4 December 2013

All yesterday afternoon there was hardly any wind and by 1630 the sails were down again. I did try them up at 2000 but it was futile and they were only up 20 mins before I had to accept the fact we were becalmed. It was fine and still though. I had taken sights of Venus and Deneb earlier and while I was taking the sails down I could hear dolphins surfacing and blowing around us but I couldn’t see any.

There was no wind all night. I tried the sails up at 0430 but again I was wasting my time. During the morning I tried the cruising chute up but it would only fill for a second or so before collapsing back onto the rigging. I tried over-sheeting it and it was marginally better but in the end I had to take it down. It was hot and the sun had that tropic burn to it. I squeezed half a lemon into a glass and topped it up with water. It wasn’t chilled but it was good and refreshing.

There was a White Faced Storm Petrel hanging around and I gave him some of my leftover bread but he only made a half hearted stab at it. At noon the days run was a grand total of eight miles, although it was more like 19 miles including current.

In the afternoon a whisper of wind came in from the NE and I pulled up the chute again. This time it would stay full for as long as maybe four seconds at times before collapsing. But the filling and emptying was non-stop. Right ahead of us in the water was something floating and I steered for it. At first I thought it was a dead dolphin or a mound of garbage but it turned out to be a turtle. I wasn’t sure at first if it was alive or dead but as we came alongside it started to swim away. There were two white fish underneath it who, I imagine, were cleaning its shell. As we slowly moved past it started to lift its head out of the water and come after us. We were only just moving faster than it was and slowly left it astern.

But the wind didn’t last and the chute is down again. I think it’s a very different day back home in Shetland with F10-11 forecast for tonight. Somewhere halfway in between would suit me fine!

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