To Bermuda, Day 11

S/V SN-E Cetacea Log Day 11 – 83.2 NM


Dena’s 2-3 pm watch

2:14 pm

Two rounds of rain and I gave up on the kurta and churidar pants I was wearing. They’re draped on the lifelines (thanks, James!) to dry and I’m in bathing trunks and my adventurer’s long-sleeved button down.

I do appreciate skyshowering, though!

The afternoon calm has descended. We have to make water, so we are. It’s reasonably sunny for a rainy day and power is less of a problem because we aren’t keeping the chartplotter running all the time. I hope we can again soon…I really like having that information at my fingertips.

We did the whole trip to Hawaii without second by second info. We turned the gps on every 4 hours and plotted that location on the paper chart. We corrected our heading based on how far off we’d gotten in the meantime.

Now I’m used to constantly tuning the heading based on what the chartplotter says our course over the ground (COG) is. Saves a little wandering around but it can distract from just being here. 

Speaking of, that’s what I am going to do right now. Be here.

2:41 pm

We’d been marveling at how few bruises and such we’ve dealt ourselves on this trip so far. Yesterday was the end of that. I  bruised the ball of my foot somehow and banged my elbow in boring-story style. James has banged around more too.

I don’t know if it’s us getting slack because we’re too tired or too comfortable, or if it’s the extra swell that’s running at an awkward angle. I imagine the answer is “yes”.

James’ 7-8 pm

There’s an intensity to the sky that we haven’t noticed before on this trip…it’s not breaking up like the other squalls did. I think we’re in for a longer stretch on inclement weather.

Dena’s 8-9 pm watch 

8:16 pm

In 45 minutes, I’m going to lie down and fall right to sleep…right? Since we only have two three-hour watches and the rest are an hour, each day contains somewhere between 5 and maybe 7 hours of sleeping. 

The two chunks remind me of a professor who did a sleep study on himself, sleeping only from 2-4 am and pm. He said he thrived on those 4 hours a day because the first 2 hours are the most productive anyway.

Yeah, I’m going to say that I don’t have whatever sleep needs he did. I am not a napper, but I do end up sleeping for 20 minutes or so on 1 or 2 of my short watches. It makes it feel like I do very little other than being on watch and sleeping or trying to sleep.

I am going through books at a spanking pace, though, so I obviously have some down time. A slew of romances from my publisher, Bold Strokes Books, and a bunch of SF I got through the Boston Public Library. Ebooks, clearly. I think I have another year before that access expires.

Preparing and eating and cleaning up after meals isn’t that much time. We’re not doing anything ornate. The temperatures have improved, so we can start cooking more if the sea state allows.


Dena’s midnight-3 am watch

Bermuda is no longer a mere cypher, a dot labeled because people are interested in where it is rather than any innate physical significance.

Now, on screen, it has shape and the promise of detail. We’re getting there.

James’ 11-noon watch.

In a following sea it’s hard to recognize how fast and how shitty it can get right before your eyes!

First reef…second reef…headsail furled and we’re still doing 5 knots. The sky fills with a solid grayness.

Another night of rain cells. Drying clothes and towels only for them to get wet again. This will be a more serious concern when the air and rain are colder, up north.

Here, we’re taking care to account for the strong winds on the leading edge. If it weren’t for those and the lightning, we wouldn’t have to try and dodge. As it is, we do what we can. We’ve been surprisingly effective, at least shortening the time we’re under the showerhead if not avoiding it altogether.

I just stitched the lifeline gates. Since this hollow-rope kind of splicing requires tension to keep everything in place (think finger puzzle), the gates are a weak point. The port side is loose anytime we have the steps down for swimming or getting in the dinghy and it’s working its way apart.

Lifeline gate repair, before

Fancy plan: remove the starboard lower and stitch it, use it on the port side, fix that one and apply it starboard. Lather, rinse repeat for the uppers.

Lifeline gate repair, after

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