Odyssey Log

Day 13 of the Atlantic Odyssey

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The Larrikin

We look forward to meeting Pascal (Guiraudou) on the dock in Martinique, just leave some rum for us to enjoy after the crossing.

We are watching with interest Mahé 3 as she manoeuvres around and below us to make a last minute surge to arrive in Martinique ( we know it’s not a race but you know how it is when two boats meet out on the water)….we have a much lighter breeze at present 12kts from the East, looking forward to this freshening over the next few days, maybe you could use your influence with the weather Gods!

In the meantime we are continuing to follow Jimmy’s advice, “Jimmy said”….. head for Martinique, have a glass of wine with your evening meal (just the one), and have fun! And that’s exactly what we are doing.

Later: Whale sighting!
We have had the company of two beautiful Minke whales for the last few hours, they are very inquisitive, and a delight to see out here in this vast ocean. Winds still light 12-14 kts from the East at least we are heading in the right direction.


Sleeping on a boat…

Last night after my watch I lay down in bed and found it a bit difficult to fall asleep. The motion of the boat was a bit off and the swell at an odd angle. As I lay there I tried to imagine how to explain the experience to someone who hasn’t felt it before, so here goes…

It’s a bit like laying in a waterbed, but the bed is moving so imagine a irritated bear laying next to you rolling and turning and trying to get comfortable, all the while rolling and turning you. It’s like your muscles have to work constantly just to lay still. Laying on your back can help or stuffing pillows under your stomach to spread the pressure.

Now imagine four dwarfs holding up each corner of the bed and lifting and lowering each corner 20-30cm randomly. The dwarf near your head has a strange sense of humor and slaps his hand hard on the wall next to your head at irregular intervals. Sometimes 30 seconds between, sometimes longer, but always when you least expect it.

Now for the sounds… Imagine another three dwarfs with water utensils. One has a bucket and cup and continously dips the cup in the bucket and pours the water back in from varied heights. Another has a couple of water bottles he likes to shake close to your ears and the third dwarf jumps up and down in child’s inflatable swimming pool.

Add to those sounds the dull whine of the autopilot keeping us on course, assorted creaks and groans as Sephina twists and turns over the swells, and the occasional surfing sound which is kind of like driving fast down a gravel road and you get an idea of what it’s like to fall asleep on a 40′ yacht mid Atlantic.

Sometimes these sounds are covered over a little by the dull sounds of the Diesel engine if there’s not enough wind or if the batteries need topping up till the sun shines on the solar panels.

So while laying there imagining this strange twisted fairy tale of creatures around me I drifted off and had a deep long sleep, dreaming of Goldilocks, Snow White, Red Ridinghood or some other strange concoction put together in my sleep by the sounds and motions as I slept…


Papy Jovial

Stumbling along

We are still having to make do without a mainsail losing up to 2 knots in the process. But not for long. Jean-Paul just completed a daring, meticulous and tedious repair on the sail with the material that was given to me by my brother Ajut, National Captain of the French Brotherhood of the coast before my circumnavigation 2009 to 2011. It had never been used before but it is now showing its great value. Thank you my Brother.

Within a short period of time, waiting for the skies to clear up, the main is going to go back up and we will be able to resume sailing the Odyssey and limit the number of boats overtaking us. We still have 1250 n.m. to go which might take another 10 days. So be it. We are prepared. . . .almost because we are running out of rum and possibly Ricard and possibly Kir but we still have enough wine , so we will survive. Jean-Paul must be exhausted and he needs to get plenty of sleep to recover from this wonderful deed.

Tomorrow hopefully we shall know where we stand now with the rest of the fleet and what the ETA is going to be with the mainsail and the soft forecast.



The mid-way bucket shower.

By now you’ve probably figured out that life on our crossing is slow with no particular events. This enables me (us?) to regard minor happenings as interesting and important and therefore surely something to blog vividly about. Count this as an apology if I bore you from now on.

Anyway, today we moved the spree boom from one side to the other, focusing all our power to get to the welcome party on Martinique. This involves hourly calculations, a large chart with the movements of our competitors in it, and absolutely no work on the sails. I mean, we’re just cruisers, after all.

Other than that, I snapped my second UNESCO bird, finished the Murakami book and had a photo-shoot with my brother taking a bucket shower in the back of the boat. It may sound brutal, but with water close to body temperature and a few deciliters of fresh water to finish, I imagine it must’ve been amazing.
(Given the conditions.)


Gazel Rebel

French Parlons peu parlons bio
D’aucune demande quels sont les animaux que nous croisons au milieu de l’océan. Les plus fréquents maintenant sont les poissons – volants (mis à part quelques bactéries corporelles odoriférantes). Certains de nuit se cognent dans les haubans ou le barreur. Il y a eu il y a deux jours une bande de petits dauphins moins visibles depuis que nous avons quitté la côte Africaine.

Quelques oiseaux, souvent des puffins ou des plus petits et deux fois le célèbre paille-en-queue mais où a-t-il trouvé de la paille au large ? (Rires). Question plus fine, comment les oiseaux de haute-mer boivent – ils ?…

Enfin visibles toutes les nuits dans le sillage du bateau le plancton luminescent et les méduses qui tiltent en Technicolor quand les safrans les cognent.

Aujourd’hui l’alizé faiblit donc plus de manoeuvres de voiles en perspective. Et quand même nous avons dépassé hier la moitié de la distance à parcourir à vol… d’oiseau justement.



French Nouvelles relayées par Pierre, leur support à terre:

Bon allez je me détends un peu car les nouvelles du bord sont bonnes, très bonnes mêmes, et ça fait du bien […], tout est réparé. Chapeau les navigateurs! 15,5 nœuds de True Wind Speed donc de vent réel ce qui est un bon petit sèche cheveux.

On va bientôt pouvoir rentrer dans le petit jeu des ETA (Estimated Time Arrival) et calculer leur jour d’arrivée.



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