Sorry I didn't get an update to you all yesterday. I was busy on deck and around the boat, then wow, another day gone! If time keeps flying at this rate I'll have to seriously consider another lap or maybe it's a little early to be thinking about that? Again it's possibly a little early to be reflecting but I can't believe how well the first week is going. I'd always expected that settling in would be one of the toughest times for me but I've been in great spirits, keeping busy and enjoying all the simple things.
Overall its been pretty quiet out here, but after a great run of 155nm yesterday, the wind dropped off again and now we (Ella's Pink Lady & I) are back to plodding along slowly. So we're well and truly out into the Tasman now, near Lord Howe Island, with Australia well behind us. Ella's Pink Lady is under full mainsail and genoa at the moment and doing a slow but steady 3knots.
The sun's still shining and the water is an even more amazing shade of blue, but I've been finding that sunset is my favorite time of the day when the whole world turns pink! This morning I had a school of dolphins pass by and the odd bird also drops in to check us out. I think keeping the cabin tidy is going to become one of those never ending battles. Is it just me or does housework
always take this long? And then washing up. There's no one else offering to take their turn, so I'm stuck with it after every meal!
I'd love to answer some more of your questions but there's just way too many! So what I thought I'd do is to talk though one aspect of the voyage or Ella's Pink Lady in more depth every time I have a quiet day. We've got a while to go, so maybe I'll have answered all the questions by the time I get home?
Starting with 'sleep'. Everyone's fascinated about what happens to Ella's Pink Lady when I'm
sleeping and it's a subject that we've put years of thorough research into. I better start from the beginning so everyone understands, sorry if I'm boring you with the basics.
Firstly I obviously can't be hand steering the whole time so Ella's Pink Lady has got three different self steering systems, two electronic autopilots and the Fleming Windvane mounted on the stern whose nicknamed 'Parker' ( can anyone guess why??). The windvane is my favourite because unlike the other two which draw a lot of power 'Parker' steers us by responding to the wind over a blade and the water over a paddle trailing off the stern. But I'll get to the
power subject some other time.
Then I've got four different ship detection systems, which all sound like loud alarms if there are any ships approaching. Ella's navigation lights and radar reflector also make us more visible to other ships at night. But even with all that I never just put my head down a get a full night sleep. If there's a bit going on I'll take a 20min power nap popping my head up to check on everything before going back to sleep. When things are quieter I'll sleep for 40min or longer at a time. It's amazing how used to the motion of Ella's Pink Lady I've already become, if the wind picks up a little the nose will wake me or if we drift off course the sails luff (flap) and wake me. It takes a little getting used to I but I find that I can get all the sleep I need like this and wake refreshed every time.
Before I go to sleep each time I set up two different wake-up alarms so that there's no chance that I'll sleep through. You should hear how loud one of them is, it still makes me jump out of my skin every time I hear it.
All the equipment probably all seems a little over the top but we're going to be out here for a while and the collision taught us that there's no such thing as being too careful!
Also we will have a basic tracking system setup on the website within the next few weeks or so to give you an idea of how we are progressing.
For those in Australia, you can tune in to ONE HDs Thursday night live show tonight at 7.30pm because I'll be talking to them via skype and they'll be playing a little video footage I've
been taking out here today. If you can't watch it tonight I'm sure it'll be up on the net soon enough.
Wow that was quite a mouthful, hope I didn't drone on a bit there!