May 15 - Steve's blog Number 4.
Once again the light winds / no wind did for us in the middle of the night.
We had our own personal Doldrums, or "Pot au Noir" as I think the French
call it which is much more descriptive! What wind we had when we had it
allowed us to travel only at 90 degrees to the desired course, and then for
only about 20 minutes at a time before we stopped again. I had every sail
onboard up at one time or another through the night! The wind returned as
quickly as it left us, and we are underway nicely again now.
Hence we are at the back of the fleet again, although not for long I hope. My weather information remains patchy - after three attempts and 30 minutes of phone time used up I had two corrupted files I couldn't view properly or trust. It does look as though from what I have got that the rest of the fleet will have some light stuff to deal with soon that I shall (hopefully) be to the North of - swings and roundabouts I suppose.
Still, I am happy just to be out here, and we have a long way to go yet.
It's really strange this time, I have seen hardly any birds, no dolphins which is even more unusual, and I was beginning to feel like I was up here completely alone, but last night as we ghosted along (when we could sail that is) in the pitch black of a cloudy night I was treated to a light show from the surrounding plankton which flashed spectacularly as the bow wave disturbed them as we passed, setting off a chain reaction of flashes radiating away from the boat.
Yesterday afternoon I took the opportunity to slice up a new furling line which is used to roll the rolled up sails that go on the end of the bowsprit. I ordered 45 metres from Chumley Prime in Southampton, who asked me whether I minded what colour I had. Why I asked? Well he said, if I had yellow it would be cheaper - that was fine with me. When it arrived it was not entirely yellow, it was fluorescent green. It was so bright I didn't need any decklights last night - you know it was the colour of those bad shoelaces people had in the 1980's. By the time I had finished splicing it and cutting bits up the cockpit looked like Kermit the frog had had a fight with a lawnmower and lost.
By the way, the fly tried to set a record for the longest ever non stop flight - he set off for Ireland - I watched him go.