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Sabine - (118) ATC daily blog update - Sun 11 Dec 2022

Hello interweb friends, Captain Stape on sail boat Sabine right here (///meatballs.misinformation.spice)
Last night (Sat) I watched the moon rise across the ocean, like a glowing orange disc slowly appearing from the horizon, shy at first as it hides behind the clouds. Slowly it becomes bolder as it appears higher, abandoning the clouds that shrouded it. It shines brightly in the sky, its light reflected in the still ocean. As it rises higher and higher it changes from dark orange, to amber, getting lighter in colour until it turns into the familiar silver and grey disc we all know, lighting the ocean, and lighting Sabine.
Right, and that’s enough of that. I don’t want my interweb friends thinking I’m getting all artsy fartsy on them. Back to the slapstick!
It turns out to be a night of fits and spurts: fits of wind and spurts of progress. We’re trying really hard not to use the motor, so each of the crew on watch are instructed to wait up to 20mins if the wind dies, only then can the motor be lowered and turned on, but Maria also has to be turned on at the same time and that’s what we’re really trying to avoid. Now that Sabine is much lighter, when the wind does pick up she accelerates quickly. It’s like a game of chicken, apparently, watching the wind speed and the boat speed, and waiting as long as possible before considering turning the motor and Maria on. It turns out that no one had to motor as there was enough wind all night. Yes: all the crew had lots of wind!
It seems that several of the crew had odd dreams. Richard dreamt he was in the film ‘Fletch’ where all the doctors are being introduced to each other, except he’s not a doctor and couldn’t join in, and Polina dreamt that our 4th crew member wasn’t John, but was the new announcer for Jimmy Kemmel’s show. The pizza we had for dinner is blamed for these strange nocturnal stories.
Microwave update!!! It still works, and is used to defrost a packet of crepes for the crew’s breakfast (with lashings of yummy maple syrup!)
John is taking sextant readings and Polina comments he always wears the same outfit for this task: loose long sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat that reminds Polina of Indiana Jones. John is now known as: Indiana John and Sail of Doom.
Pete the spinnaker is hoisted again to try and maximise the light winds, and we make an extra knot when the wind breathes on us.
Kia works on the faulty propulsion battery situation and manages to decouple the propulsion battery charging from the generator, which means that the generator can feed the electric propulsion directly. Not ideal, as it means we have to turn on Maria and listen to her sing when we need to motor, but when the batteries are not behaving, this gives us better options for motoring when there’s no wind.
But for the moment we have some wind. Not enough for Pete the spinnaker though as he’s flapping listlessly, so we douse it and unfurl the Genoa. The wind picks up a little and John trims the sails, putting his racing know-how to good effect so that we accelerate.
Kia talks with Polina about Picnic bars. Polina swears there are no more left, and that she’d pay US$100 a picnic bar right now. Kia disappears and brings out a purse from Polina’s closet, and inside are 3 Picnic bars that Polina had hidden earlier and forgotten about. So that’s $300 that Polina now owes Kia. It seems Polina is like a squirrel who buries nuts, and then can’t remember where they were buried. I wonder how many more she’s squirrelled away and then forgotten about? Or if any other crew members have squirrelled away the highly sort after chocolate…? I’m not saying anything, yet, but keep tuned my interweb friends, as I’m keeping a secret to be revealed sometime over the next couple of days. (Luckily Polina can’t read this blog yet, or someone might be in trouble)
Richard’s old deck shoes are, so far, holding together for another day, but each day the sole comes a little further away from the top. Not long to go now though.
John’s at the helm when he shouts ‘Whales!’ So we all go and gawp at the multiple sprays of water wooshing into the air from the ocean and see huge great bodies moving along underneath them. It’s quite a sight. Polina is excited and starts talking like a dolphin when she says she saw one jump into the air - the size of a school bus she thinks.
The afternoon is quiet as we make progress with the wind. I think tiredness is catching up with everyone as we relax. As long as it doesn’t actually catch us until St. Lucia, we’ll be fine.
John is refining the sextant measurements and puts us within a couple of miles of our actual location. He’s now an expert on navigation using the sextant and tells me it’s required for some yacht master qualifications.
All of a sudden we slow down as the wind drops. Polina is at the helm and Kia asks if she’s broken it. ‘Polina broke wind!’ says Richard, pleased that he’s finally been able to include that joke!
Kia talks of his flight across the Atlantic on Concorde many years ago. That journey would take about three and a half hours. Our journey across the Atlantic is looking like three and a half-ish weeks. Just a tad slower, but far more exciting.
As the sun sets and evening turns into night, the breeze we feel is cooler than the previous night, so jackets will be required for watch. We’re close now, my interweb friends. We just need to make sure we don’t crash into Barbados! I think it’s large enough we should see and be able to avoid it.
This is Capt. Stape signing off with 248nm to go. Ciao ciao squawk!

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