Tuesday 31 July 2012

Day Six: Primitive tools

Necessity is the mother of invention, so I am told. In our case, the old adage rings true in more than one case on board. We are using very primitive means for the backup navigation, as well as very primitive home made lures for fishing.

Today I hauled out the sextant and dusted off the cobwebs gathered from our last sojourn. After some soul searching and scratching of the head, in addition to some revision work, I managed to take three sun sights in short succession. These reduced to lines of position within two or three cables from one another. This gave me the personal satisfaction that my previous experience have paid off and something useful stayed stuck. The closeness of the sightings confirmed my proficiency with the instrument. I took another set of sights hurriedly late this afternoon. These were not so accurate, but the two sets of sights and the calculations on distance sailed in between gave me a fix that differed from the GPS by only eleven nautical miles. Eleven nautical miles is still on the horizon from the boat, therefore accurate enough for the navigation required at present. We are far away from the coast and any little rocks that lurks in the middle of the ocean.

There is a cold front passing Cape Town today. We think that this cold front stole our trade winds. We are still motoring along with the genoa out in the gentle breeze, but going a lot slower than expected. Our prayers are for some trade winds to carry us on our voyage.

The other primitive thing that came to the forefront today was the success of the potato crisp packet lures. We had a significant success rate using these very simple and primitive lures. No less than two snoek were caught on these lures today, all going back in the water. We have enough stock of snoek in the freezer. Needless to say, the lures were destroyed after having to deal with the snoek's teeth. The repairs literally take only a minute, then the lure is back in the water. Luckily, there is no shortage of empty potato crisp packets on board.

The weather is warming, but the air is still crisp with the ambient temperature hovering around 19ÂșC. Along with the little wind that there is, we are still feeling a bit wintry.

We all took a shower today. This boat has means to warm the water when the motors are running, so the shower was quite refreshing. When the weather gets warmer, we shall be doing some serious washing of the clothes that we wore until today.

Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2012-12-12

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