Monday, May 17th, 2010
0700 34-58N / 061-04W – winds NWLY at force 4-5, seas 4-6’, Chibley hungry
Captain Daniel D. Moreland
Morning came in with clouds breaking up and the day making up fair and handsome. Last night the gale force winds veered into a more NWly slant and laid down nicely along with the largish seas – with the coming of dawn the 4-8 watch loosed and set all sail up to the t’gallants and down-rigged safety man-ropes and nets. Now the watch is washing down the decks and deck houses, fresh watering things off, getting rid of crusty salt, opening hatches and portholes getting everything aired out.
1100 – yards just off square – all sail set and drawing – sun beating down yet still gently – a picture perfect day at sea, the first of many to come we suspect – blue sky with small white puffy clouds sailing along with us over head. Dark blue seas maybe 4-5 feet high with a smattering of frosty white caps foaming off their tops – a 45’ sloop came over the horizon the starboard bearing a German flag and sailed about as close under our bow as one could dare, then headed off the east – maybe heading for Azores. We were standing by for evasive maneuvering. Just before noon today we were also joined by a lone bat valiantly remaining aloft, I fear its prognosis is not good. And a small black butterfly, 240 miles ENE of Bermuda out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With sunlight on the hatch this Sunday afternoon crew have taken to reading, napping, oiling boots, taking bucket baths, maybe a few haircuts, trying out being barefoot, getting a little sun. Tomorrow is Norwegian National Day – as we have two Norwegians they will instruct us in its proper observance. It is a great day to be at sea in our barque.
1400 – It’s Donald’s day off, so that means that there are guest chefs in the galley. Breakfast was cranberry muffins, poached eggs, porridge and fruit. Lunch, cooked by Siri, Johanna and Nadja, had a European flair – crepes with cheese, veggies and bacon, and heart-shaped waffles in plain, chocolate, banana and cheese. WT appears to have supper under control, although I’m not yet sure what he’s making. One trainee from each watch is assigned to galley duty each day, so Johanna from 12-4, Tiina from 4-8 and Lorraine from 8-12 are the galley assistants du jour.
It’s amazing how quickly the seas have laid down after the gale. Everyone is taking advantage of the good weather by being on deck, relaxing, reading, fishing (although not catching yet), writing in journals, studying their handbooks and working on small projects. Today was laundry day for a few of the crew, washing their clothes in buckets of salt water on deck with a final rinse in fresh, so the laundry lines above the well deck are full of clean laundry and assorted other clothing drying out after being drenched by seas and spray yesterday.
About an hour ago, a family of sea turtles was spotted off the stern. Yet another sign that we’re heading in the right direction. After crossing the Gulf Stream, the crew are now dressed for warm weather – even a few folks in shorts. The current air temperature is 20 degrees Celsius and the sunshine almost makes me forget that two days ago we were bundled up in long underwear, hats, mittens and scarves. I guess we have earned our way to this tropical voyage.