22/06/2010 - Tacking, stretching and approaching the equator!

Since we have settled back into our standard routine, the morning watch passed without incident; as normal the first few hours were spent in darkness, I have decided to try and stretch at about 5am so that when the sun comes up I am ready to start heaving and running up and down rigging.  I have learnt that I have lost a lot of suppleness, especially in my legs, Bob has promised she’ll help,.. although I think that is because she enjoys seeing me in pain! Then we have deck wash as soon as it gets light, either followed by, or while a small group holy stones, then to finish off the watch we fresh water sujey (which still seems to me to be one of the more pointless tasks on board!).

This morning was bloody cold,.. strange since we are just off the equator, but a shirt and fouly jacket were both required and I was still a bit chilly,.. didn’t help that it was drizzling!

I have decided that I am sleeping too much, I normally get about 6.5 hours at night between 9 and 3.30am, but I then find after the first shift I am exhausted (depending on how much sail handling happens) and need an hour or so’s sleep before I can function again, however, this short nap often ends up lasting till lunch, then after lunch I normally have another quick nap… now these naps aren’t what you’d call deep sleep as I am continuously woken by things happening around me, but I do feel that I only really need a maximum of 8 hours, so my morning nap should definitely be sufficient,.. am going to try and force myself to sleep only in the mornings from now on!

A previous crewmember from one of the first world voyages (Todd Jarrell) said: "You sleep twice a day, so it's like having two days in one day. It's like having two opportunities to make the best of each day.": (Published August 23, 2002 Herald Citizen Newspaper).  He has a point, when you wake up, it is like a new day, you go through the same routine, brush teeth, go to the loo etc and you do really feel like you have 2 days in one!

I realised today that I have been wearing the same pair of pants (underwear for the yanks) since Panama,.. now for someone who has always changed them religiously every day this gave me a bit of a shock,.. it’s been 6 days!!!

The light winds continued today and we are therefore sailing pretty much due west when you take the drift into consideration…. People are getting bored of just sailing along the equator but not actually getting anywhere near it!!

The captain tried to tack the ship round today which was fun, we had almost the entire crew up and actively getting involved, but we lost momentum and she ground to a halt before the bow came round into the wind so the captain had to bear off and we ended up wearing ship i.e. gybeing,… but later in the day once the wind had come up a bit we managed it easily with the only spanner in the works being Siri’s near disappearance over the edge when her lanyard got caught in the brace she was easing!!

This afternoon the sun began to show and we had a wonderful rainbow just off the stern, it was the first time I had ever seen a rainbow where I could see both ends in the same area… very pretty!!

As the sun set I was helming and saw a small silhouette pass the chart house, jump up onto a rail and nimbly disappear into the monomoy hanging from the davits,… I didn’t think Chibley came up on the quarterdeck now she was older, let alone jump up in the monomoy!  Apparently she had done this the day before too,..  however there were people on hand and she was coaxed down with soft voices and at the last minute a brusque grab of her pelt… she didn’t look very happy!

They say animals can sense disaster,.. hope this isn’t the case and she just wanted somewhere to get away from all the smelly pollywogs!

Yet another day of sailing west, but not quite enough south to cross the equator, we are presently 00ยบ 08 minutes  off the equator i.e. 8 nautical miles from crossing on a bearing of west by south

We really expect the crossing to be tomorrow,..  I am getting bored of all the pollywog/shellback bollocks!  I just want to get it over with now!

This evening it seems like we have finally cleared the itcz,.. skies cleared completely just as we finished watch and all the stars were visible for the first time since we left panama,.. strange to see how they rotate,… the plough has inverted completely since I last saw it…  also saw the space station zooming past the moon, that was quite surreal to see,.. imagine astronauts up there watching us!!  Looking forward to good weather tomorrow though!

Oh, and Neptune’s revenge!!!

Had another splicing workshop, George wore a bin bag in anticipation of the crossing event,.. but never happened,. Captain took the piss out of her!


1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting for)) ff