Why the Dodo Went Extinct and a Sewing Project

November 14, 2018

Day 41

Noon Position: 38 13S 117 04W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExE 3

Wind(t/tws): WxN 6

Sea(t/ft): S 5  W  1

Sky: Thin cloud cover looks like it will burn off soon.

10ths Cloud Cover: 8

Bar(mb): 1022, steady

Cabin Temp(f): 68

Water Temp(f): 56

Relative Humidity(%): 65

Sail: Reaching with #1 genoa and main.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 129

Miles since departure: 5235

Avg. Miles/Day: 128

On this day, Noah began to move ashore. Happily hard aground and holding an olive twig in one hand, he was shooing off the two-by-two and contemplating which of the most bothersome kind might go well on the barbecue. It had been a real trial–40 days and 40 nights with no barbecue–the Ark had a strict “no open flame” policy.

But now… Well…

That Dodo was looking particularly plump. What a frightfully dumb bird, thought Noah. Didn’t even show up with his wife on departure day. “What, she’s not with you?” And then he’d asked which way to the food court before lumbering aboard. With the giraffes complaining about headroom and the hippopotamus wondering why they couldn’t find the pool, worry about Dodo’s wife hadn’t even made the list. Dumb bird. Really makes you wonder. Might as well eat the damn thing now before it goes extinct.

Meanwhile, on day 41, Mo and I are still sailing. It’s simpler that way.

Not fast, mind you. These are frustrating weeks where we can’t seem to string together even whole days of respectable mileage. Yesterday, for example. Lovely wind after 2pm; dead aft at 15. I poled out the twins and off we went. All night, same. When I came on deck at 6am, wind was 20; still dead aft, and Mo creamed along at 7 knots. We were all set for a 140 mile day. Until the wind died at 9am.

Today I got the last of the hatches closed and sealed. No more fresh air below until 30N in the Atlantic. Last year we had a problem with minor leaks in the tempestuous south. Hatch seals that didn’t seat properly; a mast boot seal that broke. Little drips here and there that were demoralizing over time. I’m attempting to get ahead of these this year.

One example is this excellent piece of kit, plastic “doors” that attach to the fabric dodger. They are very handy for allowing me to exit and enter the cabin without letting in rain and spray, and they generally help to maintain a dryer, lighter pilot house.

Problem is that in higher winds, the flaps can get carried away. For weeks I’ve been trying to work out a way to “tie” them down that doesn’t require tapping a fastener hole in the cockpit. I think I’ve struck on it.

A random piece of bungee cord; two hooks for Monte’s tiller lines that didn’t work out so well, and a tiny shackle whose pin went missing in some previous age. The hooks attach the bungee to the cockpit cubbies and the shackle was sewed onto the doors today. The bungee is easily slipped up and into the open shackle from inside and should serve to keep the doors in line. A prototype worked well during last week’s blow, so I’m hopeful.

One Comment on “Why the Dodo Went Extinct and a Sewing Project

  1. You have a ways yet to 46S where the GGR boats are making eastward progress but it looks possible that you will cross near them on your dive S. Maybe can give them a waive!

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