d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update
Presented by Pivotel
Well I am still pleased to report all is going well on-board Climate Action Now, even if I am sailing a little slower than I would like in these light winds. Last night was another crystal clear evening and I found myself on deck just after sunrise re-trimming the sails when I noticed that the moon still wasn’t out and so the stars were on full display. I can simply say that sailing at night under a clear blanket of stars is one of my favourite things in the world. I ended up laying on deck watching for shooting stars for over an hour just enjoying the peace and beauty of the moment.
The winds were blowing from the NW so I was sailing North trying to get above the centre of this high pressure system and hopefully out of some of the currents. The winds were only blowing at 7-8 knots so it was a gentle sail for most of the night. It wasn’t until I was just about to go below to sleep when I noticed I had a rather fat unwelcome visitor doing its best to break my important wind instruments at the top of the mast. A large Boobie bird (a sea going bird) had decided that the wind wand at the very top of the mast was a night roost for the night... I could see it lit up by my navigation lights at the top of the mast and all I could see was it attacking something up there like my wiring...
Generally I welcome all nature and creatures but fat birds on my mast tend to break things and going up the mast alone to make a repair is a very long and arduous process that I would rather avoid. I decided to try to scare the bird off by whipping my spinnaker halyard really hard against the mast in the hopes that it would be startled. It simply looked down on me like I was the biggest idiot ever trying to move it from its nice new home and settled further into comfort... After 20 minutes and no reaction I needed to accept defeat and hope that my B and G Wind instruments were tougher than the Boobie Birds...
Around midnight the winds dropped out to less than 4 knots causing all my alarms to blare with off course and rudder lock so I ended up dragging myself from bed and spending an hour hand steering until the winds arrived again. The winds filled in from the same NW direction so there was no need to tack and once the boat was settled and sailing in a steady 10 knot breeze I went below for some more sleep.
I have been managing to get a fair amount of sleep lately as the shipping isn’t quite as close and I am far enough away form the reefs. I have increased my naps to 30 minutes for the moment which allow me to get that little bit more rest and makes all the difference. When I get close to reef or land again I will go back to my standard 20 min naps.
At around 4am however it was quite hard to drag myself from bed as all the alarms blared again telling me that the autopilot didn’t have enough wind to steer by. I was scratching sleep from my eyes when I stumbled on deck (always with my lifejacket on and teathered on) when I almost stood directly on a dead flying fish in the cockpit tangled amongst the ropes. There was a little blood on the deck and it had been dead for a while. I crawled back inside to grab a garbage bag and very carefully, keeping the bag between me and the fish I picked it up and gave it back to Neptune. I then got a fright as I noticed a second Flying Fish dead on the deck mm from my bare feet. With my bag in hand I again consigned it to the sea but I wasn’t able to avoid the dry retching from the stench of death, fish guts and scales...
I am a vegetarian and have a bit of a problem with dead things so something like a dead fish or squid on the deck just gives me the heebie geebies and makes all the little hairs on my neck stand up and shiver. It was definitely not a nice surprise at 4am and I really feel bad for the little guys who lost a match with my yacht.
Once the fish were taken care of I was back to hand steering to settle the boat and finally the new winds arrived at around 5.30am from the East at 10 knots. Making use of this winds I aimed the boat North/ NNE and started to gain some miles.
Given my time on deck overnight I decided to try to sleep a little longer and ended up napping until 10.30am but I woke up not really feeling rested. The rest of my day has been rather uneventful as I finish some tasks around the boat and tend the sails. The winds have now moved from the East to the North East and are steady at 7 knots giving me enough to sail at 6 knots. Hopefully tonight it will be a little more consistent.
Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft