Article

[ THE WIRE ] Downwind sailing, upbeat living.

The curious life of being at sea – logbooks, bread, spinnakers and origami.


NAV STATION
Date: 14th February 2017
Time: 1808z
Position: 12°40.8N 68°01.4W
COG: 285¬°T
SOG: 6.5kts
Wind:  ENE 3-4
Swell: NE 2-3ft
Sky: 2/8 cirrostratus.
Weather: Fair.


The enthusiasm for life aboard Disco continues unabated. I must be doing something wrong if everyone is still happy on day 3.

The wind was light and fickle for most of yesterday afternoon, making for frustrating sailing and slow progress. I am led to believe it continued this way all night, but I don’t know for sure as I fell asleep at the nav station table late in the evening, and didn’t come to until mid-morning. I was greeting with slightly better breeze, a happy boat, and a logbook that had recorded in detail my exact sleeping positions throughout the night.

Speaking of logbooks, there has been a certain amount of ‘logbook nostalgia’ occurring recently, with the pages of previous passages and particular moments being revisited. It is really quite amusing to read back and appreciate the moments from a different perspective. Rather random comments such as “Penguin Team!”, “x is an ungrateful coffee receiver”, “x lies motionless on deck”, “lighter stolen”, and “I think there were dolphins, but I can’t be sure.” bring back memories of happy times, and give a good impression of the usual dynamic onboard to those that are new to the crew.

Later in the morning we decided not to actually go to Venezuela, but to chuck in a gybe and go to Panama instead. Oh, how easy it sounds when you write it down! The new spinnaker pole was hoisted and positioned, and the gybe commenced. The manoeuvre was smooth, but unfortunately didn’t last long. Just as everything was getting tidied up, the line that holds the working pole back decided to ‘release’ itself from the spinnaker. Opps. New pole swinging around, old pole back up, gybe back again, lines everywhere! Once Henry had made a short trip up the rig to retrieve the shackle that was still attached to the sail, it was retied with a real knot, reattached to the spinnaker, and we tried again, with what was in fact our best gybe yet!

Once the tidy up was complete, we celebrated our successful retreat from the Venezuelan coastline with some of Andrea’s freshly baked bread. Best bread yet! A discussion on the relative merits of Vegemite vs the rest of the world ensued. I’m not sure how it ended, as I got bored and walked out, having wasted too much of my life to date listening to Aussies go on about Vegemite.

Shortly after that we had a minor spinnaker wrap. It looked for a moment that it might well turn into a major wrap, but luckily we managed to deal with the immediate aftermath before it entered the vicious cycle of spinning itself in to ever tighter turns around the forestay.

Crisis averted, I now sit at the nav station, surrounded by the products of my new origami hobby (the paper sort, not the spinnaker type), the boat happily sailing away underneath me. It’s a curious life we lead on a boat, but well worth the sacrifice of day-to-day comforts for the fun we have.

Recommended articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get in touch with the team! We'd love to hear from you; Whether you have a question, want to schedule an interview, or become involved in the project.

We are proud to have the support of our strategic partner

Exploration Institute

Sign up to our newsletter