Day 178

Fri, 31 Aug 2007

We’re moving like a fly in pitch, I feel like a ridden horse. I promised myself that after I return I will put this tattoo on my shoulder: "I will never again sail by any cape from east to west. This is against nature, only an idiot like me could get such an idea... "


Thur, 30 Aug 2007

Again wind in eyes and ... in ..a .. .. ... I’m beginning to doubt if sailing around the world against the wind is a good idea. Today at night I slept minutes.

Day  176

Wed, 29 Aug 2007

All night we had a feeble, eastern wind, which is a nice change from the one that blew yesterday. We coast lazily in the direction of Cape Good Hope, we should pass by it tomorrow night, or day after tomorrow. I hope that for us it will be the Cape of Good Hope, and it will not turn out to be the cape of Storms. I sleep lately 2 hours for every twenty-four and this in fifteen minute bits, I don’t have the motivation or energy to do repairs. I have to look over the instructions of the navigational program, in order to find the answer how to connect the reserve GPS anteanne, but the instructions are in technical English, I have to be well rested for it.
Ps. I have no energy to write back to e-mails, I will do this when we will elapse Good Hope.

Day  175

Tue, 28 Aug 2007

Around 3 am the wind weakened enough that I started to pull up the anchors. This cost me a half hour of heavy work. I feel tired and sleepy, I wait only to get away from the shore, and then I’ll take a nap in the steering room.

Day 174

Mon, 27 Aug 2007

We stand on anchor, sheltered by the tip of the cape, the wind yells in stays, but the tip, bent like a giant hook protects us from the wave. At night we were pulling anchors, I tried to pull it in, go near the bank, but the engine of lift anchor "fainted" . I smelled coming from it a smell of fried isolation, this means that the engine died and we don’t have the anchor lift. After a moment the anchor attached to something solid and the wind stopped pushing us. Tomorrow this gale must weaken enough so that we can go on our way. Yesterday, at entrance to the bay I turned on the engine, it blew already 30 knots, the engine worked on high revolutions and at a certain moment I noticed that we’re almost not moving at all. I went to the machine room, which was slick with spilled oil and I saw the oil coming out from a conduit connected to a brake roller, used when we navigate. We were some 4 miles from the coast, I turned on the engine, took off my shirt, it was hot in there. I cut off the already rubbed through tube, I screwed off the ending to which it was attached from the casing of the transmission, I looked at it and quickly started to look for a cork that would fill the gap in the tube, praying at the same time. After quarter of an hour I found a cork but it was too little, luckily I also found a conduit coupling in the dimension of the old ending, to which the cork fit. After the next 10 minutes I poured new oil into the transmission praying that this temporary default of oil didn’t kill it. I poured the oil in, turned on the engine and turned the levers on to "forward" . I went quickly to the engine room, the roller was turning, ufff, what a relief, I gave more revolutions, all again was well ...

Day  173

from  Sun, 26 Aug 2007 10:32:58 +0000 (UTC)

I was able to take down the uphaul of the mainsail, if I had to write down how exactly I did that it would come out like gibberish. In general, I formed nooses from a thin steel cable, I tightened it to the end of mainsail, I attached a thin strong cable to the end of the steel cable and I pulled this all onto the top of mast, where the end of the uphaul with open clip hook was hanging gaily. With wonder, I watched as clip hook went in the noose, and I, with eyes fixed on my bait as if a fisherman, raised the shrill cable and tightened the nooses. Then delicately I pulled it all down. Of course I cut off the clip hook right away, I put thimbles at the end of the uphaul, I hemmed it and made a life-saving knot, and then screwed on the uphaul to the mainsail with a solid shackle. Sleepy and tired from the storm, I felt as if I was pushing a broken car in the middle of the highway. The traffic in this place is enormous. In each moment I see two, or three or sometimes more ships, VHF talks almost incessantly, the boys talk about on which side they will pass by. I am not worse, and when some giant approaches me within two miles, I make sure that it sees me. And even though the possibility that in such place someone (except me) will permit himself to doze, is very little, each time, when such giant nears us I feel a lump in my throat, and when it approaches still I clench my buttocks ... Somewhere in the middle of the night, when some exceptionally great wave went through us, I went down to mesa, I searched the bottles and got from them the last half a glass of whisky. I drank it on an empty stomach and almost immediately this gale stopped seeming so terrible, I even felt excitement, when I sat in the shelter of the steering room, and even though Luka at each descent from a steep like a wall wave, takes her solid part with beak on deck, and this passes then through the deck and smashes about the windows of the steering room, I kind of thought this was "cool" ... I felt like I was in the movies, as if it didn’t directly affect me, and the hero of the film, who looked like me, braved the storm in the agitated tides and slowly got away from the shore. After an hour the magic ended, there was no additional portions, again I found myself in the center of gale, but dawn was near, the world seemed better ... The main navigational system as before does not work, some wave tore out cable from antenna and destroyed it completely. I think that I have somewhere a reserve GPS antenna, which “talks” in sytem NMEA, but it will be difficult to hook it up properly, because I don’t have a suitable computer hook up In this moment we coast 18 nm from the coast in the direction of Cape Vlesspunt, where I have the intention to hide before the next gale, it begins today after midday. Some fisherman who passed by today warned me about it. Western wind approaches 40 knots and meeting with an opposite current it will produce giant, steep waves. I hope that we will manage to wait out the gale near the cape. Already it’s been twenty-four hours, we have a strong beneficial wind from the north east, but it quieted down and soon it will change into a south western gale.

