Becalmed and serenading the ocean with some Aussie classics

“We knew no iron genny to speed us ‘cross the seas,
so we ate the horses, in the calms adrift at thirty degrees” Eileen Quinn

The horse latitudes are vaguely between 20 and 30 degrees south.

Unlike the steady winds of the tropical trade winds, or the periodic low systems of the higher latitudes, the horse latitudes are reknowned for fickle variable winds. When you were running short of water, you threw the horses overboad, hence the name.

I’ve no horses to throw overboard, and I’m saving my diesel for contingencies, so I didn’t make a lot of progress today in a dead calm with an occasional puff.

I made 21 miles overnight, and then a grand 3 miles during the day, mostly drifting a little east.

It was a nice day nonetheless, and I spent most of it replacing the throttle control system. I think the one in place was the original and it always needed a bit of love, prayer and coaxing to get it to do what you want.

I run the engine for 15 minutes every couple of days to keep things turning, and the other day I found the throttle unit had seized inside. I took it apart and solemnly pronounced its departure from this dear world once I had inspected it’s guts.

If it’s worth having one, it’s worth having two.

I brought along a brand new unit as a spare. I probably should have replaced it before I left, but it was one of the jobs that was ideal rather than necessary. If you wait until every ideal job is done before you leave, you never leave.

Sadly its front plate is quite a bit smaller than the old one, so I had to fashion a overplate out of plywood to cover the hole left by the old unit. It works a treat and, while more functional than pretty, doesn’t look totally horrible.

The new unit is a dream to use. Forwards, neutral, backwards, half throttle, full throttle. Who knew controlling a motor could be so easy!

Joshua Slocum pointed out that the best way to have your prayers answered is to pray for a change of winds in ‘the variables’. So it shouldn’t be long before I’m on my way.

I had my red ensign flying, and I sang Waltzing Matilda, True Blue, and Send Her Down Hughie to whoever was listening. I reckon this is the most aussiefied patch of ocean this side of the Pacific!

Latitude: -28.868, Longitude: -137.564, Time: 05:22:29 20-05-2018 UTC