Uncles and a Note on Distance

Day 103

Noon Position: 45 20S. 79 33E Course/Speed: NE5 Wind: WSW 11 Bar: 1030 Sea: SW 8 Sky: Overcast Cabin Temp: 56 Water Temp: 52

Miles Last 24 hours: 148 Longitude Made Good: 135 Total Miles: 14,029

“The guys have been great,” said my wife in a message, “Every time something happens to you, one or more of them will check in with me to make sure I’m OK and give me their technical advice on next steps and strategies. It’s like I have a whole squad of Expert Uncles.”

So, a shout out to the Figure 8 Expert Uncles. It’s nice to know you’re there for Jo. Thanks for the support.

Traveling over large bodies of water, slowly, for months warps one’s sense of distance. I think of Hobart, our target port of call, as right around the corner, a mere 20 days or so of easting. But a glance at chart plotter shows it to be 2,893 miles away, further than a sail from Hawaii to San Francisco; further than a flight from San Francisco to New York. It feels close. It’s not close. Especially when that 2,893 miles are Indian Ocean miles. Which is why I’m trending northeast.

It seems only a matter of time before another low like last week’s rolls through, and without a drogue, I’m feeling exposed. Getting some north in should give me options when the time comes. However, I’ve been too aggressive and have run us clean out of wind. The bar currently stands at 1029, down a tick from noon, but still very high, and winds have trailed off to a mere 6 knots true. I have the twins polled out wide, like great, white nets, but they catch only the wandering puff of air, and in the interim, they whap and bang in the small swell.

Suddenly the sky is a desert sky; the cumulus clouds are infantile, translucent for lack of heft; there are mares tails to the west, but they are whisps. Most birds, knowing where the wind lives, have abandoned the scene. The moon and the sun dominate. The sunset was tropical fire.

We make 3 knots.

Since our re-entry to the civilized world seems imminent, I’ve begun bathing again. It’s been too cold or too rough or both to contemplate otherwise. Heck, I never take the sock cap off. Heaven forbid I get my head wet. But today I boiled water and gave head and beard a good scrub. And now I smell sweet as roses. Amen.

4 Comments on “Uncles and a Note on Distance

  1. maybe the birds will fly back……now you smell like a rose?????
    I have been sharing your adventure with my hubby, a sailor…I am more into boats with motors at our age, but so enjoying your posts..just stay safe….

  2. Has anyone else noticed that the Tracker seems to be reporting Randall’s position incorrectly now? In his blog, he is just coming up on 80 longitude, but the tracker has him passing 80 over 4 days ago. Today, when I checked, the tracker showed him at -44.22 and 85.96. Also, it’s been showing him the the throes of a deep low, with high winds. This isn’t in alignment with his reporting. Team Figure 8, is this a by product of the knockdowns?

    • Shana – it’s not a tracker problem it’s a schedule problem. For example – Randall takes the reading of where he is. Then he writes the article (160 characters at a time) – he’s moved – then it gets to us back in San Francisco (he’s moved) – then we have to put it together (he’s moved). Currently the posts go live sometimes a day or more after the original sighting. So the number Randall posts will never be exactly the same as what you see on the Tracker. That said, because we’re on the InReach now the tracker is often charging (therefore not sending it’s location) when we’re awake in the US. Make sense? #teamf8

      • Yes, makes sense. I didn’t realize he was still hobbled with the 160 characters. Thanks so much!

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