Captain's Log

Archive for February, 2015

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Day’s Run – February 11, 2015

A bit more ocean swell today, so your abs get a workout just sitting down or walking about the ship. The morning came in cloudy, but cleared by noon into yet another gorgeous bluewater day. We’re more than half way to St Helena now, and only a couple of days away from the Greenwich meridian and westerly latitudes. We’re about 180 degrees from Fiji now – half way round the world.
SHIPS WORK: Working on holystoning the quarterdeck with beach sand, salt water and canvas covered blocks of wood getting rid of some layers in preparation for oiling it again. Finished up the greasing and oiling aloft, and lots of small rigging jobs like patch serving, chafe gear, and making a new bow-pudding for the skiff, which acts as a fender when it’s pushing the ship. Sail-making continues on the cargo hatch. New jib and studdingsail overhaul going on.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, Southern Africa
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +1
NOON POSITION: 21°16.3’S /005°09.4’E
DAYS RUN: 144 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 691 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 687 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West, Course made good 293° true, 6.8 knots
WIND: Wind Force 5, South South West
WEATHER: Fair, 6/8 cloud, barometer 1022 millibars and steady,
visibility excellent
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: Southerly 2-3m
SAILS SET: All square sails set and braced square as we run down wind. The port side of the mainsail is ‘goose winged’ or clewed up so it doesn’t shadow the foresail too much and keeps the centre of effort more forward. This helps with steering.
Downwind sailing with the mainsail goosewinged
Downwind sailing with the mainsail goosewinged

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Day’s Run – February 10, 2015

Another beautiful day in the South Atlantic. The trade winds are back to their usual reliably good form, the sun is shining and the ocean is sparkling bright blue.
SHIPS WORK: It’s too breezy to send sails up and down today so we’re working on other things. The main project for the day is overhauling the iron work and the footrope from the old royal yard so they will be ready to go onto the new yard once the carpenters finish shaping and varnishing the spar. We also did spot painting and routine greasing on deck and aloft – getting oil or grease in all hinges, sheaves of blocks, freeing ports and anything else metal that moves.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +1
NOON POSITION: 22°15.1’S /007°28.8’E
DAYS RUN: 144 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 547 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 831 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West, Course made good 291° true, 5.4 knots
WIND: Wind Force 5, Southerly
WEATHER: Fair, 6/8 cloud, barometer 1021 millibars and steady,
visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South South East 2-3m
SAILS SET: Foresail, topsails, t’gallants and main royal, inner jib. We are on a broad reach on the port tack, braced almost square.
Turi and Alex
Turi on helm with Alex standing by on the quarterdeck

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Day’s Run – February 9, 2015

The winds have come fair and started filling in again, so we’re back on course for St Helena making five knots in a glorious sailing breeze. We passed back into the Tropic of Capricorn yesterday evening and the air temperature is perfect at 25°C.
SHIPS WORK: Sent down the strong fore upper topsail today and sent up an older fair-weather sail as its replacement – all while leaving the t’gallant sail above it set, which made the ship look a bit
‘gap-toothed’ for a while. We also replaced the main lower topsail.
Lots of sailmaking activity happening today: John, Tammy, Elvira, Agnes and Amanda are working on tabling a new inner jib and a new lower topsail, repairing an old upper topsail and making a new topmast staysail.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +1
NOON POSITION: 23°18.3S /009°46.5’E
DAYS RUN: 70 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 403 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 975 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West, Course made good 294° true, 5 knots
WIND: Wind Force 4, South West x South
WEATHER: Fair, 3/8 cloud, barometer 1019 millibars and steady,
visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South South West 1-2m
SAILS SET: All sails set
Sending down the fore upper topsail
Sending down the fore upper topsail

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Day’s Run – February 8, 2015

