May 6, 2019
Noon Position: 16 58N 46 38W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): NW 6.5
Wind(t/tws): NExE 10
Sea(t/ft): NE 4
Sky: Altocumulus and Squalls
10ths Cloud Cover: 2
Cabin Temp(f): 86
Water Temp(f): 78
Relative Humidity(%): 63
Sail: Working jib and main, reaching, starboard
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 161
Miles since departure: 28,828
Avg. Miles/Day: 135
Leg North Miles: 5,872
Leg North Days: 47
Avg. Miles/Day: 125
“Montaaaaay!” I say, climbing into the cockpit. “Welcome back!”
“Senior, but I am only right here,” says Monte. “Why must you yell?”
“I think you were napping and missed all the fun. We had to do a bit of work on your…”
“Senior, please to pardon, but Portolanos, we do not nap. Maybe very occasionally we will close our eyes, this mostly to ensure the proper moistness of the eyeballs–it helps with the seeing–but even then, we close but one eye at a time.”
“Aha, well then, I guess the rapturous sound I heard recently was not your snoring.”
“Indeed not. Possibly it was a dorado complaining that he had eaten too many flying fish. I am led to believe they do not like them raw. Bad for the digestion.”
Just after noon today, I noticed Mo heading north at five knots. Just previously we’d been heading 310 true at seven knots. On deck I found Monte had broken a safety tube. The water paddle trailed behind the boat like a drowned fish.
Why is this good news?
This is the first safety tube we’ve broken since the Pacific, since before Cape Horn rounding number one. Mo is a Monitor safety tube breaker. I broke four or five during the first leg of the Figure 8 Voyage 1.0. And Tony Gooch was emphatic, “bring at least ten tubes.”
But I think through trial and error we’ve figured out that the safety tube failures were not due to Mo’s heavy tiller but rather to a safety line dragging astern that was fouling the paddle.
Having shortened that, the breakages have gone to nearly zero. Well, two, to be exact.
In fact, it has been so long since I replaced a safety tube, I had to think it through. Easy job though. We were back under Monte’s guidance within half an hour.
Poor portolano, he was enjoying a tiny, two-eye siesta, his first in many moons.