Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
The winds continue light, so mid-morning the Captain told the engineers fired up the Burmeister & Wain Alpha seven-cylinder main engine and now we’re steaming through the doldrums, getting far enough north of the line to pick up the trade winds again. Age of Sail mariners would have been plenty jealous of our reliable Danish diesel topsail as they rolled around in the doldrums for days or even weeks waiting and whistling for a breeze. We much prefer to sail whenever we can, but it’s certainly very reassuring to have the option of steaming for a spell when we need to.
SHIPS WORK: Dress fore royal yard, ready to send aloft. Tar turnbacks in the headrig, replace spanker peak outhaul and clew inhaul and mizzen topmast staysail downhaul, take apart the old, damaged topsail to keep any hardware that’s still good and the canvas for chafe gear or patching, repair fore royal lift strop, and spot-paint tropical blue on the breezeway overhead.
BOUND FROM: James Bay, St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean
TOWARDS: Grenada, Windward Islands, Caribbean Sea
TIME ZONE: GMT -2
NOON POSITION: 01°50.6’N /034°33.7’W
DAYS RUN: 72nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 3,122 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,702 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North West 1/2 West, Course made good 234° true, 7.7 knots
WIND: Wind Force 2, North by East
WEATHER: Fair, overcast, barometer 1017 millibars rising slowly,
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: North East 1 m
SAILS SET: All four topsails and all fore-and-aft sails except the gaff topsail set, braced up on the starboard tack.
Chief Engineer Billy runs the main engine