A sunny, mellow Sunday at sea. Hardly any wind today, but we’re not in a hurry and it’s much nicer to go slow for a day than to fire up the engine. A pod of dolphins were hanging out off the port beam in the afternoon, and we think maybe a pilot whale too, but all too far away for definite identification. We had a tropical themed marlinspike before supper to celebrate being in the ‘Local Apparent Tropics’ at 24 degrees south.
SHIPS WORK: Sunday at sea so people are free to do personal projects on watch and there’s no additional ship’s work. Jens, Elvira and Sam B were cooks for the day, and did a very fine job. We set all sail at the noon change of the watch when the wind filled in a little.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +1
NOON POSITION: 24°07.9’S /010°03.6’E
DAYS RUN: 22 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 333 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,000 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: West South West, Course made good 220° true, 1.7 knots
WIND: Wind Force 2, North North West
WEATHER: Fair, 2/8 cloud, barometer 1018 millibars and steady,
visibility excellent
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South 0.5m
SAILS SET: All sails set
Nikolaj bracing around
Lead Seaman Nikolaj slacks the port fore braces to brace around

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Day’s Run – February 7, 2015

DATE: Feb 7th, 2015
REMARKS: The water has warmed up 10°C in the last 24 hours – meaning we are finally out of the cold current sweeping up the coast of Africa from the Antarctic. We celebrated the new warmth with a saltwater power-shower on the main deck – good to exercise the fire pumps too! We launched and recovered the skiff at 1600 as part of a man overboard drill, then braced up sharp and took in mainsail and foresail, headsails and staysails because they were flogging in the light airs.
SHIPS WORK: Bent and set the gaff topsail, finished work on the lower topsail, small overhauling jobs including patch serving on the fish tackle.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +1
NOON POSITION: 24°21.0’S /010°3.6’E
DAYS RUN: 72 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 311 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,009 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West by North, Course made good 322° true, 1.6 knots
WIND: Wind Force 2, South South West
WEATHER: Fair, clear, barometer 1019 millibars and steady, visibility
excellent
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South West 0.5-1m
SAILS SET: All sails set except the spanker
Turi and Gabe patch serving
Turi and Gabe patch the serving

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Day’s Run – February 6, 2015

REMARKS: We retarded ship’s clocks last night so now we’re in the same time zone as Amsterdam, Rome, Madrid and Paris. Chief Mate Sam held a workshop on splicing this afternoon for our newer crew and anyone who wanted a refresher. After, the Captain updated us all on the passage to St Helena and the weather forecasts – there’s a high pressure sitting to our north west giving light airs, and possibly even headwinds for a short time, but then the usual south easterly trade winds are expected to kick in again after a day or two.
SHIPS WORK: John is working on finishing a new lower topsail – today he stitched leather patches on the bolt rope as protection against chafe. We continue to replace two sails a day with light-air sails: today we replaced the inner jib and fore lower topsail.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +1
NOON POSITION: 24°48.3S /011°15.2’E
DAYS RUN: 109 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 239 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,081 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West by West, Course made good 289° true, 2.1 knots
WIND: Wind Force 2, South
WEATHER: Fair, 1/8 cloud, barometer 1019 millibars and falling slowly, visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South 1m
SAILS SET: All sails set except the spanker
John making sails_ Russell on the helm
John making sails, Russell on the helm

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Day’s Run – February 5, 2015

DATE: Feb 5th, 2015
REMARKS: We set sail from Luderitz, Namibia yesterday lunch time, after a very pleasant and relaxed port visit where we visited abandoned diamond mines wandered around the pretty little town and drove out to see wild horses, oryx and ostrich in the desert. It’s a beautiful sunny day today, not too hot and small seas, perfect sailing weather. And it’s Sam B’s birthday, so there’ll be birthday cake with supper.
SHIPS WORK: Now we have rounded the Cape of Good Hope, we’re expecting good weather and moderate winds until we reach the North Atlantic in May. This means we are busy sending down all of our newest, strongest sails to keep them in top condition for heavy weather. In their place we’re sending up older and lighter sails. This was usual practice for Age of Sail ships, and apart from being good for the sails it’s good for our crew to get practice sending them up and down.
BOUND FROM: Luderitz, Namibia, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TIME ZONE: GMT +2
NOON POSITION: 25°41.6S /012°59.9’E
DAYS RUN: 130 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 130 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,083 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West, Course made good 293° true, 5.7 knots
WIND: Wind Force 4-5, South by South West
WEATHER: Fair, 3/8 cloud, barometer 1020 millibars and steady,
visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South West by South 1m
SAILS SET: All sails set
Quaterdeck muster leaving Luderitz
All hands muster on the quarterdeck leaving Luderitz

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