07 June 2022

Day 5 - First reef

Yes, we had our first dawn at sea today, but I didn't see it. My watch last night was from 22:00 to 02:00. Helena had the 02:00 to 06:00 shift, so she got to see the dawn. She says it was beautiful, but a little hazy.

Watches are a big item of discussion with sailors, and I think we've tried every combination, from 2 hours to 4 hours. There is no right answer, you just have to figure out what works for you. For us, dividing the night roughly into two watches of 4 hours seems to work best. I'm a night owl, so it's no chore for me to stay up late. I did two hours of French studying in the middle of the night, with nothing to distract me except getting up to take a look at the AIS and a 360 scan of the horizon every 10 minutes. Since we were so close to shore, there were always ships in our area, but none close enough to cause a bother.

Today, I started my routine of. Taking a tour around the deck at least once a day. Two reasons for this: first, to look for anything that might have come loose, or might be chafing. Anything that might cause a problem. Second, to stay used to the act of getting out of the nice, snug cockpit and roaming around on deck. Tied on, of course.

We have some brown terns (I think they are), following us today. They glide low over the water, settling right behind the boat in our wake. Then they look around as if looking for scraps, and when we are a hundred meters or so away, they lift off, and glide back to us. I watched one bird do this repeatedly. I can only imagine that we are stirring up food of some sort, though what, I can't imagine.

I've decided to run the engine once a day, to keep the batteries charged, and to keep the engine turning over regularly.

We've had a small electronics glitch: the GPS that we use down at the navigation station isn't acquiring signal from the satellites. I will try to fix this ASAP. My thesis is a bad connection somewhere.

Still on the same tack with the same sails up: starboard with jib, main, and mizzen. I might need to talke a reef tonight if the forecast is correct.

Our first 24 hour run earned us 102 nautical miles. Not great, but not bad considering we had light inns for most of the night. I'll take it.

My mission for today is to kill every fly in the boat. I keep thinking I've got the last one, but then another lands on my pen tip, as if to taunt me. But I will win in the end.


Yes, I took two reefs in the mainsail (which makes the sail much smaller and lower, thus powering down the sails) because the wind had increased and could continue to increase in the night. I'd rather not work on deck at night, if it can be avoided. All is well, and the boat is more comfortable as a result.

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