Today we’ve been taking full advantage of the 10-15m/s strong winds. With all sails set except the mizzen, we are managing an average speed of more than 9 nots. At the end of the day we have sailed more than 220 nautical miles, which makes it is the fastest day of the entire journey so far. That’s even more than we did during the storm outside Charleston. We are charging forward like never before. If we could keep up this pace, we would be in Portsmouth in only three days’ time. Now it also looks like a low-pressure front is coming in on Saturday with winds of 20m/s so there might be more to come.
As a member of the 12-4 watch I welcome every new day with a 4-hour shift. Although, since the events of today’s morning watch, with the sighting of a huge meteor, already have been brought up in yesterday’s English blog by my fellow watch companion, I suppose I must skip forward to where she left of.
The day for us, starts in the middle of the day. We wake up at 11:20 with a meal of breakfast or lunch (brunch?) depending on what you prefer. Then we go on watch. These watches mostly consist of maintenance work, and today was no exception. At the moment we are mostly removing oxidation from bitts and hawse and then we put on new paint. The problem with this is that they are located on the sides of the boat where water comes in now and then. If this happens while the paint is rubbed away, which it is to get rid of the oxidation, there is nothing covering the metal. This means that if you aren’t fast enough to put on all the layers of paint the metal will start to oxidate again and you must start from scratch. This seems to have happened all too many times since we are still working with the same ones as we did in Bermuda.
After the watch we have 1 hour and 40 minutes before dinner which is perfect for taking a shower and then a nap, so you have energy to stay awake until 04:00 the next day. This has worked very well for me. After dinner I can study and hang out in the big dining salon for the remaining 6 hours and then it’s time for watch again.
Today, midnight marked the start of the “killer game”. This is a game we do to while away the time aboard. Everyone must participate, even the command. Despite the brutal name there is no violence involved or even physical challenges. It is a game where you need to be crafty, undependable, disingenuous, treacherous and insidious. Everyone gets three notes with an object, a place and a name of a person on the boat. The task is to give this person the object in that location hand to hand. For example, it can be a bottle of shampoo on main deck or even something as usual as a glass in the dining hall. Therefore, you can no longer trust anyone. This became obvious when our watch command Adam, committed the first murder, only one minute into the game, when he gave a book to Oliver who was newly awaken and unsuspectingly grabbed a book he was given by order. Quite unfair giving the advantage the command possesses.
Despite this unfortunate start of the watch it was a beautiful night. It was quite cloudy so you couldn’t see the stars, but the darkness that surrounded us in the loss of light made you appreciate the sea-fire that now was chinning more than ever. It was raining but this was only cooling and lyrical. At one moment I was ordered to furl the top sails. When I was done, I took a moment to just stand up there on the top of the mast looking down. The navigation lights at the top of the mast were lighting up the hazy air and the grand sailcloth. It was almost completely quiet accept for a gentle bris and the sails fluttering in the wind. The rain was pouring down making you feel alive. Beneath you could see the waves breaking and crashing down into white foam. You could see sea-fire chinning on both sides of the boat, and you could se the rest of the watch cozying on halfdeck. This is the moments were sailing is at its best.
Much more than that did not occur during the watch. We sat on halfdeck singing and talking until the watch was at its end and you could go inside, removing your dripping clothes and sliding into your warm and dry cabin. Also, one of the peaks of sailing.
Oskar Persson, port