSB radio emailing side of things is getting rather time-consuming - difficult to get a connection with shore stations (that are now quite a distance away) that's good enough to send & receive weather info & emails without having to give up the attempt because transfer of bytes is way too slow - gets very frustrating at times. It's mainly radio propagation (sun spot cycle!) that's the problem now, although I've also been having a problem with the computer instructing the radio via the modem
- the modem connection has often failed & I'm now putting that down to low battery voltage - when I start up the engine to charge the batteries, voltage goes right up almost immediately - and I find the modem is soon behaving better & the radio is usually able to transmit OK. That doesn't mean I'm any further forward in getting a good connection though - transmitting is just an essential first step!
The good achievement of today is that I finally got around to doing the whipping I've been wanting to get done for ages - my "mains'l preventer project" uses two short lengths of rope which I'd measured out carefully & cut on the way to Bali from Darwin - so you could say I haven't exactly pushed myself to finish the job up to now!! All four newly-cut ends needed whipping to stop them from fraying when in use - so that's now done. I got so enthusiastic that I then looked around for other rope ends
to whip - and found several sheets, reef lines and the main halyard - all now done in an assortment of coloured whipping twine to match the rope - very pretty but also far more seamanlike!! A very satisfying afternoon's work!
I decided to reward myself with steak and onions for dinner while it was still light after our usual, sociable evening radio 'net' was over - at 7.20pm, "Nereida time". Because I'm not adjusting my ship's time until I get to Rodriguez, sunset is getting 'later and later' - tonight it was after 8 o'clock according to the time I've been keeping (Z+7). We're now at 74E which is actually five hours ahead of Greenwich ... so really my clock should have been reading about 6 o'clock, which is right for
sunset here in the tropics. When I reach Rodriguez, which is at 63E (4 hours ahead of Greenwich, or Z+4), I'll have to adjust my ship's time by 3 hours to keep local time!
Today's noon-to-noon actual run (from GPS noon positions): 156 n.ml. Distance to Rodriguez at noon: 654 n.ml.