Inside Play Day

December 2, 2018

Day 59

Noon Position: 51 57S  56 08W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE+ 7+

Wind(t/tws): NWxW 20 – 25

Sea(t/ft): NW 5

Sky: Some cirrus; otherwise clear

10ths Cloud Cover: 2

Bar(mb): 1014, steady

Cabin Temp(f): 59

Water Temp(f): 43

Relative Humidity(%): 79

Sail: Working jib and main, three reefs each, close reach.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 179

Miles since departure: 7947

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

What mileage! Either I, in my sleep, have become a much better sailor, or we are riding a hefty NE current. I’m not pushing Mo nearly hard enough to warrant a straight 7.5 knots an hour for the last 24. But however it comes, I’ll take it.

We had a similar current passing Ilsa Estados just after the Horn and when departing the peninsula; there our speeds were up to 10 knots. A look at the chart shows that there and now, as we pass under the Falklands, we are riding the ridge that rises to the continental shelf. I wonder if this current is a function of upwelling. That might also explain the *still* green sea.

More signs of land. Yesterday towering thunderheads to the north that must have been above the Falklands. In the afternoon I heard a propellor plane but never found it in the sky. Last night when I came on deck, wind had gone north; I thought I could smell land. In this case a kind of punky, wet wool smell. Are sheep an item in the Falklands? And several times now the VHF radio has barked. I can’t make out any words, but there’s a vessel close.

Today wind has gone into the NW and hardened. Our speed remains a solid 7 and 8 knots, but we’re on the wind and the ride is wet and rough. So, this is an “inside play day,” though it is sunny. I got caught up on correspondence (what a strange thing for a solo sailor to say), napped a bit in the afternoon and then did my exercises.

I’m starting to do squats. One hundred now. More later. And stretches. Quite a workout on a bounding boat. Today’s gym was the navigation station.

Why? I’ve gotten leg cramps at night again. Only once so far, but this was a feature of the last voyage as well, and the cramps began at about this juncture–our entrance into the south.

The muscle that cramps is on the inside back of the thigh and runs the body’s entire length. It cramps in the thigh, making it impossible to stand up straight without severe pain. Standing straight is the only way to uncramp the muscle. A week ago when it happened, I thought I might pass out. Then, once gone…it’s gone.

Part of the issue is hydration. I don’t drink enough water when it’s cold. But certainly exercising the legs and stretching can only help.

Today’s bird, the Prion. A flock of 50 playing in Mo’s wake and in the draft of her sails.

6 Comments on “Inside Play Day

  1. I used to get leg cramps every time I did a longer kinetic sculpture race (pedal-powered art race, some up to 3 days). Then one race someone handed me a hot dog and I didn’t cramp that race. I had something salty every race after that and no more cramps. Worth a try?

  2. Randall, me too. Leg cramps but ONLY when I have known I am not drinking enough water, and water alone!! My doctor told me to drink 50 fluid ounces per day, every day and tea or coffee or coke or juice did NOT count. Miraculously, no more cramps ever!! And they were soooo painful. I keep a 50 oz bottle of water fill every morning, on land or sea, and have to consume it during the next 24 hours, and by golly it works and has for years! As Michael said, “Worth a Try?”

  3. Hi Randall,

    I once passed out for a moment with the worst thigh cramp pain I’ve experienced in my life. I agree with the previous comment on the importance of proper hydration. When I feel the possibility of a cramp coming on, I drink 8 oz of a pediatric electrolyte solution which will almost invariably greatly reduce my cramp severity. I’m confident that your onboard medical references will have formulas for mixing your own electrolyte/rehydration solution. For me, it’s also important to keep my body core temperature up to prevent a cramp episode. As a sailor, I understand staying warm can be very difficult to do, especially so on a voyage attempt such as yours. My best wishes for continued success in Figure 8, 2.0.
    Carlos Valencia
    Bristol 29.9
    Channel Islands Harbor

  4. Randall,
    I found this page of your journey after listening to your interview with Matt Rutherford on the “On The Wind” Podcast. I’ve never been that far south but your daily log comments are awesome and certainly put me in the boat with you. Keep your spirits up and know that you are touching many people around the world while accomplishing this major feat!


  5. Not enough calcium will also bring on muscle cramps. Calcium supplements cause other discomforts for some – getting stopped up.

Leave a Reply