ExplorersWeb Week in Review - Top Feature Stories


DAY300

Mon Dec 31 14:29:41 2007 UTC - 54 45.44 S - 65 1.21 W

 

We stand on anchor, 10 nm north of Cape Horn, hid in a well sheltered cove; we wait for our wind ..., presently strong wind from the west...

 


DAY299

Sun Dec 30 20:00:49 2007 UTC - 53 27.03 S - 65 27.96 W

 

We sail by the island of States. I have no time to write, everything is ok.
 


DAY298

Sat Dec 29 16:46:45 2007 UTC - 51 55.85 S - 65 34.25 W

 

We have today a fine half (wind), we could go a lot faster but I suspend the “reins” while I decide which ship's side we will take the island of States. Presently we come slowly and we keep an eye on the weather. Yesterday the two-day window of good weather ended, but we were still too far, maybe we will wait for a new one...

 


DAY297

Fri Dec 28 12:02:51 2007 UTC - 51 16.90 S - 65 9.65 W

 

Since yesterday there’s silence, it drifted us a little at night, but this is not important, today we will make it up. Although actually there is nothing to make up. It’s merely that at night we sailed a little to the north...

The evening was smooth before the sunset, at starboard landed a heavy, like a military transport worker, great albatross. It acted strange, it looked like it was expecting something from us, it swam behind us and stared shamelessly.

In spite of the silence we sailed half a knot, and our new friend swam like on a bit of string, about 5 m over the stern. Wacek first barked at him loudly, but it looked like our friend altogether did not pay attention to this noise. Then Wacek changed tactics, he started wagging his tail at the albatross and barked noiselessly, as if saying: hey, friend swim up near by, we will play, I’ll tear some feathers from your ass...
In the end it started raining and I thought that I shouldn’t leave the poor bird in the rain, but at once I realized how absurd that thought was...
For a few days I look around to see what else I should attach, but it turns out that all is "more or less" in order, and because we do not foresee turn through keel, many things will stay how they are, especially because after this turn a few days ago, many knick-knacks wove themselves new nests on the ship's left side. It makes no sense to move them, let them lay there...

 


DAY296

Thu Dec 27 12:42:55 2007 UTC - 51 1.55 S - 65 0.50 W

 

Morning silence again, we moved a little since yesterday, but we sit
now between lows, the wind is 60 miles to the south. Because of this, today we load the batteries with the main engine, and on the 1/3 revolutions of engine we push in the direction of the wind. Mother Ocean smells wonderfully today, perhaps she decided to be lazy and rocks us mildly, covered by a white quilt of mist ... Ah this smell ...
I wonder whether to sail the La Maire Strait, between the land and island is a strong south current, it’s not too deep, northern wind and inflow can bank up the waves...

But if in spite of this I will go through the strait, I will be near the coast, sheltered from the west. If I decide to sail by the island of States from the east, I will have to push against the wind and waves for a good 70 miles. We will see how the wind will blow when we approach it. I cannot reach Selma by phone, apparently they don’t have an outside antenna and they only turn on the telephone when they use it.
From a general report it seems that they got kicked in the butt a little in La Maire, I wonder how the wind blew then...

 


DAY295

Wed Dec 26 12:40:31 2007 UTC - 49 50.79 S - 63 37.40 W

 

We stand in place, silence. According to empty promises of the weather fax it should blow a little from the north today, so from the most beneficial side.
Today for dinner a piece of pate with salad, red borsch with dumplings, then an average size baked to brown crisp geese with apples.
Then the sofa and some light film, friendly to digestion.

 


DAY294

Tue Dec 25 10:54:11 2007 UTC - 49 35.39 S - 63 48.07 W

 

The wind turned off in the morning, the day started on deck. In a moment we will sit down with Wacek at a holiday breakfast. We have my mom’s great pate, the exquisite dish of sauerkraut & meet stew of Beata, ham, bacon roasted with garlic and olives, baked pork and a piece of fat crisp “karkowka”, white sausage and a whole lot of other smokehouse sausages and horse-radish with sour cream and with sugar. The breakfast of first day of Christmas does not have an equal.