Day 172

from  Sat, 25 Aug 2007 10:32:58 +0000 (UTC

Losses after yesterday's storm; The worn out antenna of the GPS main navigational system (perhaps I have a spare somewhere), during a strong squall when pulling down the mainsail, the clip hook broke and flew to the top of the mast, I still don’t know how I’m going to get it down from there. I never saw so steep and hideous waves, even though I once spent a few winters afloat the Bering Sea.
Position about 10: 23 UT - 34*25'020'S and 24*21'090'E

Day  171

Fri Aug 24 07:10:24 2007 UTC - 34 0.94 S - 27 5.52 E


Day  170

Thu Aug 23 07:23:13 2007 UTC - 33 47.82 S - 28 31.15 E

Yesterday about 60 miles we passed East London, before us Port Elizabeth. Judging by the bent like a hook bay, Port Elizabeth is perfectly sheltered from the west, and the bay offers many calm anchorages. I’m sure somewhere in the port is a snug tavern, with blackened walls, and on them blunt whaling industry harpoons, yellowed pictures of sailboats, which stood here once and cold beer ... Actually if I had the beer, I wouldn’t have to see the tavern, all of them are alike, like sons of one father. At night a few giants passed by us, in the morning one of them neared us suspiciously, and finally elapsed at a distance of one mile and disappeared. Today I had to put the mainsail to the left, and I thought about doing that with the boom also. I looked at the telegraphic pole and thought that the wind will enter half-way when I will correct the drive, so that will not be necessary and I only did the mainsail. I had to of course fold it down completely first, because of the second stay stretched for the duration of this trip. When I again unfolded it on the right ship's side and went down for morning tea, it turned out that a not very strong in this moment wind, is not able to fill it, and the mainsail jerks on the wave if she wanted to tear away ..So I returned to deck , folded down the mainsail, I threw the aluminum strapper to the right ship's side, I stuck a mainsheet in the jaws of the boom, I returned to capstan and when I started to pick it, I saw that the bit of plastic serpent which protects sheets against abrasion, snaked through the jaws of the boom and the boom now does not want to move to the corner of mainsheet sail. I loosened the mainsheet again, went to mast, loosened the folds of boom and lowered its other end to fore basket. I took off this bit of serpent, I raised the boom again, which was hanging like a giant pendulum. I returned quickly to capstan, and tightened the mainsheet and the boom stopped flying and rested at the corner of mainsheet sail, then at the same time relieving the cable of roller, I kept unfolding the mainsail until it unfolded like a bird’s wing. Now I’m drinking a half-cold coffee and wondering why my angel didn’t call me yesterday .. .. I will call in a few hours before she will leave for work and learn the truth ... Because of the difference in time, Beata rings me on her way to work, apparently yesterday she slept late and in a hurry she did not take her telephone. Or she stopped loving me...

