Well another strange day, but the all are. I left you last night with the para anchor out. After I finished the blog I sent Tony an update, asking about the weather. I then looked at my coordinates and found I had gone mainly north. If I drifted, I would go north west so at least get some west, so I pulled in the anchor. I got Tony’s reply this morning and he suggested the same so at least my brain is working. The weather was big and stormy last night. The rain was thrashing down on the cabin and between the thrashing of the swell, the rain and worrying about course, I got no sleep at all. Got up, started to organize the deck and the heavens opened again. It was dark and quite cold so I headed inside. It rained for about an hour. When I went out first thing, I had to bilge out the footwell it had rained so much (I’ll explain more about this later) and then later, there was another 2 inches in there. Started to get ready again, another down pour. My job for the day was simply to minimize the drift north. The wind was hard from the SE so I was going to make no progress. At last I got out. I rowed in some light rain but had to come in again. Each time I was out, I got a little south back only to loose it again when I came in. Had breakfast, back out and things had cleared a little. I managed 3 miles in 3 hours but didn’t go north. Towards the end of the session I could see blue sky to the south. The back edge of the two day storm looked to be passing overhead and I could sense change was in the air. Stopped for lunch, only 15 minutes, got back out and within half an hour I was doing 2 knots, by the end 3 knots. I rowed 18 miles in the last 6 hours giving me a total for the day of 33. Normally I’d be unhappy, but as I expected to finish below 20 and fighting not to go north it was a great result. I’m further south than last night and looking like I could have a good day tomorrow.

So, I wanted to explain my deck, it’s on 4 levels. The two long outer decks run down each side of the boat and they slope gently out to the scuppers. If the boat gets swamped, a lot of the water runs off and out of the scuppers. These decks also have my dry lockers in them and I store my food in there. I never stand on these decks as you are two unstable. I have a seat outside the cabin so I can sit on one at least. Down the centre of the boat, the deck is three levels, about 4 inches lower than the outer deck and this is where my rolling seat lives. There are two hatches beneath that to store my para anchor and ropes. These are wet lockers. There is then a short section a couple of inches lower and this which is where my foot plate is. We raised this on this boat so the rowing position is more like a scull. A lot of ocean rowing boats have a more sitting position but you loose a lot of power that way. The third section is 6 inches lower again and is the foot well outside my cabin. This is the safest place on the boat to stand. Beneath this foot well is a void that is connected all the way up to the wet lockers. If the boat floods water, it collects there and you can bilge it out as I did this morning (more than once). I have two bilges, a hand operated and an electric one. I don’t use the electric as its power hungry.

There is another reason these lockers are connected. If the weather is heavy, I can fill the compartments with water and they form a ballast tank which lowers the boats centre of gravity and keeps me safe. To fill the tank, I pull a cork out of the bottom of the boat (from inside). Yes my boat has a hole in the bottom that is bunged with a cork (well a plastic stopper). All this technology and if I pop the cork the water pours in!

So that’s life on deck.

I’m leaving it there tonight, I’m having trouble with the iPad, so can’t read messages. I need to see if I can fix it. I’m hoping to send this to Cheryl anther way, hopefully be back to normal tomorrow.

John

Out