Thursday, April 13th, 2006
We need wind. Not too much. Not a gale. But more than a puff would be useful. A nice Force 4/5 would do the trick.
There are many superstitions that sailors of old and sailors of now still believe, if not overtly vocally, then definitely in their minds. For example, on board you never whistle. The only shipmates who are allowed to whistle are the youngest and the oldest. Whistling brings up the wind, but how much wind? One must be very careful with this. Knock on wood—but not if it is a chair—after you say something that may jinx you.
We have found ourselves under full sail going just over 2 knots. Well, we need to go a little bit faster if we want to get to Fernando de Noronha in under a month! So we sent Pania, who is the youngest (it has to be the youngest), to scratch the main mast and aloft as high as she can go to sweep the air with a broom. This ritual is supposed to sweep the wind towards us. While she was there we also had her stick the tip of her knife in the mast—gently, not stabbing. No more gales, thank you!
Amanda paid the toll to Neptune, and maybe that will bring some wind. We even threw in a Canadian dime with the schooner Bluenose on it. We think that must be lucky! We asked the Captain nicely for just a little whistle, not a full bar of a song just a few notes.
Now we wait and see if any of this gets Neptune’s notice!
In the meantime the 8–12 watch and the riggers—Rebecca, Amanda, Ollie, Jack, Vicki, and Andrea M.—get ready the stun’s’ls. These sails can give us up to another knot of speed and the wind is plenty light enough for them right now.
The carpenters—Logan, Bart, and Bruce—are working on being efficient daymen! Lynsey is laying new tiles in the inside head, which Ivan concreted yesterday. John Kemper is assisting being a watch officer on the 8–12 watch, and engineers Danie and David are working on the fresh water pump on the port Lister.
Joe is making chicken salad, tomato soup, and pasta salad for lunch. All is well on the Picton Castle.
PS: Just an hour later, maybe our superstitions paid off. We now are going just over three knots!