Day 169

Wed Aug 22 06:55:09 2007 UTC - 33 11.91 S - 29 47.46 E

I decided to fit in between the incessant now storms in the south, yesterday in the south it blew 75 knots, the Beaufort scale ends at 64 and that’s called a hurricane. The shape of the coast causes static of the incessant this time of year south-western wind and I have an honest intent to slip through this way towards the Atlantic and let’s hope that it’s a good decision…Sailing near the coast means the risk of breaking the yacht on the cliffs. A mistake in navigation, sleeping through the alarm and sh*** hits the fan. But we have a freshly rebuild Perkins 128KM and still a lot of diesel fuel in the tanks so if we were pushed near the coast we can pretend to be a motor boat and move away from it at a safe distance…The most important thing is not to sleep through or miss something. It turns out that I’m not the first in my family to take to sailing, Janek (my uncle from Gastolin) won “himself” lately - Regata Polish Champions Journalists in Mikolajki, and as I know life, almost everybody had there a hidden helper, some master of juniors in class 470, or their friends. Janek had on board a beautiful crew member, and who knows, maybe the cause of winning so many runs were the eyes of the pretty Agnieszka, which turned on the pumps making adrenaline in the veins of the captain.

Day 168

Tue Aug 21 08:42:45 2007 UTC - 33 6.94 S - 30 23.46 E

Yesterday, as soon as I stopped writing and marveling at the wind it flew away somewhere and the rest of the day we spent on the wave it left behind. It was quiet and very warm, a little fog was visible on the horizon, it was the sun warming up the cold water. The day passed by lazily in the steering room, I listened to some fantastic book, while Wacek in his day sleeping berth under the hand pump chewed on a screw. I sometimes wonder where those human desires come from, the ones to achieve the “impossible” peak, or to dive and risk your life, or to go through the tight spaces in some dark, deep cave, flooded by icy water only to find another, even deeper one. Are those dreams consciously “seeded” by us or are we born with them? A chaos supporter would state, I wanted to, I worked for it half my life, so I sailed or climbed that mountain…But maybe the stubborn desire, this determination is the proof that this is only half-true and we are born with the page already filled out on one side and sometimes it happens that “the writer’s hands” write so hard that some fragments go through to the other side, like a notary stamp and dominate then everything else, which the family, church and environment write. It’s not a secret that we come into the world already equipped…for example; you can’t teach intelligence, we can only learn to use what we already have well. People are born little geniuses or pee in bed until they are 15 years old. They are born with the predisposition to be a good surgeon but when it turns out that their parents and society messed up their side of the page then the world has another unhappy butcher. From my point of view it seems clear that people convinced about the existence of the determination, usually called “human destiny” are right. Our “free” choices are determined by the level of consciousness we are born with and those sleeping dreams, wake up at the right moment and if we don’t chicken out then they cause us to be born again…

Day 167

Mon Aug 20 07:12:13 2007 UTC - 32 17.65 S - 31 31.28 E

Finally, we are sailing solidly, the wind seems to want to make up for the few days of storm, which drifted us about 70 miles to the north and pushes us with a careful backstay along the coast of Africa. I would have nothing against it if it blew that way for a week and pushed us in its friendly arms to Cape Good Hope. For a few nights now I’m having nightmares, of some monsters, escapes, chases and some helping hand that always pulls me out of oppression. I think that today in my dream I saw my “little devil” – the part of myself I’m always fighting with. In some moment of the dream, totally unrelated to what was just happening in it, suddenly appeared this old, wrinkled man with a primitive but ready for every cruelty and mischief smile, he himself was confused about appearing in the dream, he said something apologetic and disappeared. These dreams are probably reflective of my fears of the hard part of the cruise that’s coming up. During the day, I consciously silence my fears, I tell myself that everything will go well, but you can’t fool your subconscious. The (soul?) connected with our subconscious changes fears into images and feeds them to us while we sleep. Something yesterday told me to check the rudder, I took away a piece of the floor in the roofing cabin, changed now into a magazine, I looked at the hydraulic accelerator, which moves the hub of the rudder and with despair I saw that the whole accelerator moves as if it might break away at any moment…With my heart beating I ran to get a flashlight and when I returned it turned out that the handle of the accelerator which is attached by four screws is almost all loose. It wouldn’t take much and we almost lost our steering. It was difficult to get to this tight place but after some time I tightened all four screws. How great it is that ballast on Luka is not screwed on…
PS The wind just weakened and turned into south-western.

