Becalmed, mid Atlantic, yet almost within reach of their destination, the
crew decided to abandon the sails and try the engine, a far more reliable,
though noisy and expensive and quite frankly boring method of propulsion. The
consequential time penalty will have to be paid, but seemed a small price to pay
when, in less than two days, they could be sipping rum punches on pristine white
beaches. (Rather than not drinking tea on board a boat that somehow seems
smaller every day)
Never ones to miss an opportunity, the lack of wind did present some
interesting alternatives for the crew.
The fishing gear was launched and Derek’s line was soon spooling off the
reel. As he bravely fought the large silver fish that kept jumping out of the
water as it was reeled in, we were all hoping it was a tuna. Alas, this time the
fish won and broke free to survive another day. Derek was duly mortified and
required extra rations of chocolate biscuits to overcome the distress.
The mainsail was lowered and re hoisted to replace the luff tape in the
furling gear foil where it had come out slightly at the top and bottom. Several
sheets and lines needed attention due to chaff, and were repaired. If the wind
does return, the sails are set to go.
The opportunity to get off the boat was then too great to ignore, and en
mass, the crew jumped overboard to enjoy a fantastic swim in deliciously warm
water, a mere 4km deep. Like kids let out at play time, the activity was
refreshing and extremely good fun.
Not content with that, the afternoon presented one of the closest whale
watching activities to date, as the boat manoeuvred between two large whales,
possibly sperm whales, that slowly languished in the gentle seas.
Derek's final challenge was to take a series of sights with the sextant to
see how accurate the GPS is. The calculations required to work this out take
quite a while to process, so tomorrow he may be able to tell us where we might
have been today.