Tuesday 26th June 2012 (and Monday 25th)
A lovely day's sail today, crossing the Equator just after 1pm in good sunshine at well over 6 knots.... later I saw SOG of 7.1kt! Perfect timing for an enjoyable party! (I gave Poseidon first tipple, in gratitude for safe passages, of course.) There were even lots of flying fish taking off across the waves soon after and a booby circled around curiously.
I was having my lunch of tuna & sweetcorn with mayonnaise, so accompanied it with a cold Hinano beer from Tahiti, followed later by 'kir' made from some Cassis from Tasmania (thanks, Sithu & Deb!) added to white wine from New Zealand (actually obtained in Tasmania - a gift from RTCC after my talk in Hobart!), together with some biscuits from South Africa (found some, Eileen!) and finally a touch of Argentinian whisky from Ushuaia..... a round-up of my Southern Ocean travels over the past months passing the Five Gt Capes! All set to music (with some dancing...) from the Gypsy Kings, Ian and Sylvia, Habib Koite (African), Pink Martini and many others ... with an energetic rendering of 'Bamboleo, Bambolea...' as we crossed over the line ... ( A movement from B's Choral symphony also turned up - seemed rather appropriate... very triumphant sounding... my Ipod has a complete mix of music!!)
Yesterday saw the same lovely sailing weather - what we all dream of when we don't have it! Good wind, good speed under almost full canvas in bright sunshine with some swell but not too much.
I'd had a bit of unwanted excitement just before midnight, after a couple of squally showers earlier. With a raincloud producing wind rising rapidly to over 25 knots, fortunately with already-reduced genoa for overnight, I went to tie in reef 2 - but the (leech) end of the line got tangled and knotted itself at the far (aft) end of the boom, by the sheave. It felt far too precarious reaching out to the end in an attempt to deal with it in the darkness.. so I ended up tying the bight down to a cockpit winch which seemed to work fine, holding the slab of sail down temporarily... (The luff was already tied down separately) By morning, I found it had disentangled itself - great!
8pm tonight, I had to turn on the radar after I'd gone up to adjust sail trim and found a bright light on the horizon off to port - a small ship of some kind... showing one white light and a starboard light... so seemingly motoring across our path ahead... which way & how fast? Not on the AIS screen, so no info there... To find out more, I 'tracked' its signal on the radar screen - then the MARPA function gave me what I wanted - it was headed East at around 20 kt - so not a problem, with its closest approach of 4.3 mls happening just then ... always a relief not to have to worry about a ship getting too close!
On Monday, wind was E, backing to ENE - NE overnight with the rainclouds around,but this morning it veered to E-ESE. It's been fairly consistently around 12-14kt, overnight rainsqualls apart, and we've continued to make some more Easting, preparing for the NE Trades beyond the ITCZ coming up soon (4-8N). Plan is to head N from tomorrow, unless the ITCZ dictates otherwise... I'm still regularly downloading satpics via Honolulu to check on where the convection is!
DMG on Monday: 141 n.ml. and on Tuesday: 132 n.ml. with Honolulu 1505 n.ml. away at that time