Day 166

Sun Aug 19 05:42:48 2007 UTC - 30 48.83 S - 33 12.87 E

The wind mercifully turned, it seems that in this neighborhood it only offers two directions: south and north. I hope to take advantage of this change and sail as much as possible in the direction of the turning south tip of “black Africa”, although in this place it’s not so black, it’s rather like coffee with milk…I remember when Homeland Security sponsored my vacation in Florida at the Deportation Center, I met a young, maybe an 18-year old boy there, whom they were sending back to South Africa. He came to the US when he was 8 years old, his parents for some reason were not able to legalize their stay, I think they counted on being sponsored through work, which in this country last sometimes forever…Because of some control one day, the above mentioned company sponsored his “vacation” and a ticket “home”. He was of age, but still a child, his native land was strange to him, he got out at a foreign to him airport in Cape Town. I hope that he didn’t get lost in that city and managed somehow to “keep his head above water.”
The autopilot started to beep, I have to fold down a little of the mainsail and I think I will stretch it with bom…

Day 165

Sat Aug 18 04:46:32 2007 UTC - 30 28.00 S - 33 30.32

At night I threw down the sails, a weak, southern wind turned indecisively and kept turning us, today it still blows weakly and still from the south. Tomorrow morning the wind should change, I hope that we will finally move to the south. I keep realizing that we are on the southern hemisphere too early, it’s only the second part of winter here, and we should not be in a hurry at all. The Cape of Good Hope hosts western storms 5 days a week, they meet the coast, the strong western current and all that happens on the covered by bad reputation Agulhas shelf, where a sudden change of depth make the waves so suddenly high in this part of the world that it breaks tanks and huge ships. Let’s hope that Mother Ocean will open up a safe passage for us to the Atlantic

Day 164

Fri Aug 17 06:43:07 2007 UTC - 31 4.73 S - 33 54.31 E

The storm left to the south, it still blows but now I can put up some sails, we’re moving slowly against the wind. The “obstacle trail” ended, now we’re rocking gently along the yacht’s axis. The sails stabilize the rocking, even though the waves are still high. Yesterday, day and night, the sea was covered in deep furrows. Sometimes, some wave, bigger than others, would hit us and we were flooded by a water fall, Luka would then bow down as if under its weight. After every such hit I check if I still have windows in the steering room. Every few moments some wave would hit us with the noise like we were hit with something extremely hard. With my feet on the floor I could feel how the stern absorbed the shock of the waves. I couldn’t chase away the thoughts of the stern breaking at such moments, it was a horrible feeling…I concentrated on the thought that the stern won’t break that it’s able to withstand even the strongest wave, it let me regain my confidence…The advantage of such weather is that the wind generators produce a lot of energy. I can then turn on my 20-inch movie theatre and I can stare at a mug of foaming beer or a sappy woman’s behind…

Day 163

Thu Aug 16 09:20:18 2007 UTC - 31 25.94 S - 34 6.09 E

The wind didn’t wait until morning; it started to blow at night. Because of the foam everything turned white in a matter of an hour. For the first time in this cruise I put on a storm coat to go onto the deck. I folded the marching jib and put up a piece of mizzen-mast, Luka placed herself at a slant to wind and wave. Every few minutes the bigger waves would move the bow, Luka would then place herself side to wave, bow low and sometimes take on water. The wind will persist like this for another two days. Tomorrow the wind maybe will be at 7B, today it screams 8 right in our faces and again moves us to the north. I wonder what tactic to use to go around Africa. Near the coast is a strong current, which could be beneficial to us, but if taken with the strong western wind, it can create a very steep and bad wave, on the other hand being away from the coast means to meet a very strong wind against us…It looks like I don’t have a choice, we will stay as near the coast as possible, I think 30-50 nm. I will miss the safety of the open sea. Two or more weeks of sleeping in the steering room or not sleeping…Around 21:00 my time I saw positional lights of some ship. They blinked on and off among the waves, at the right ship’s side, about 3 miles before the bow and moved in our direction. I called to them through VHF – here sailing unit Luka, calling the ship to my right side. After a moment a watch officer’s voice answered and with fluent English informed me that he saw me a while ago already and if we don’t change course or speed he will pass by me at the distance of 1 mile. His accent seemed familiar to me, so I asked about his nationality and he answered – I’m Polish. My voice broke a little, I felt really happy, right near me are my country men…It turned out that the officer with whom I spoke was named Leszek Kudzin, that the crew is Polish and some from Philippines. The carrier they sailed on was called Sumit America, they sailed from Cape Town, they pumped out somewhere and now under just ballast they were going to Kuwait. On board was also a student from our WSM on marine exercise. I was talking to Leszek until the end of his watch, he promised that he will write an official report of our meeting and will send it to “Sails”, although that’s probably a waste of time since “Sails” for some reason do not like to mention our cruise. I wonder if my colleague Paszke started his cruise yet, Leszek said he was supposed to leave in June from England, maybe someone knows something about him…

