Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day 87 – Radar Off, Tanker Missed, Squalls get stronger

26 May, 07 – 21.45    
24 hr progress: 25 Nautical Miles (1 nm = 1.85 km)
Distance left to Antigua (straight line): 490 Nautical Miles ( 907 km)
Distance completed: 2848 NM (5268 km)
Wave height: 10-12ft, Winds: 25 knots NE, Bearing: 270-300 degrees.

Heavy rains again last night. The increasing strength of the squalls is hard to miss and is a constant reminder of the oncoming hurricane season.
A few hours into my night shift, it got difficult to row, so I tried to catch up on some sleep around 11 pm.
I was woken up by the sound of engines around 3.00 am and found the lights of a tanker about 1 mile to the north.
I narrowly missed another ship – this time it was entirely my fault. While speaking to the Captain of the passing Tanker yesterday morning, I had switched off the radar alarm, as its beeping in the background was interfering with our conversation over the VHF radio. In my tiredness, I must have forgotten to switch it back on again. Luck helps sometimes!
I've crossed the 53 degrees W meridian over the past 24 hrs which improved my spirits a bit. I'm closer to my second last major milestone of 55W meridian (the last milestone being 60W meridian).
Quite happy with the days progress – 25 miles almost due West despite the waves from different directions. I've been experimenting with deploying the drogue (sea anchor) off the stern using different variations of length on the main line and slack on the trip line. I think I've finally found a solution that works well to somewhat help turn the stern into the waves. I'm now using the drogue on a shorter 15m line, partially collapsed with a 14m trip line, that allows it to float the breadth of 1 wave away. I think this gives better control when the sea state is confused and lots of shorter waves coming at the boat from SE and NE.
On the wildlife front, I spent the evening on deck watching Dorados. The Dorados can get up to a meter in length and its quite amazing watching them leap out of the water trying to catch the flying fish.
On things calorie related, - I found a treasure of 2 bars of Ritter Sport chocolate that I must have placed under the bag of emergency collision flares - a thank you to the Tanker that made me reach for the flares.
I've got 4 days of food left, so enjoying my last few meals, before its a protein shake only diet. That will be a new experience!
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passing rain shower


Taken at 20.48 GMT


Dusk & getting ready for my night row

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