Buckling down to studying in the trade winds


our current position is 35’55.20N 9’22.24W at 0920 UTC.  We’re still heading for the Canaries and our course is taking us straight towards them at the moment.

After nearly 2 weeks on board this is my first chance to write the blog. This comes just as Elinca leaves mainland Europe and won’t be back again for another 7 months or so. The Strait of Gibraltar is  220 miles due east of us now and we’ve about 500 miles to run parallel to the Moroccan coast down to the Canaries.

After some light breezes, this morning brought the first sign of the trade winds and our big Kukri-sponsored cruising chute is up and pulling us along at a brisk pace.  I can only assume that Neptune had a bit of Clare’s birthday meringue and Portuguese tropical fruit cake (so excellently baked by Cliggy). Also, after the rain of Portugal, the amount of sunshine is beginning to reflect our latitude.

Calmer seas have meant we can turn Elinca into a big steel classroom. Clare has started Yachtmaster theory with Zoe and Cliggy, while James is putting Andy K and myself through our astro-navigation paces. Which way up does the sextant go again?  Seasick Jonny is also teaching Andrea the guitar – earplugs please!!!



PS can anyone please explain the obscurities of pawn movement in chess? Thanks.

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5 Responses to Buckling down to studying in the trade winds

  1. Sheila says:

    Soon be joining Co Stars !!! Love Grandma xx

  2. Dennis says:

    Great to hear you are making progress in both the pace of the boat and the surrounding weather.

    Ref your Question on Pawn movement in chess

    Pawns have the most complex rules of movement:

    A pawn can move forward one square, if that square is unoccupied.

    If it has not yet moved, each pawn has the option of moving two squares forward provided both squares in front of the pawn are unoccupied. (see also note on En Passant below)

    A pawn cannot move backwards.

    Pawns are the only pieces that capture differently from how they move. They can capture an enemy piece on either of the two spaces adjacent to the space in front of them (i.e., the two squares diagonally in front of them) but cannot move to these spaces if they are vacant.

    En Passant – Example -(works each way…) if a White pawn is advanced two squares, and in doing so has passed over a square threatened by an opposing Black pawn (ie placed on a diagonal on the adjacent column and still moving forward) – Black, in their next move, can capture the White Pawn by moving diagonally into the space that would have been occupied if the piece had only moved one square forward. The white pawn is removed and the Black pawn is now on the column next to the one it originally occupied but a rank further forward.

    Another element of Pawn use is Promotion.

    When a Pawn advances all the way from the 2nd rank to the 8th it can be promoted (converted) to any of the other pieces – Queen, Rook (castle), Bishop, or Knight of the same colour. This is not limited to captured pieces so you could in theory have 9 Queens on the board at the same time…or 10 Rooks, Bishops or Knights.

    If the piece is available as a captured piece it can be replaced directly – otherwise people often invert a Rook to make an additional identifiable piece. The piece retains it’s new form for the rest of the game until captured.

    Hope this helps…

    Dennis (Jonathan’s Dad)

    • Dennis says:

      Just remembered – En Passant cannot be used as an afterthought later – it has to be used just after the initial move of the opposing pawn or not used at all for that piece.

  3. Gail Seedhouse says:

    It is about time she learned to play that guitar properly, she has had it long enough!! We will be giving you a wave from Madeira when you pass next week, from a distance! Happy sailing and learning to you all. Gail ( Andrea’s Mum) xx

  4. Jim's mum says:

    Seeing Jim learning to use a sextant reminds me of his uncle (probably a uni student at the time) learning to use one trying to plot his position in our garden in Surrey – I wonder if he discovered which way up to use it! But I expect a bit easier in the Atlantic than surrounded by trees?
    Angela (Jim’s mum)

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