Day 162

Wed Aug 15 08:22:53 2007 UTC - 31 53.21 S - 33 48.60 E

The wind died almost altogether, but weatherfax shows a strong wind coming our way from the south, which will hit us tomorrow morning. It seems that I came to an understanding with „the steering” , I soldered the faulty connection and right now it behaves like a solid crew. I feel relief that „friend steering” didn’t go on strike permanently, this lets me return to my routine which I worked out already. In the morning it’s checking the situation outside and possible work on sails, brushing teeth, as well as a few other places, tea with milk (until there is milk), then coffee and e-mail , recording our progress on the computer. Then caboose and food. Usually I cook something, although sometimes I eat Spam and crackers. The last two days I ate Chinese pork. I still have a few big boxes of this dry crap, but when it’s cut into little bits and made with spices, it comes out as something edible. I made a viscid, sweetish sauce seasoned with garlic. I prepared a pot of rice and the only thing missing was Chinese beer – it’s not that bad, although right now I would drink even the most watered down beer ... After the food I sit down like a genuine captain in the steering room, with coffee in my stable mug and I turn on some audio book. Lately we listen to Kirst „ 08 through 15 ” , I read this already once before, about 20 years ago, and he did not change „countenance” at all . Often , when we return after some years to things, or people we knew before, it turns out that the manner with which we looked at them then, now has changed almost altogether. What we once found intriguing, or worthy of imitating, after some years often becomes pale, seems infantile, sometimes even kind of stupid. Cheapness does not survive the time trial, it exists only thanks to „archetype of ignorance” whose representatives from reason of inherent limits, or young age do not possess point of perception that comes from self-development

Day 161

Tue Aug 14 07:13:10 2007 UTC - 32 6.23 S - 34 28.23 E

Foggy morning, the wind went somewhere, the sails trash around on deeper inclinations, black-and-white albatross circles about the yacht, it looks like he wants the stern bait, I, however, hope that he’s not an idiot, and will not rush to a bit of plastic. Yesterday, when I was frying a pancake for good night, the autopilot stopped working. It showed the inscription "no rudref" and went on standby. Luka as usual when she lacks steering, placed herself to half-wind. I put the headlight helmet on my head and started to check the connections. I pulled on the cables of the sensor connected to the computer, and then one of them came loose. I hoped that this is the cause of the steering failure, and when I put it back in, the problem will disappear like a drowsy dream. Alas this did not help. I felt some mix of sorrow and disappointment, because without the autopilot, and without manual guidance (the steering wheel pump broke on the Pacific), my life here would have to submit to drastic and very baffling changes ... A few days ago I connected a new sensor for the bend of helm and so far the autopilot was well. I had to however attach a bit of cable from the old sensor, the new cable was too short. I went to the connection of cables, which I thought I soldered solidly, I moved them around, I returned to the steering room, and let there never be a lack of candles before the picture of Divine Mother, the autopilot turned on. I sighed with relief, there is a likelihood that I screwed up soldering and some cables do not stick as they should. I will take it apart today and solder it again. Maybe in the end me and “steering” will come an agreement. Sometimes I think that we took some hideous "gnome" with us on this cruise, a monster that spoils whatever balance I build. For exp. the boom should not have broken. There was not a special storm, Luka taking into account her dimensions, has a narrow grotto. Boom of the grotto is brief and built from a broad aluminum pipe, it looks strong, like a short wrestler ... The mizzen-mast is great, and the front sails are almost giant .. .. And in spite of all this the boom broke. When I close my eyes, I imagine a little son of a bitch with a saw to cut metal, cutting the boom, or with a spiteful countenance pouring salt water over the computer .. .hahah. Let's hope, that this is not schizophrenia caused by loneliness. To be fair I have to admit that my imaginary “dwarf” does not break things I couldn’t fix or exchange ...

I will then let him travel with us, maybe he will get bored of the mischief and for a change he will bring us favorable winds at the tip of Africa which in a few days we will begin to sail by.

Ps; Thanks to all for the supportive comments in the guest book, however I do not answer them here, because the guest book is rather a footprint which you leave in the reality of this cruise. If someone expects an answer, please write to my e-mail

Day 160

Mon Aug 13 08:26:32 2007 UTC - 31 37.56 S - 35 27.39 E

The wind slowly turns to the east, for the next two days we should have it from rump. I decided that today I will think over the pull-over of the boom of marching sail. In the last 8 I had great troubles, when I tried to pull it contra-shot, like I did so far. During this wind, the sail trashed around impossibly as if it intended to break free and fly away ... However, I am not altogether certain of the effect of this innovation, the boom is hung on stay and if I will pick it with the pull-over, it will press on the stay and probably will bend it. The truth will come out soon like a needle from a sailor’s bag, but maybe it won’t be so bad ...

