Good Morning readers,
After all the excitement of the Easter weekend festivities we are back down to earth (or sea) with a bump. The class of Elinca were doing their homework yesterday following Clares sail-trimming lesson. A rather enthusiastic Nick, replaced the thankfully as yet un-needed fourth reef with an outhaul line, and this was used to adjust the sail shape to maximise the power in the increasingly lighter winds. The morning watch also had a play with the Jib, using some fancy rope work to move the blocks back and forth. However, our efforts were in vain. Having been blessed with pretty consistent 20kt NE winds for the last couple of days, we finally hit a high pressure weather system and after half a day of bimbeling along at 4kts, we turned the motor on for the first time for 1500 miles. Or at least that was the intention, armed with a tool box and Jon, James soon had her up and running smoothly after a few initial splutters. Incidentally, this was not the first time that Jon and James had come in handy that day, as our forepeak freezer had given up over night. A bit of fancy re-wiring was required to solve the problem, much to the relief of the crew having been faced with the daunting prospect of a week filled with canned chickpeas, beetroot, boiled hotdogs and smash.
In an interesting twist, those that be have decided that during Leg 11 the crew should wind the clocks back to times of old and attempt to navigate our way to La Corona using traditional methods from the pre-GPS era, including taking star and noon sights, and using a water log. For those that don’t know, a water log is basically a long bit of string with a small propeller on the end that is trailed off the stern. As it is pulled through the water the propeller twists the string and this is measured and used to calculate how far the boat has moved to give us our dead reckoning speed and distance. So within the next few days, many of the Elinca crew will be treated to lessons in Sextant use and the mathematics behind calculating the boats position. Its a good job that our coffee supplies were refilled in Rio….
And now for the most exciting bit….KILLER WHALES!!!!! Just after lunch, and extremely observant Sarah T, spotted a large black fin in the water a few hundred yards from the boat, the following water spouts, fin sightings and a squeal of excitement from our resident naturist, Cliggy, confirmed their identity and we heaved to with the hope of a better look. Sadly, the pod of 3-4 whales weren’t particularly curious and didn’t hang around for long and despite spending the next two hours with our eyes glued to the horizon we didn’t see them again. Nevertheless, it was incredible to see them in the wild and consider ourselves pretty lucky. In terms of wildlife sightings, we were on a roll, as later on in the afternoon, we were greeted by a small group of dolphins, including a very cute baby. The number of Portuguese Man-of War floating past the boat was also increasing in frequency, with their beautifully purple/blue air sacks that look rather similar to a Cornish pasty. Not to be fooled by their looks, after the Box jellyfish, these are most poisonous jellyfish in the world. No mid-afternoon swimming for us then.
Sari and the rest of Cliggys watch produced another mind-blowing chicken curry for dinner, complete with Daal, obligatory rice mountain, Chapati bread and poppadoms. This was topped off with a can of Bobs Pilsner split 14 ways, and a stunning cloudless sunset. Not a bad day as it goes.
PS for those of you following Lynda if you want to send messages for her big birthday on Saturday just comment below and I’ll pass them on to the boat, Gemma x