Sunday 6 October 2013

More Grey Skies

Today is the eleventh day of our voyage. The skies are still grey. We are in the tropics, but are still wearing long pants, thick jerseys and windbreakers. For us it is still winter , the same as when we left Cape Town, perhaps a little warmer. But no bikinis and board shorts and sun tan lotion yet.

We are now in the same time zone as Greenwich, which means we are two hours behind South Africa. I now live in three time zones. One is ship's time, which is related to where we are on the earth's surface. The next is South African time, to which my PC is set. This helps me to remember what time it is back home when I make a call on Skype or Google chat.

 That is to say, whenever I get to an internet connection. This will happen at St Helena in a few days' time, then again when we reach St Maarten island in the Caribbean in a month or so. By then we shall be about six or seven hours behind South Africa, making life interesting for the folks at home when you call at odd hours for them!

The last is UTC or Greenwich Time, to which my navigation clocks are set. I have two clocks set to this time. Both are electronic, unfortunately. Therefore I make very sure I have spare batteries for both before I set out on a voyage like this. These clocks are used for the time of sights by sextant. The clocks are set to UTC to relieve the burden of converting the time back to UTC with every sight taken.

The sun came out through the clouds just long enough for me to take some sights. This was in mid afternoon, giving me a dead reckoning leg of 45 hours to judge direction and speed on. I was not far off, but am still way off from the GPS. I hope to get a sun-run-sun sight soon, which should give me a better fix. For that I need a clear sky in mid morning and in mid afternoon. You need the sun to be not too high, nor too low. Extreme angles help with much inaccuracies as a side effect of the way Sin and Cos behaves at angles close to 90º and 0º.

I checked the status of the steaks we are maturing for a braai on St Helena. They are coming along just fine, with some loss of juice. But we shall wash and air them properly before cooking them on hot coals. At the moment they feel soft as butter, through the plastic in which they were sealed. but we shall need to confirm whether they are fermented. Hopefully not.

Bodes well for Monday lunch, methinks! Perhaps with potatoes baked in foil in the coals, who knows. During our last visit to the island we saw some delicious fresh potatoes in the market. Hopefully we can lay our hands on some. We are also in dire need of some hot chillies on board. We have some jalapenos, but they are really too mild to be useful in anything other than a fresh salad.

Such is culinary adventures with the Hungry Sailor!

Authored by Johan Zietsman

Last updated on 2013-10-08

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