Monday, February 15th, 2016
There was a small pod of Minke whales just a few meters from the quarterdeck on the starboard side today. They stayed with us for much of the morning, sometimes rolling over just under the 6 to ten foot seas to show their white bellies before diving for a while.
In the afternoon the captain gave a fascinating lecture for all hands about ocean winds and currents. He gave an overview of how the spinning of the earth and the uneven heating of the sun causes the prevailing winds and currents that we see across the world’s oceans. There were some great questions from the audience including why the trade winds we’ve been seeing this passage have been stronger than usual, why Cape Horn is notorious for strong winds and extreme weather, and why the weather in Australia is generally more settled than at the equivalent northerly latitudes in North America or Europe.
SHIP’S WORK: Laminate up planks for KARL mast and yard with epoxy glue, continue KARL planking with daymen trainees; ratlines, continue foot-rope overhaul, replace starboard fore t’gallant sheave in upper topsail yard-arm and replace the sheet with wire and smaller chain, re-seize port lift block and spanker clew block; paint black MONOMOY stringer and gunwale, prime and paint MONOMOY floor boards, paint tropical blue in breezeway; continue seaming upper topsail, make and install grommets in new t’gallant studdingsail, wire seizings with leather chafe gear for clew of new jib.
Today’s celestial workshops focused on practical sextant techniques to get more accurate altitude readings – it seemed to pay off, people’s noon latitudes are definitely getting more accurate.
The ditty bag (sailmaking) workshop for today covered making and sewing in (called “sticking”) grommets, the small reinforced holes lined with waxed marline and sewn in place, which are used to attach a handle or becket to the bag. Sailmakers have to be good at making grommets as each sail has plenty for bending the sail to the yard, gaff or stay, and still more for attaching hardware in the corners.
FROM: Mindelo, Sāo Vicente, Cape Verde
TOWARDS: The West Indies
TIME ZONE: ZD+2
NOON POSITION: 16°44.3’N /041°35.8’W
DAYS RUN: 148nm
PASSAGE LOG: 958nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,124nm
COURSE AND SPEED: West by North (CMGT 270°T)
WIND: Force 5, East
WEATHER: 3/8 cloud cover (cumulus), air temp 76F (24°C), barometer reading 1021 millibars, visibility good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: approx 4-6 feet, East North East
SAILS SET: Topsails and staysails, fore t’gallant