Tuesday 4 September 2012

2nd Leg Day 11: The Day I Got My Knickers in a Knot

Well, of course, in a way of speaking. But there is a real knot in the story nevertheless. And I am obliged to tell the story as there was a witness.

I was on duty this morning from 03h00 to 06h00. Towards the end of my watch there was a change of wind direction, for which I had to gibe the sail. I duly loaded the correct lines to the electric and manual winches respectively and stepped on the button for the electric winch. Watching the sail ever so carefully, I paid out on the working sheet, which would now become the lazy sheet. The electric winch faithfully did its part by winding the new working sheet in.

But, alack, I did not notice that the bitter end of the working sheet got caught in the working part, thereby winding itself into a glorious untieable knot around the winch drum, overwind, tension on the working sheet and all. Not a terrible thing for a staunch sailor, except that the skipper just happened to come on deck for a smoke at that time.

Now, one can imagine that the mistake could be readily corrected without much ado. But not when there is a witness. Hence my story. Luckily, I did not panic and kept quiet, not blurting out every-thing that went through my mind. Which left the field open to the skipper, who, of course, had a field day.

So this blog is my penance done.

The day passed without much further happening, apart from the marvellous sailing conditions. We actually did our record run for the voyage thus far, a full 142 nautical miles noon to noon. The barometer is rather low and I see alto stratus clouds, a portent of rainy weather. This is the first time ever I have seen this weather phenomenon, which is associated with warm fronts. Down south in Cape Town we never have separate warm and cold fronts; they are always occluded. Some weather patterns simply do not manifest there in the southern regions.

My navigation is still on par, with a set of sun sights and a plot difference to the GPS of around 12 nautical miles, again with a dead reckoning of over two hundred nautical miles and the associated inaccuracies.

I started another sourdough loaf today by thawing the sourdough and making a starter sponge using half a cup of rye flour. The sourdough was fed with some rye and water as well and left to activate. The warm weather helps a lot and soon there was a froth and the sourdough volume had more than doubled. It promptly went back in the refrigerator for another winter sleep of a week or so before the next loaf.

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

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