It is midday on 1st Nov, our second day on the ocean and I have just had another attempt at a noon sight. We have been averaging 6 – 8 knots so far, although our heading is closer to south than south west, since with our swept back rig and total absence of any kind of useful downwind sail, sailing any lower is painfully slow.
However, in many respects, catamaran sailing really is living! We have more luxuries than I have at home including hot running water on demand, shower, gas oven, hob, freezer, big fridge and another drinks fridge on the aft deck, (well, I call it “deck” but conservatory might be more a fitting description) and of course we have the washing machine.
The motion on the cat is considerably more comfortable than a monohull. Where, by now a monohull would be rolling side to side, the catamaran seems to work across the diagonal axis of the two hulls, when one bow is down the other is up and vice versa at the stern. The marvellous outcomes being that I can stand up in the shower without bracing myself against anything, I can use the heads without fear of incident, I can lie in bed without rolling out – no lee-cloths required and best of all, I can put my mug down on the table without any concern for it falling off or even spilling much of a drop. Oh yes, this is living it up on the ocean for me.
The highlight of our second day on the ocean came shortly after midday, when, having had enough of seeing Africa getting closer to us, we elected to gybe and take a stab west. The result was a more acceptable heading for the Caribbean, but the loss of a knot of boat speed which was the difference between sailing west and northwest! There is valid concern at a distinct lack of wind forecast for the next few days too, it looks like 5 knots might become the norm. Living maybe, but sailing, I’m not so sure.
We are all quietly settling into our new ship life as the daily routine starts to rotate around the ship’s watch pattern. At the same time I am finding a second pattern which is dictated by the Sun, Moon,twilight, dawn and dusk as the Earth carries on spinning her way through time and space. I sit here watching her constant rotation, watching her slow wobble through the seasons.
Once again my mind explodes at the vastness of it all…. And who figured all this out…. and how did they do it…How? The enormity and complexity of it all brings as many questions as it does answers. I find a certain peace and sense of purpose in my routine and studies, it fascinates me on so many levels and to think that this view is just the same view as all the great navigators gone before, it hasn’t changed. I think an old sailor spirit lives in me somewhere.