Saturday, June 23, 2007

Compass light? we don't need no ...

Well, actually, it would be nice to know what the course is, even though Otto is doing a superb job at the helm. Last night, at dusk, we were going through the ritual of turning on the various lights and, when everything was on, Lindsey (on watch) hollered below, Hey, could we have a compass light please. We checked the obvious stuff like switches and fuses with no joy, so we got a flashlight out for the night watch. The good news is that Bill was able to repair it quite easily this morning. We think it was a Martian prank. Or maybe a slightly corroded light socket.

Speaking of corrosion, the barometer is working again. I had gotten it working earlier by throwing out the old leaky batteries and using an emery board to clean the green gunk off the battery holders, but it quit again a couple of days ago. So, today's project was to clean it a few more times, and if necessary, threaten it with a soldering iron. Several cleanings did not seem to work, but I guess the threat was sufficient because it finally blinked back to life.

During the voyage, I've had occasion to glance at the new boom, a very nice piece of work from Ballenger Spars of Watsonville California, just down the road from my home port. So today, I took a picture of it and maybe we can get it posted sometime soon. The thing that strikes me is how uncluttered it is; no cleats, no winches, etc. Just a couple of reefing line anchor knots. I like Bill's approach of running the forward end of the furling lines to sheet stoppers on the deck, rather than cleats on the boom. And a real full-sized winch on the deck to grind on them.

Agnes pointed out to me that today is June 23rd, the official last day of Catholic school in Quebec. Tomorrow is the feast of St. John the Baptist, a major French-Canadian holiday. Agnes did not mention this, but I'll bet if the 23rd comes on a Saturday, like today, school gets out a day earlier. You'd have to grow up Catholic in Quebec to appreciate any of this. Or you could rent a movie. Either "Mon Oncle Antoine" or "Kamouraska" should do the trick.

As Bill mentioned earlier, we have sailed into a hole. Winds have been generally from the north, blowing from 2 - 5 knots. It's a real struggle to keep the sails filled an d the boat moving. But we remain optimistic that the 15-knot stuff is getting closer and closer. To be followed by the 25-knot stuff.

Current position at 1300 HST: 34N04.0 137W23.3, course approximately 090 M at 1.5 knots. Winds are from the north at 2.5 knots. See you tomorrow. - Chris

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