Shelena - Day 6 Buoy over board!
Thursday 10th November, 2016
We motor sailed all yesterday and through the night. Getting a bit bored at
the engine humming away. However, the wind is just 5knots or so. Too little.
It certainly underscores the need for extra provisions and water beyond
estimated needs for estimated passage making times. All calculations based
on x knots per day have no credibility when the wind simply stops blowing
and the sea takes on an oily texture. Reflect for a moment on sailors
centuries ago seeking out new lands not knowing where they were. Then
becalmed for days! Thank goodness for modern cruiser engines that are very
economical and provide excellent range.
I wanted to continue with the theme of life aboard. Not mentioned to date
are our means of communication with the outside world. Essentially, we have
a sat voice phone for emergency needs and internet connection to pull e-mail
messages. However, charges are steep and so emails are text only and surfing
the net is just not done as it could be horrendously expensive. We get an
email weather report each day and a rally boat position report too. The best
fun is on SSB radio. I like this old technology although it requires
patience to find broadcast stations that are sufficiently clear to hear.
What has worked well are the twice daily SSB nets organised by the rally. It
allows boats at sea to communicate positions and any other info of interest.
It is the only means of simultaneous voice "meetings" at sea.
I must finish with our buoy incident. Bye the way, our US friends pronounce
it as, "booy," not "boy" as in Queen's English. No idea of the heritage for
this pronunciation. I digress. So based on anticipated weather from the west
or south west tonight we had to reconfigure our sails and put away the genoa
pole and organise sheets as anticipated for promised 20knot wind. This led
to tidying a few fenders that were looking untidy. Unfortunately, I did not
notice that three fenders were all attached in one knot. I saw two fender
lines and proceeded to re-position two fenders. This was done successfully;
then I hear, "Phil you have lost a fender!" Sure enough one was disappearing
astern in the sea. I did not see it go. Must be blind or tired or both. In
any event we went into recovery mode. Even with just the engine and no sails
to be concerned about it took two approaches to hook the naughty fender
aboard. It was apparent that there was indeed strong currents as the fender
rapidly parted from the boat. It was difficult using a pole to accurately
hook the fender aboard. In any event a useful exercise. It really underlines
the potential difficulty in hauling a person aboard. Moreover, we were in
relatively calm seas. I can report that the errant fender is stowed safely.
The lesson. Always attach each fender separately to the rail.
All is well aboard Shelena.