Day 51 Captain Kirk and HRH ‘Andrew’ 22/10/13

 Oct 22 w Tauranga, NZ

Position: 31.34 S, 173.17 W

We’re still sailing in the beautiful High and I feel spoiled. The weather and the sea conditions have been intoxicating and I’m afraid I’m in for a big shock when it starts to rain and get cold and blow like hell! I was comparing last week’s run with the week before that. This last week we did a total of 550 nm and the week before 928 nm. I also compared where I was in 2007 on Day 50 with where I am on Day 50 this time around. WW II is 900 nm ahead of Kim Chow for the same 50 days. 

I am always enthralled by the bizarre shapes of the clouds. They are an ever-changing canvas of shapes and colours on a very large surround canvas. Captain Kirk and his good ship the USS Enterprise were stationed off our starboard stern quarter for half an hour this morning until they beamed themselves into thin air at warp speed. As you can see I’m easily entertained these days.

 

Royal Albatross, Dunedin NZ , Benchill wikimedia commons

HRH Royal Albatross ‘Andrew’, Dunedin, NZ. Photo credit: Benchill via Wikimedia Commons

My friend the HRH Royal Albatross ‘Andrew’ was back this morning to check up on me. He was navigating very well in the light breeze. He is so markedly larger by far than any of the petrels or frigate birds I have seen so far out here. The wing span must be 8 to 10 feet. He has a white under body. His top wing side has a grey pattern that is mirrored on each wing. His body hangs low from his wings,like a big Russian transport plane. His pink landing gear is up and only just visible. The bill is pink and quite long. He is a handsome fellow.

He glides up just over the swells from out of the sun and then shows his under side in a very graceful turn watching us all the while. He comes back twice and then glides off over our bow disappearing in the swells. It is without a doubt, a major event for me even surpassing the encounter with Captain Kirk. 

I have been up the mast this morning while we are under way just to make myself feel good that everything is ship shape up there. I tightened a few screws in the spinnaker tee track that gave me some trouble a week or so ago and checked all the shackles. There was a strap on one of the main sail cars that could do with some attention when I have it near the deck so it is easier to sow, but other than that all is well. It is always surprising how much easier it is to go up the mast while the boat is sailing as the motion is much steadier, particularly in 10 knots of breeze when we are sailing just off the wind. I use a bosun’s chair with a block and tackle which is hoisted up on the spinnaker halyard and then I use a climbing clamp to belay myself up.  The ride up and down was not exactly smooth and I have a few bumps and scrapes to show for my effort but the view of the boat and my entire world from horizon to horizon from up there is very exciting!

I’m going to enjoy this last day of nice weather and put it in the bank for the days and months to come in the Southern Ocean.

Course  224 T Speed 6 kts Wind NW 14 kts Waves .25 M Cloud 5% Temp 23 C Baro 1022 Steady Distance in last 24 hrs. 50 nm

AND …Remember those gooseneck barnacles Glenn described that were growing all over the pumice floating in the ocean? In case that sounded appealing to you, this article in the Globe and Mail a few days later says they’re making a comeback in Vancouver restaurants.
Just in time.

Comments

  1. Hi Glen;

    How do you go up the mast? I am following your daily progress with great interest.

  2. Don Avison says:

    Hey Glen, watching with great interst. We’re thinking about you here in Vic.

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