Been a bit of a strange day today but I will take it. Woke up to a modest drift and calm conditions, I’d been pulled 4.5 miles west so suspected I was in a west moving current as the wind was hardly blowing. Most of my first row is in the dark, the sun comes up just before I finish. It’s quite nice, especially when calm like it was this morning. Despite the lack of wind and swell I was making 2.5 knots and in a good direction as the current was helping me for a change. Conditions continued the same after I made my breakfast, not enough wind to raise my flag when rowing, just enough when I stopped. The swell was getting calm but still helped a little as the sets went by. All afternoon there has been no wind at all until the last hour. I’m getting used to the heat but it was hot today, the sweat was pouring off me with no wind.
The wind seems to be trying to come from the east, it’s supposed to be coming from ENE tomorrow, hope so, 12-15 knots and this current I can do some real damage.
I ended up with 49.6nm and a 24 hour course over ground of 235° (not bad considering the pull west).
I’m now west of 150°, only 30° more and I’m properly down under. Close to going under 16° so the equator is looming.
It’s Barbados day today (well in my world it is) because on the Atlantic trip I arrived in Barbados on the morning of day 53. I spent the day eating crispy salad, drinking soda water with ice (oh how I would love some ice now) and talking tall tales all afternoon at the Port St Charles Yacht Club. Then had a real shower and slept in a real bed. Not for a while John boy, head down and stop dreaming.
If I compare the two trips, they are completely different technically obviously, but also the Atlantic was the first time I had ever properly been to sea. Everything was new and I didn’t know what to expect. I did get a good crossing, although I would argue that I took full advantage of the conditions and learned quickly how to get the best from me and the boat. There were some big challenges as well, the boat didn’t handle well in big windy seas and I definitely had some of those. In contrast, on this trip I knew what to expect, I know the boat and she is much improved over Socks 1. However I have had terrible luck with the conditions, of all the 53 days I can only name one as a good rowing day. I think I posted a 56nm, I had wind and a SW current. The rest of the days have been mixed to say the least, a good morning here, a good afternoon there, but loads of becalming, adverse currents, SE winds all holding me back. So they definitely won’t be able to say this was an easy crossing, every 50 posted so far has been scrapped for big time. I loved the Atlantic crossing, every minute of it, it was life affirming, challenging and best of all I worked out a lot about myself. Somehow though, I knew it wasn’t the challenge I thought it would be, so hear I am. This is definitely more than the challenge I thought it would be, but that’s what I was looking for. Something to push me to the edge, where I think I can’t get back but some how do. If I get to Australia I’ll be amazed as it will certainly have tested my metal that’s for sure. I keep thinking, it can only get better, but we know too well that may not be the case, lets hope it is.
I was going to nip over the side today and wash off the last couple of barnacles, however I’ve seen a Dorado hanging about and couldn’t quite work out what was wrong with him. He came close just before I was going to pop in. He’s got a massive chunk out of his back, something big has had a nibble. Needless to say, the barnacle lives to see another day.
Had to take the other oar gate off and vaseline it. Same concern, worried about all the bits. I ended up dropping the Vaseline over the side. I thought oh no, that’s on its way to the bottom, who knew vaseline floats? I also had the presence of mind to grab it, a second or so later and it would have been out of reach.
Not a lot else to tell today.
Off to bed to dream of NE winds and SW currents, it can only get better(?)
Mike: I do try and put these things behind me, not easy when your mind wurrs like mine. I have a short memory though so a good day and all is forgotten.
Paula: My most impressive sight is still the whale that appeared on the Atlantic trip. He was about 30 feet to the left of the boat, I had dropped down a 12/15 foot swell, he appeared at the top, the sun was on the face of the swell (and his) and he lit up like a huge jumbotron screen. I could swear he was smiling at me. It was only a few seconds but the imaged is burned into my brain.
Jean: Definitely, ginger snaps are always the order of the day.