Day 159

Sun Aug 12 04:44:24 2007 UTC - 31 51.49 S - 35 24.62 E

I woke up hungry, I still felt the taste of stew and dumplings in my mouth. It was a dark-brown, beef stew and white like snow dumplings. I never made dumplings, but I remembered that they’re made of flour and boiled potatoes. Flour we have and we have potatoes in powder, maybe something like dumplings will come out of it. We also have five great boxes of this dried pork ... I took to cooking, I opened one can, I put the dry bits of pork in warm, lightly salted water for 20 minutes , then cut them in bits, I added garlic and I poured soybean sauce over them. With „dumplings” it went easily. I mixed the flour with previously prepared potato puree and I added eggs in powder, then I put them in boiling water using a spoon. It turned out something like potato pasta, but let's not be meticulous. Then I sautéed the meat, added the box of carrots, something more and we had the stew. It wasn’t exactly the meal of my dreams, but yesterday I had stew with „dumplings” . The wind today blows straight in the eyes, in the evening it should change, but I already fixed to the position -+ 200nm from the coast of Africa – not too close in the case of pushing storm and not too far ... We wait for wind. Alternately, I would have to go on northern ascent, or south west, the first would put us further away, and the second closer to the coast. We’re rocking then and waiting for a change in wind.


Day 158

Sat Aug 11 05:50:04 2007 UTC - 31 31.70 S - 36 3.98 E

Mother Ocean as before, is in good mood, we coast with backstay, on little front sails, to nowhere in a hurry. I worry a little that, we are in this end of the world much too early. It’s still winter here, and there are winter gales. Soon we will arrive from behind Africa and the nine, which is incessant this time of year and will hit us...It blows from the direction where we’re heading. I count a little on good connections with Mother Ocean, and I believe that she will push a little high pressure there for our passing. Boom on mast, I feel satisfaction when I look at it, I don’t think we will need a new one when we return. It looks respectable, like a wrestler with a scar. I believe that it is now strong enough and if it turns out that I thought it out badly and it breaks, then I will repair it again, stronger.

Day 157

Fri Aug 10 06:59:42 2007 UTC - 30 48.88 S - 37 12.08 E

Boom on mast again, now appeared a piece of white pipe, so if someone didn’t notice the half-a-meter long name on stern and on both sides, I also painted it on boom. On the other side, like a signature on a cast, I painted the length and width under which it broke. Mother Ocean is merciful today, it’s almost flat and wind blows from the north. It got warm again, I walk around in just pants. I discovered today, that when I enter the engine room, I don’t smell deasel and grease, but instead a discreet smell of shit. Wacek had to have put a "mine" somewhere, but I can’t find it...

Day 156

Thu Aug 09 05:36:12 2007 UTC - 30 13.12 S - 38 8.39 E

In the morning the wind let up and now it pushes an already dead wave. In the course of the day it should let up some more, and at night change into northern. Weatherfax is a great thing. I get the weather usually in the evening, I know thanks to this how the night will be and how many sails to leave. Yesterday at midday it blew around eight (knots), when through the window of the steering room I noticed a frayed line in the block, at waist of the marching sail. I put on a storm coat and went to look at it, it turns out that the line has to be exchanged, or else it would break, and boom with foresail will free from the jibsheet, and at wind 40nm/h, it will pretend to be an aircraft ... The sight that my imagination suggested was of the jerking in the wind, like a flag, sail, laden with like a giant club, boom. I sat down on the wet deck, I nestled my neck in my shoulders and ignoring the waves that swept over me I tightened safely the marching boom jib with the grotto uphaul. I loosened the strain of tackles and cut the line. I reached with my arm for hanging at mast new 5/8 cable and rather quickly taking into account the circumstances, I pulled it through the blocks. I got rid of the safety uphaul and all wet, but satisfied, I returned to the steering room. I was happy that I noticed the abrasion in time, and that I will not wake up me at night to a flying foresail. I have to finish the repair of boom today, tomorrow it must be back on mast.

