Emily Morgan - Day 19 - The finish line
December 9th Noon position (St. Lucia time) Marina, Rodney Bay, St Lucia. Day’s run: 90 nautical milesFresh fish for dinner is what you’d expect on a sea-going boat and the crew had great expectations of fish feasts but we actually had very little luck fishing during the Atlantic crossing. We listened to daily reports on the SSB radio of enormous fish caught and bans on fishing being imposed by other captains due to crew’s fishing success. ‘There are two different sports, one is fishing and the other is catching.’’ Bones had intoned, attempting to alleviate the crew’s disappointment. Preparations for fishing should be a third sport. No ready-made fish trace was up to Bones’s standard. Specific lures had to be hand crafted. The box of fishing tackle bits had been produced early in the. read more...
Emily Morgan - Day 18 - Last Day at Sea!
December 8th Wednesday Noon Position (Ship's Clock): 14 degrees 36 minutes North; 059 degrees 29 minutes West. Day's run: 175.5 nautical milesLast night was our final overnight (we hope) at sea. It was a beautiful starry night with the crescent moon, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter all lined up on along the mainsail on the port side. We discovered an alternative to the noon-sight method of determining our latitude. This involved measuring the angle between your horizon and Polaris, the North Star. The simplest way of doing this is to use your hand stretched out in front of you and lined up with the horizon. When your thumb is behind your four fingers and they are parallel to the horizon, your hand measures 8 degrees. With your hand fully spread out the distance from your thumb on the horizon. read more...
Emily Morgan - Day 17 - Fishy Tales
Tuesday 7th December Noon Position: 15 degrees 10 minutes; North 56 degrees 32 minutes. Day's run: 183 nautical miles Helming on Emily Morgan has now become a much more intense task. Our course for St Lucia is 277 degrees and at this relatively near distance a few degrees either way will have a major impact. If we steer too far above or below this course, we will miss the island! When you're helming you have to pay attention to the steering compass, the wind direction and the sail setting, the wind speed and the rudder position. Fine tuning these during the day for a three-hour watch requires attention but at night you can get cross-eyed trying to steer an accurate course and it can be quite tiring if the wind is strong. With only three sailing days to go we are beginning a count down.. read more...
Emily Morgan - Day 16 - Ships' Clocks
Monday 6th December. Noon (Ship's Clock) position: 15 degrees 34 minutes North; 053 degrees 25 minutes West. Day's run: 180.8 nautical miles On board a boat in the mid-Atlantic, the simple question 'What time is it?' is unanswered until you are more specific. Do mean the Ship's Clock which regulates when you are on or off watch? Do you mean time at your home port? Or do you mean time at your destination port? Today we had to work out 'local noon' which bore no relation to any of the above three times but is based on UTC time (Universal Time Co-ordinated). For this we consult the Ship's Chronometer, a small, cheap, digital watch Velcro-ed above the chart table. In the past this could have been the most expensive item on board a ship and John Harrison, the maker of the first clock to keep. read more...
Emily Morgan - Day 15 - Flexi time
Sunday 5th December Noon position (Ship's Clock) 16 degrees 08 minutes North; 50 degrees 46 minutes West. Day's run 185.4 nm As we had now travelled 35 degrees westwards it was time for our third 25 hour day. These extra hours are needed to adjust our body clocks and to align the Ship's Clock more closely with the time of the local sunrise, noon and sunset. Without these regular adjustments we would be 4 hours out of synch by the time we arrived at our destination. The morning began with a clouded sunrise and a series of squalls visible on the radar. Using the radar as a weather forecast tool was novel to most of the crew and it had proved very useful. Squalls appeared as green patches with yellow and red centres on the dark radar screen and sometimes it was possible to plot a course to. read more...