Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Last night I needed to whatever it took to get some restful sleep. The engine was on due to lack of wind, which made for a smooth ride. I put my ear plugs in for the first time and my eye mask on. I had already tested the alarms with the ear plugs in to make sure I could hear them, and I could, though not as easily. While I wouldn’t normally use ear plugs when sailing on my own because of the risk of not waking up when you need to, I felt the impact of not getting some sleep was a greater risk so decided to just do it. To hell with the risk. I. Needed. Sleep.
And sleep I got. Certainly not the blissful 8hrs in a quiet bedroom I would have liked, but it was enough to keep me going and I was grateful.
The morning was grey and cool, but I felt more rested, at least a little more energised than in previous days so I was ready to take on another battle with the weather.
While it rained and the wind was about 20 knts, it wasn’t too intense and didn’t last long so come late morning, the wind was all gone, and the seas calm and we were under engine.
With the boat flat and seas calm, I filled up the fuel tank and did lots of fuel calculations and analysis. The calm airs of the doldrums are looking to be much larger than anticipated, which means more motoring. I work out how much fuel I want to have remaining at key points along the way as a means of both rationing and ensuring I don’t use too much too early and mark these both in my log and on my electronic charts as waypoints. While it’ll be a stretch with my fuel reserves if the doldrums are as bad as expected, I’ll be OK and feel very grateful I built so much redundancy into my planning, esp. fuel storage. No matter what, I’ll also have one x 20L jerry can of diesel that’s simply not touched under anything but extreme circumstances, so I also have an emergency supply and final layer of redundancy.
My relationship with food is changing. I find myself licking the bowl no matter what I eat to ensure nothing is wasted. I’m grateful for everything I eat and look back at the waste I was guilty of a month ago. With so much access to food in many economies, a level of complacency has crept into so many of us and we take the unimaginable choices available to us for granted, and in so doing, we’ve lost the ability to truly taste the life-giving nutrients in front of us. They’re just valueless calories and we can have as much as we want when we want, leading to most people carrying more weight than they need to. Out here I’m so appreciative of the food I have available and I’m really enjoying renewing my relationship with the fuel I need to survive.
I watch the sunset while eating my dinner of fried potatoes, onions, carrots and spam with a side of baked beans, which was actually really good, and say goodbye to my second last day in the northern hemisphere. After a while I rise to go downstairs and do the washing up and off to the east, I see a ginormous rainbow. Possibly the thickest I’ve ever seen and full of colour radiating from the last of the sun’s rays. Behind this however lay dark, ominous storm clouds. They’re right in front of me and my direction of travel and cover the majority of the eastern horizon. Where did they sneak up from, I wonder? And seriously, can’t I just have one 24-hour period without a squall? You must be getting sick of reading about squalls, dear Reader. I know I’m getting sick of writing about them! Each one is different and this one brought with it a tremendous amount of rain and gusts of 30knts but thankfully it blew itself out by around 11pm, so I was able to get a relatively decent sleep without having to constantly get up. The thumping of the engine reassuringly present.
You know I used to sail on Monikie Pond when I lived at Grannies? I loved it, though the water was a little chilly…
Hopefully I’m able to sail to the Ferry one day and I’ll take you up on the Bingo offer x
Thanks Jo! I’ll try and keep the jargon to a minimum
Some great tips on giving the gooseneck some redundancy. So far its holding well, but I’ll take a look at putting in place a temporary connection using lines once I get to the doldrums.
You’re right brother, the path to change is never easy, but hopefully worth it. Will be sure to look after myself in the coming days.
Glad you’ve got some well needed sleep mate I was concerned when your post yesterday was so late, but hoped you’d pulled through whatever was causing you stress. What a roller coaster of emotions and challenges. It’s hard to know when you’ll see land and as you pass PNG I’m wondering if you’ll be able to see land?! Fuel has also been on my mind and I’m glad to hear you have an emergency supply that’s not part of your standard requirements of calculated fuel consumption. I can totally imagine how your relationship with food has changed and how you’re taking pleasure and appreciation with every meal. Makes sense. Every little thing is now magnified as you are heading ‘downhill’ towards the finish line. Wishing you calm waters and consistent winds my friend. Xo
I am relieved, as am sure all your followers are that you got some decent rest. This makes a huge difference to your outlook and ability to meet your challenges and to appreciate your triumphs.
Also you are now in close proximity to the Solomon Islands, and that also gives comfort that landfall is within reach if you don’t need it. It just gives a wee phycological boost, and marks another chapter in your passage.
I can’t wait to hear how your Equator Crossing went.
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