Day 155

Wed  Aug 08 05:32:52 2007 UTC - 30 26.32 S - 39 22.21 E

There really is traffic here, during the day and at night we are passed by giants, one went by exceptionally near by, general cargo ship, some 25,000 tons, it was named Pac Atena. In the morning the wind turned to south, it blows good 7 we come with half-wind under marching foresail. Laminating of the boom ended, I wanted to sand it today and paint it, but the wind blows strongly and the deck is wet , and inside I won’t be grinding fiberglass, even though I want very much for it to be attached to the mast already. In such case I will think about the new handle for the pull-over of the boom and I will screw on bolts for fastening of cables to the reefing system. I will also have to cut from the back of the boom a bit of groove, in order to put in grotto creepers on that side. Laminating blocked the existing groove on that part, and the hole for the sail is to the side of boom. I’m missing 3 creepers in the bottom grotto link, on the length of laminating boom it will make no difference.

Day 154

There is traffic, yesterday we passed two tankers, and at night another one. It distinctly irritates me, so far the ocean was ours, now we have to share, and there is no place for ignorance here, because it’s necessary to share it with giants, who would not even notice if they ran over a 22-ton yacht. My only hope is that on these monsters, which could contaminate the whole sea with their insides, there is a vigilant watch and the watch officer observes the horizon and radar at night. Even though the ocean is great, the sailing routes are not all that broad ... Of course yesterday I could not wait, and I started to laminate the boom. It will not be a provisional repair. When I’ll finish, the boom in this place will be several times stronger than previously. Yesterday the preparations took a long time, securing of the boom in such manner so that the part being laminated would be in the steering room, and so that I could turn it. At the same time it had to be attached, so it would not move on strong inclinations. Then I had to make a place for me, so that I would not be thrown off balance with a container of epoxide in one hand and brush in the other. Today I will polish a little of the already hard yesterday's coating, and start from three coatings of thin kevlar, then mate, bulky rowing and so on three times abridging their lenght.

Day 153

Mon Aug 06 04:43:17 2007 UTC - 29 13.59 S - 41 26.00 E

In the morning the wind turned into north-western and for a change today we’re sailing in the right direction ... Yesterday, in spite of the rocking and splashes on deck, I broke down, I couldn’t sit idly and look at the broken boom, I got to work. I pulled the shorter part of the boom to the steering room and there I cut cleats and the handle of the turnbuckle. From the inside, to the shorter part of boom I attached 5 aluminum flatters with rivets; half of them stood out outside, I pulled the second part of boom onto them and I riveted it to them. Now the boom once again is whole and waits for laminating. The whole operation could not have been done inside, I had to go out on deck a few times, and there the ocean snorted at us and drenched us in foam. I write that it drenched us, because Wacek, as usual, wouldn’t take his eye off me. Right now we’re sailing with half-wind, it rocks us, I shouldn’t mix the epoxide in the jumping steering room and laminate, especially since from the resin I will have only one shot, if something will spill then.. ... It would be reasonable to wait for a calmer day ... We will see if I can take it ...

Day 152

Sun Aug 05 04:40:26 2007 UTC - 29 42.29 S - 42 16.14 E

The boom repair has to wait, it blows today around seven and it tosses us unmercifully. We come dully under the wind on storm foresail and bit of mizzen-mast. All the work has to be done on deck, and today one would only be able to test the storm. The plan of repair "rested" through the night, I think I will be able to do it with good result. There will be much work with preparation, I have to cut the cleats and the catch of the boom turnbuckle which are welded exactly in the place that I will laminate, the surface to laminate has to be smooth, without any sharp edges. Next I have to rivet from the inside 5 aluminum flatters, which stiffen the break, so that I could laminate them, then get a suitable size piece of mat ready, rowing and kevlar, and sand the boom where it is to be laminated. It’s very important how strongly the first coating will stick, so the aluminum has to be treated with bulky sand paper and sanded right before laminating with acetone which will remove the remainders of dirt and moisture. I also have to find a place where I will be doing this, for now the stern looks good.

Day 151

All yesterday we were going against the wind (almost), weather was super. At night I had a nightmarish dream. I was on a trip with Beata, in some Arabian country, and suddenly Beata disappeared. I suffered uncertain thinking whether she gave in to some good-looking Arab, or if some Arab kidnapped her. This awakened in me very unpleasant feelings and uncertainty...

