Posted on 07/11/2017 to World Cruising
We haven’t been at sea for 48 hours, yet already the days are blending into each other in my mind. This day at sea is similar to that day at sea, and the passing of time has become abstract – one of my favourite things about long distance sailing. If it weren’t for the log and our watch system, I could lose track of time altogether. It is an ‘eat-when-hungry’, ‘sleep-when-tired’ sort of a regime (with the exception of dinner, when all crew members are expected to dine together like civilized creatures!) If I try hard enough, I can probably recall the events of the past 12 hours…
I slept poorly, as I usually do our first night at sea. I do not have our Bosun’s wonderful skill of falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, a trait I envy. The moment I got up for my morning watch, there was work to be done, however the Skipper gracefully allowed me an invigorating cup of coffee to kick-start my day.
Just after we crossed the start line yesterday, the shackle holding our topping lift fast came astray, the shackle unfortunately not recovered. Luckily, I quickly noticed the swinging rope, and Dad and I had it promptly tied back to the end of the boom. Overnight, it had come adrift once more, and now needed to be untangled from the mast and rigging. I am by far the smallest onboard, with (now, I’m not saying I’m short…) a very low centre of gravity, so deck work is often left to me when possible. Pausing only to clip on my life-line, I set about freeing the rope. A spot of team-work and a few minutes later, and we had the boom hauled in and the topping lift securely back in place. First task done.
As you know, these things usually come in threes, and my next chore was of my favourite nature: up the mast. In all our rocking and rolling with the swell, we had also lost our courtesy flag halyard from the cross-trees. I donned my trusty harness, armed myself with the GoPro and the halyard to be re-run, and began to climb. There is nowhere I like better on Haji than the cross-trees. I stopped to admire the views – vast expanses of deep blue ocean re-enforcing the enormity of this journey we are all undertaking. Not a soul in sight.
Our third mishap of the day involved Hans. Our two electronic auto-helms (Hans and Otto) share a fitting. While working very hard running goose-winged, Hans had begun to wobble somewhat in this fitting, causing his helming to be less accurate than usual. This is not new to us. Haji is not a young girl, and we are very familiar with some reoccurring problems. Indeed, this same fitting has been repaired mid-ocean several times before (on the way to the Azores, as well as a few months back crossing the Bay of Biscay). So we switched over to reliable old hand helming – the practice is good for us anyway – and broke out the woodworking tools. Haji was designed to be lived on, and for her crew to be self sufficient in every way – so Hans was fixed in next to no time. We continued to hand steer for the next six hours, partially to allow the glue to dry and screws to set, partially for the fun of it.
In other news, Devin has yet to catch a fish. I held off making dinner while he checked his lines – alas, not a sausage. I have not lost faith, perhaps tomorrow will be the day!
You are sure to hear about it when we finally do get our hands on a tuna or mahi-mahi!
Now my watch is drawing to an end, I shall bid you all goodnight.