17 Dec Late
Being parked in the middle of the ocean is all well and good if you’ve nowhere to be and it doesn’t matter when you get there. Neither applies in Seaburban’s case. We’ve got a schedule to keep and it matters very much that we are on time. Going nowhere fast also means you’re mowing through food and water both of which are in limited supply.
Most importantly the weather changes dramatically the longer this trip takes. Looking at the pilot charts for the different oceans I’ll be crossing tells me that the later we are, the higher the frequency of gales. Most sailors spend their entire careers avoiding gales like the plague with good reason. I too wish to avoid them if at all possible. Nobody in their right mind goes storm-hunting in a small boat at sea.
Dawn found us making bare steerage way with all plain sail. We had lasted the night but I doubted the day. By mid-morning we were using the asymmetrical with a single-reef in the main. By mid-afternoon we were done. Becalmed betwixt big rollers driving battle-worn and bone-tired Bert bonkers.
The forecast was none too encouraging either. Light or no winds for the next 18 hours. Lewis Carrol played over and over in my head “You’re late! You’re late! For a very important date!” I halved my normal dinner ration.
Somebody somewhere mast have scratched a mast for me. Instead of 18, we sat for 6. We sail south in an easterly breeze that has arrived unannounced but welcome.
Becalmed, I sat in the cockpit trying to hang on with one hand and splice with the other, it came to me why the mutineers on Pitcairn weren’t.discovered for 18 years. Given the vagaries of the wind in these parts, it’s nigh on impossible to get there in a sailboat!
Follow my tracks in real-time: