Managing in a seaway

 

Day 5 Friday December 2, 2016 @ 03.25 local time

12216-w-chatham-islands Lat 42.51 S,Long 171. 55 W Course 96 T Speed 6.8 knots Wind S 15 knots Waves SW 4 metres Cloud 75% Baro 1011 steady
Range CH 4086 nm 
Distance in last 24 hrs: 140 nm

nz-and-ch-12216

Back down below after a half hour on deck taking down the pole from the yankee. The dawn is breaking and as always, the most amazing thing about going up on deck is the enormous sea that is running. The motion below I have gotten used to and belies the great size of the waves.

There are petrels gliding by looking for offal. Sadly for them, my greatest offering would be my old tea bag at best. These seas cause WW II to yaw a fair bit when we are off the wind, it makes the yankee flutter,  and it shakes the whole mast.  It’s difficult to deal with. I am going to have to go back up and see what I can do to stop it. I will probably roll the yankee back in a bit and see how that works. Last night at dusk in amongst the pinking clouds I spied the sliver of the new moon. It will be nice to have that as company as it waxes over the next few weeks. I hope your day is dawning well.

06:40

Tea’s here beside me and the sun is up high enough on our port side to fill the nav. station with cloud filtered morning light. There’s light but no real heat which I have to admit would be nice this morning as it is a bit nippy. Got my fleece on and collar turned up. Finger tips need some rubbing but breath is not visible yet.

I finished Wade Davis’s  The Wayfinders last night. The litany of cultural genocide portrayed in great detail was enlightening but left me feeling guilty and ashamed at the plight of indigenous people around the planet. He did portray Canada as a modern country which in his opinion is moving in the right direct though. Felt like I took a first year Anthropology course and enjoyed it. It is wonderful that such dedicated people have pursued the study of indigenous people and in a very honest way recorded their stories.

My next book will be Bill Bryson’s A short History of Nearly Everything. I definitely need to laugh out loud. I read one of his books about Australia “Down Under” on my passage from Fremantle to Opua, NZ a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Sally and Neil Knight of Gisborne for giving me this book.

It is important to note that at this very moment the wind has picked up and we are surging along at the breakneck speed of 7+ knots and Fleming seems to have everything in control. I hope it stays that way. I have been conservative in my sail area during the night not wanting to have to get up quickly to react to an increase in wind. This seems to be working fine for now.  

There are several rain squalls around us this morning so I imagine it will be exciting sailing through those. Have to keep a hand on the tea mug.

Another project I’m starting is the carving of a wooden chain out of a solid piece of wood. A shipwright in Opua, Graeme Rigden, an incredible talent, gave me a couple of pieces of wood from his shop to do this project.  I picked up a small set of carving tools from Lee Valley Tools before I left and some sharpening stones. Meeting Graeme was a stroke of luck and of course I am benefiting from his generous gift of two pieces of wood  for my project. He also came down to the boat and dropped off a beautiful wooden bowl he spun out on his lathe one evening. It’s incredible, paper thin. Thank you Graeme for your kind generosity. Wade Davis would likely use Graeme, as an example of those individuals who will keep the planet safe.

My stomach is telling me it’s time for breakfast. I think a hard boiled egg and a pancake with hazelnut butter will do the trick. Making it in this seaway though is going to be a real feat. I’ve had tens of thousands of miles of practice at this, but still one never really knows if at the last minute your breakfast will land in the right place or be interrupted by a rogue wave. He, by the way is part of that same mob as the guy with the fire hose. 

Cheers from the great Southern Ocean. Have a good day and be thankful your galley isn’t moving at 7 knots over 4 meter waves.
(This is ML saying “duly noted and thankful indeed.”  :-)  

Note: A small correction to what was posted earlier. Glenn actually crossed the International Dateline today, December 2, 2016  at approximately 0:737 local time, or 1837 UTC. As this imaginary dateline zig zags in a north south direction, the exact time of crossing varies depending on your position of latitude where you crossed it.

Comments

  1. Neil & Sally says:

    Glenn, it was so lovely to meet you in Gisborne, NZ last week. I’m so glad you’re enjoying our citrus and avocados. They are the best in the world! We both love following your updates and hope you enjoy Bill Bryson as much as we did! Safe travels.

  2. Hi Glenn. As always great to get an update. I have Bill Bryson’s book on my shelf and will start reading it (and be grateful that I can read it in the comfort of my warm bed in a house). Hope your breakfast landed in your stomach and not somewhere in the cockpit. I have no clever sailing questions to ask, so will stick to asking about your wellbeing. Stay safe.

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