"For Boats, even the uglier ones, are among the loveliest creations of man’s hands, and though owning them brings a train of debts, hangnails, bruises, bad frights, and all kinds of worries not experienced by those who content themselves with more practical vices, the relation between man and his boat is as personal and intimate as the relation between husband and wife" – DESMOND HOLDRIDGE
With such a featureless horizon, the passing of a cargo ship one and a half miles astern becomes noteworthy. The AIS data suggested it was heading for Portsmouth but not whether that is Portsmouth Virginia or Hampshire but judging from its course, it looks like Portsmouth UK although that is a Naval port……..
The temperature has dropped sufficiently to render sleeping less of a sweaty ordeal and more of a pleasure and the return to sailing as opposed to motoring means I can open my transom portlight without suffering the ingress of diesel fumes. Having said that, the wind has been capricious and we have been ‘on the cusp’ of sailing/motoring for most of the day. With the wind increasing on the edge of the squalls, we even reefed at one stage and tracking other AIS signals, it is clear that other yachts are having the same dilemma and using their engines on occasion.
Confession time: For the second morning on this passage I have been late on watch at 0200. The first time I was expecting a call but Barry was expecting me to have set an alarm. As a result of this misunderstanding, I set alarms for the whole passage on my phone and duly took it to bed with me. Imagine my horror when I checked my watch and I was late AGAIN. Checking the phone alarm log, it says ‘Alarm silenced after one minute’, whether that means that I silenced it or it timed out is not clear. What is clear is that it is unacceptable and I have told Barry he can sleep until he wakes naturally and we need to instigate a fool proof system. Barry says he knocked my door and I didn’t hear. I AM MORTIFIED.
The pressure cooker was dusted off for yesterday’s main meal. We had bought a pack of 4 chicken thighs in Nanny Cay and this was mixed with a variety pack of pulses, a large tin of tomato puree, onions, garlic, stock cubes and white wine from an indifferent box. This normally would be enough for 4 with some broth for the following day but, in the event, we had ‘second helpings’ and wolfed practically all of it in the one sitting!
Jobs completed included further spray hood stitching and the ‘handing’ of the jib sheets. We have served dyneema outer sleeving over the sheets for about 2 feet and sewn and whipped it in place.
It is now captivated in the clew bowline and should offer a resistance to chafe next time we ‘pole out’.
Sourcing a replacement cockpit VHF remote handset is proving to be harder than expected. My Raymarine supplier is on holiday as is Barry’s. So I have had to invoke the might of ATOM to crack this nut. It seems the unit is obsolete and Raymarine will only repair, not supply. The latest situation is that a unit may be on its way from Ebay, hopefully in time for Ollie to bring out to Bermuda. It is slightly perverse that I am so exercised about a piece of kit which is a nicety, not an essential when we encountered one yacht whose sole means of navigation is an ipad!