Steady Wind, Book Repair, Ships

May 21, 2019

Day 228

Noon Position: 34 48N  62 05W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NxE 5

Wind(t/tws): S 10

Sea(t/ft): S 3

Sky: Altcumulus. Looks like a front to the south

10ths Cloud Cover: 7

Bar(mb): 1019, falling. 1016.5 four hours later.

Cabin Temp(f): 82

Water Temp(f): 72

Relative Humidity(%): 67

Sail: Twin headsails out full. Running.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 87

Miles since departure: 30,370

Avg. Miles/Day: 133

Leg North Miles: 7,211

Leg North Days: 62

Avg. Miles/Day: 116

Overnight, a steady wind filled in from the south. Light and weak as gossamer. On deck at 2am with the moon full overhead, I could not feel wind on my face as we made our 2.8 knots to the north.

Today is a different story. We are beginning to feed into a low coming down from the NE. Winds are 15 knots from the SSE. Mo is in lather. Though happy about this, I would be happier if the wind weren’t scheduled to be 25 knots on the nose by this time tomorrow.

But at least we will have *measurable* wind for a few days!

I’ve been dabbling in a classic of navigation known informally as Lecky’s Wrinkles. The full title is *Wrinkles in Practical Navigation by Captain Lecky,* published in 1925.

I don’t know about you, but I associate “wrinkles” with a small body of helpful hints and suggested improvements on a particular subject, sewing or painting a house or, in this case, celestial navigation. My only other experience of wrinkles is boat builder Thomas Colvin’s pamphlet-sized wrinkles in seamanship.

So imagine my surprise when Lecky’s arrived in the mail some months ago, a veritable brick at 756 pages before appendices.

Though a relic, I have found it easily as readable as contemporary works on the same subject, but the book’s age and heft have meant that when it flies across the cabin, it suffers unduly.

Thus, today, I tried a bit of open book surgery with that universal remedy, duct tape.

Back in shipping. It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve seen a commercial vessel, but yesterday three outbound bulkies appeared on the scope at one time, all stacked in the same lane and beelining for the Strait of Gibraltar. Mo was, of course, sandwiched in the middle, but we all had plenty of room.

Today, a tanker, the Minerva Atlantica, passed within a mile. She came out of the NE and was bound for a mysterious port listed only as USPGL.

Even from the start, the scope showed us on a collision course. Though as a vessel under sail, I have the right of way, I decided not to press the issue with 800 by 200 by 100 cubic feet of steel and petroleum product making a sluggish 9 knots; I took what the Rules of the Road call “early and significant evasive action,” which, in this case, was a turn to starboard of 30 degrees about 40 minutes before our closest point of approach.

The Minerva acknowledged this maneuver by doing absolutely nothing, which was fine by me.

3 Comments on “Steady Wind, Book Repair, Ships

  1. Hi Randall, “USPGL” translates to Pascagoula, which is a US harbour in the Gulf of Mexico, roughly in the middle between Pensacola and New Orleans.

  2. USPGL is the port of Pascagoula. How long do you anticipate being at St. John’s?

  3. Wait…wait, a world traveler, and you’ve never been to USPGL? Man, it is aweseome. They have some of the best GUPSLs you’ve ever tasted, and there are PLGUPs beckoning from every corner.

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