In the morning something woke me up, I thought that the wind turned and Luka with it. I went out to the steering room, it turned out that a shot jumped out from the grip of block and loosened the grotto which now flatly trashed in the wind ... I went outside, half still sleeping, I started to pick the waist of grotto, but the boom seemed strange to me. I rubbed my eyes, looked at it and my jaw fell. The boom at the distance 1/4 from mast, right at the handle of turnbuckle, broke, as if someone cut it ... I stood there for a long while, wondering if I was dreaming this. I pinched my ear, but the boom as before was broken. When I fully realized what had happened, from my throat tore out the spirited "what .. .the .. F" I will have to come in somewhere in Africa, and order a new boom. I really didn’t like the idea, my insides turned at the thought. But how can I sail against the wind without the mainsail, especially under strong wind and waves. Well, even if the cruise will take 2 years. A normal man in this situation would say, oh well, I tried, but it was not to be. Such a normal man would sail to Cape Town and like a justified man, as before would smile at his reflection at morning shaving. But I am not normal, and I started thinking about how to fix the boom. The boom is given to great tension, which we already know. It broke in the place, where 20 years ago, they welded on an ear to fastening of the turnbuckle. I made coffee and searched the yacht in my thoughts, I searched for something, that I might use to stiffen the break, like a broken bone, but I had nothing, whether aluminum or flat iron that would guarantee that the boom would not break again, especially when we will sail into the "mooing forties" ... After the third coffee, about dawn I knew what to do. I will laminate it. I have epoxide resins and rowing chisel, and also a bit of kevlar which I got once from Bruce's in Port San Luis, oh, I will use it now. I will stiffen it somehow from the inside and evenly lay the pieces of boom and treating it as form, will build on the broken section a second pipe of fiberglass armed with bit of kevlar. About dawn I freed the bits of boom from sails and mast, they now lie on deck and wait for the operations. I will start the repairs today. I have to plan the details exactly, of which appeared many ...

Day 150

Fri Aug 03 06:02:54 2007 UTC - 29 9.04 S - 44 1.60 E

For a long time we hadn’t had such great sailing weather. The ocean is almost flat, the wind 10-15 knots, we’re sailing with the half-wind 5 knots (wish us only such winds). If not for the humming water moving around the trunk, one would think that we’re standing at ..... Today a whale visited us, it did not stay long. I was doing something at mizzen-mast, I heard the hiss of letting out of air 50 meters to the left ship's side, there in the water moved a great dark grey bulk. It did not surface again in our neighborhood; apparently he hurried off to some whale business. I think I fixed the position in e-mail, but I still have troubles with navigational program. It sees the GPS antennae, but it "states” that there are no correctly installed maps. We’ll figure this out sooner or later..

Day 149

Thu, 2 Aug 2007 07:40:18 +0000 (GMT)

The wind turned finally, it blows now from the north. There isn’t much of it, but better a little than not at all, especially since we’re heading in the right direction with it. I managed to install the old version of navigational program, but now, it does not see the GPS antenna. Position about 05; 50 UT 28*32¡S and 46*06E

Day 148

Wed, 1 Aug 2007 06:47:33 +0000 (GMT)

Yesterday I played with computers, I took off the covers from both and changed parts searching for the one that broke. It’s not the hard disk or the charger or the battery. When I plug the computer into an outlet, I hear the humming charger and in the center, on motherboard two tiny, green diodes light up. When I press the turn on button one diode on motherboard goes out, a green light comes on next to the button, both fans go on and all the rest.. In the broken one, as soon as I connect it to an outlet, both diodes on motherboard light up, but before I turn on the computer, there’s already a green and after a second changes into red, one diode on motherboard goes out, both fans move a little as if they wanted to budge, but in a moment the green light changes to a red blinking light and the diode on motherboard which previously went out, lights up ... I still have a little computer with a loaded navigational program, but it has only USB, it doesn’t have a serial port, and the antenna GPS has such ending. I have reduction from serial port to USB, but I do not know what alterations to make in XP in order to make the navigational program treat some usb port as serial port with a connected antenna ...

I feel like a blind man fighting with troublemakers who throw at me names and stones ... Perhaps one cannot be a good sailor and good at computers, presently we know that I am not good with computers.

I think you have to love it, in order to find the patience for these nuances and details. You also can’t even get near a computer when you’re irritated – something goes wrong with it right away ... For now I’m calling Beata with questions every 10 minutes, she probably has had enough of me ... But no fear, this problem is just like any other, it demands only patience and good will, we will take care of it. Right now we’re rocking on a dead wave and we wait for a little south-eastern wind.