“When I put the sails up, only God takes them down”.
It’s reputed that the clipper captains of old used to mutter this through clenched teeth and salt crusted beards as they ran in front of massive southern storms.
Their profits depended on fast trips from Australia to Europe, carrying wool and other such Australian products.
The implication is that no matter the weather, the sails stay up until the weather takes them down.
My day started at 3 AM local time with a re-baptism. It’s getting rather warm in the cabin, so I decided to risk it and opened up the ventilator scoop over my bunk before retiring.
I had a lovely breeze all night, but was eventually rewarded with a sluice of water from a breaking wave.
I suitably washed my mouth out with soap in reparation for words uttered and had the pleasure of a cup of tea out on deck under a mostly full moon.
There is something special about 3 AM. Monasteries will often arise at this hour and pray matins in the peace that comes with such an hour.
Hospital night shifts seem to either be entirely peaceful at this time, or things just go to the pits. I learnt a lot in this hour, some of it bitter, some of it sweet. The experience of a particular patient, who I attended to at 3am, has stayed with me for every patient I’ve seen subsequently, and my approach to patient care has been, to some degree, written in her blood.
The trade winds picked up to a lively 17 or 18 knots, which is right at the limits of full sail. Not to invoke divine wrath, but I muttered the above phrase a couple of times today as my port toe rail would dip into the water. The steadiness of the trade winds invoke a certain confidence, and in any other circumstance I would have put in a reef.
But, with the equator in sight, I pushed the Perpetual Succour hard and was rewarded with a 145 mile run.
I predict I’ll cross the equator sometime between 10 PM Thursday and 6 AM Friday AEST time.
There is a twice daily high frequency radio ‘sked’ that that gives yachts around the French Polynesian and Marquesas islands the ability to keep in touch and share news. I managed to pick them up and give a position report this evening. There were a couple of Aussie accents which was nice.
The net controller was surprised at the length of my voyage, until I told him that I was solo. “Oh that explains it, you solo guys are ‘different'”. I’m not quite sure what he meant.
I think the swell must have been conducive to fish staying close to the surface, as there were quite a few birds circling today. I don’t think I’ve seen that many since the roaring forties. They seemed to be constantly diving at the water and seemed to be pretty happy, although they were too far away for me to see any results.
The wind has calmed to a steady 10 knots this evening, so I might leave the ventilation port open again. What’s the worst that can happen?
Latitude: -6.938, Longitude: -130.419, Time: 05:35:14 04-06-2018 UTC