It has been beautiful out here, but a lot of work last night to keep moving. There were a lot of windshifts and the wind speed varied from zero to 15kts. I used the light genoa, big genniker, working jib, and now have up both the working jib and heavy reacher. “Heavy reacher” is misleading since I use this sail for a lot of different things from light reaching (like now) to heavy running in 35kts+. But all the work pays off as Ocean Planet is really good in light air. She rewards you with a lot of miles if you look after her!
This morning shows we gained a lot on all the local boats (which we should, being a 60) which is always nice. Brad Van Liew will take a while to catch as he got a big jump on the others before I caught up and is in different weather to the west. It will be fun to chase him! His boat is as fast as a 60 reaching but doesn’t like to go upwind.
The dolphins came to visit for a while yesterday, and they always have a blast. One came up and said he liked our AMD logo, and would only use an AMD powered computer himself…..;-)
Our most interesting recent visitor was a tired little bird that kept trying to find a place to rest on the boat. If I was anywhere on deck it would only try to land in really precarious spots, and wound up in the water several times! I thought it was a goner until it finally sat on the cockpit floor in exhaustion. There was another, healthier little bird flying around too, at times both were on the boat. The tired bird went hard to sleep even through a couple of sail changes, and I had to be careful not to step on it! Finally, late at night when it looked too soggy and bedraggled for me to bear, I gently caught it and brought it below and into a little bowl/blanket house. I kept it covered all night and put a little granola bar in the bowl. But I don’t think it was really hungry, given all the poop it dropped in the bowl….
So this morning I uncovered our now rested little friend, who slept a bit more, then went on a tour of the inside of the boat, even chirping a few times. Eventually it went out the open foredeck hatch, to sit and sing (and poop) on the staysail bag for a while. Then it was off to who knows where. Nice to have a visitor.
The Canary islands are coming up, more tactical brainstorming and traffic dodging tonight! But I feel like I’m getting in the swing of things.
Just a little reminder: Ocean Planet has some big bills to pay before we leave Cape Town. Fortunately, gracious supporters Kevin and Shauna Flanigan have (once again!) pitched in to order our desperately needed new mainsail!! But there is lot more to be done for the Southern Ocean: autopilot work, new electrical wiring in the mast, renew all rigging lashings, finish the boom, and lots, lots more. It will be time to get serious for the really rough stuff (as if Leg one wasn’t serious enough already). I have assembled a good team for Cape Town (Ashley Perrin, Jason Winkel), but we have to fly them and pay them enough at least enough to get by. There are also some heavy duty loan payments that are due…sigh…but somehow we will do it, we have so far, against all odds! Thanks!
Solo Sailing in the Atlantic (except for the odd guest or two),