Day 5; Ocean Snailing & Never seen so much of nuffin!

Clearly we need to start an Ocean Snailing Club as wind remains 3 to 6 knots and we crawl along under power making about 100nm a day. Could be there’s a little wind for 12 hours or so on Saturday but that’s about it.

The sky has been crystal clear and panning 360 degrees on a searingly hot deck one can stare straight at the razor sharp edges of the horizon in any direction. No haze, no squalls, none of the fade out to a white blur. Just a sharp blue line. And I’ve never seen so many miles, mile after mile, of nuffin! Not a tiny cocktail stick on the horizon, no small white block, no black silhouette of a tanker, no AIS blip, no radar ping, no nothing! For a while you don’t notice but then after hours of isolation you search hard across probably more than the square area of Lichtenstein but there’s just more and more of complete nuffin!

Today’s ocean highlights include being down two hydraulic winches on the starboard side as the return feed must be blocked. Never mind. Had a scrap with the engine bilge for a couple of hours leading up to noon as the alarm went off and the electric pump seemed unable to cope with the inflow of water, Frantic checking of prop shaft through hull, raw water strainers, raw water pumps and hoses, exhaust outlets, silencer collection boxes….no visible issues. Turns out that the bilge sensor had dropped deeper into the bilge so much more water had to be extracted than one might think reasonable in order to shut it off. A quick check on the night shift.

Afternoon delight included loss of AIS, GPS and NMEA data on the nav computer which is a mini-Mac. This was running at 59 deg C plus and maybe protested with a partial shutdown. Another 1 hour scrap with more kit followed. And as the swell kicked in the rig started banging so down came the main and the halyard was re-routed through our new thimble and large shackle version of a block. Tonight’s night sky is more staggering than all previously amazing viewings. It’s so dark and so clear. So many stars are visible right down to the horizon 360 degrees around the boat. And the stars are bright, the colours intense. Then there is the Milky Way directly above.

DTG 1557nm (at 1 litre diesel/mile!)
Galley: Nasi Goreng with indonesian Sambal Manis/Ketjap Manis and a fried egg on top. Nobody wanted anything else for the rest of the day.
Barometer 1018


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