The noisy and rolling sail downwind continues. Amazing what the human body can get used to over time. After about 12 days, we saw another freighter in the distance at 3:00. There are plenty of flying fish and the occasional seabird. Anyways,
we had perfect weather with blue skies, 25C/80F temperatures and about 17kn of wind from 70′. The main goal throughout the day is to stay out of the sun and even on our night watches we wear barely more than t-shirts and shorts.
Highlights of the day:
First of all, we did not break anything – although we tried…
As always, when the wind calms down somewhat, the sun has about two hours left and we are a little bored, ideas on how to speed up are born.
This time we concluded that it was calm enough to hoist the gennaker and drop the main. It did not require a pole, which we were short on, and therefore seemed a better choice than poling out the genoa with a yet to be repaired track on the mast.
Unfortunately, it was still too windy and Tioga became quite unstable. We therefore reverted back to full main only and sailed into the night.
In the dark we prepared the left over mast track in case conditions allow a poled out genoa with spinnaker pole tomorrow.
The real highlight, though, is the fact that we finally managed to understand how to shot the sun (or any other body) with our sextant at a time that is not noon. While the needed math is quite simple, understanding the concept of geographic position (GP), assumed position (AP), local hour angle (LHA) and Intercept in combination with Nautical Almanac, Sight Reduction Tables and Plotting Sheets took us a while. We will use the remaining few days to refine that process.
Today at 17:00 marked our 2 week point. We have by now sailed about 2200nm, finished the next 5 gallon water canister (about 20l), ate the remaining peppers and iceberg lattice, and filled up the second trash bag. Our last loaf of bread is almost gone and we will soon tap into our not so fresh supplies (we still have some apples, onions and potatoes and lots of limes and squash).
While Josh, Ben and Philip dealt with the aftermath of the gennaker intermezzo, Jake and Max prepared an outstanding curry meal with steak, onions, potatoes and rice.
Our etmal today was 139nm. Not the greatest, but good enough, given that we sailed the entire time under main only.
All is good out on the big blue ocean.
If you remember, at full moon, the sun goes down in the West exactly at the same time as the moon comes up in the East.
At new moon, which we just had, they both come up at the same time in the East. Tonight, we saw the beginning of the new cycle as the sun set and the tiny sliver of the moon set soon thereafter. It is quit nice to observe this cycle up close throughout our many night watches.
And despite the new moon, the visibility, due to the very bright stars, is still quite good at night.