I got hungry, it’s time to open my eyes and to put the oatmeal on ...
Wacek got a bone toy, a bone to eat, great dog-cake and a box of Viennese sausages for Christmas, he will probably have holiday diarrhea today ...

 


DAY293

Mon Dec 24 15:23:21 2007 UTC - 48 48.48 S - 63 29.35 W

 

The wind dies, we will rock on a dead wave today, it will be interesting to see what Santa Claus
will bring us or if he will even find us here. However there’s no chimney here, perhaps he will slide down the ventilation pipe.

Being a rational man, I know that this year I will not get a present, but I always preferred giving than receiving anyway.

Receiving causes that I feel this gratitude which I have to let out, and the feeling that I have to reciprocate.
It’s good if we get something we need ...

Most people when buying presents direct themselves with their own taste and pick something that would give them pleasure.

Very often under the guise of giving a present, we indeed buy it for ourselves. New grass mower for a wife, or a semi-automatic set for raviolis which we like, perfumes that cause us smelling pleasure, or garments from Victoria’s Secret that instigate our imagination.

Poor duped wife has to then thank us for those 'ill at ease" presents.
I never know how to act when I get such a precious for the donor present, it compels me to show a false gratitude, a fake happiness, I imagine my insincere, stupid smile which I use to cover my anxiety.
However the most baffling, and sometimes nightmarish are unwanted presents. At best they cause repugnance.

There are also “Trojan horses”. On top of the fact that they’re unwanted and no one knows how to get rid of them, it’s still necessary to solidly pay for them ...
It’s wiser to give. Giving is like beautiful, clear music, it in itself contains happiness, connects with what’s good and returns ...
Actually, Saint Nicholas possessing the monopoly of bestowing, has to
be the happiest of the saints ...
 

 


 

DAY292

Sun Dec 23 12:37:49 2007 UTC - 48 4.92 S - 62 34.68 W

 

At night we moved a little but since this morning again wind in the eyes.

Tonight the wind again will turn and we should move to the south, presently we come against the wind in the direction of the coast.
I wonder how many Polish yachts sailed South America and Cape Horn from east to west. I don’t mean in the way that Konstatny Maciejewicz did it in 1973, where the boys after circling the islands Horn hid in the canals, or other yachts which sailed around the island and returned after their own wake to Ushuaia. Sailing from the east, island Horn only opens the Drakeÿ Strait. I remember Eros, perhaps they broke their mast, but I am not certain in which direction they sailed ... Maybe someone remembers?
 

 


DAY291

Sat Dec 22 13:12:35 2007 UTC - 47 38.49 S - 61 13.57 W

 

Yesterday it blew well, at one point the monstrous wave put us almost flat on the water.
Inside was suddenly chaos, all that was not screwed on or attached flew with a bang to the other side.
Laptop, on which I was reading letters flew away from my hands and ended up on the other side of the mesa.

Luckily it landed softly on the sofa and lived through the flight safe.
The pump of sweet water needed only a new fuse.
At night I woke up to the turning of the roller, but before I came to the conclusion that I have to stop it, it stopped to turn.
This morning it turned out that some wave took away the badly attached mainsail sheet which unfolded and when the roller blockade (big screwdriver) stopped blocking the roller, the screw reeled in the wandering under yacht sheet - therefore I did not have to block it at night.
I unwrapped the sheet all morning and prayed that there wasn’t a knot there somewhere and that I wouldn’t have to dive ...

I put snapblock on sheet, tied it to the mizzen-mast topenante, I tightened it, then ran to engine room and turned the roller back, then again on deck, to stretch the topenante and sheet, and again to engine room ...
I did maybe ten rounds, I did not want to unroll too much at one time, a loose sheet might create a new knot .. ..
Can someone send us the exact recipe of making “bimber” from
sugar?:-)
The alcohol ended, and we have on deck an additionally 5 kg of sugar, with 2 L of Honey, 3 L of maple syrup and a lot of yeast ...

Ps. Dear Mr. Lotoczuk, please change or fix e-mail address,
the letters come back...
 


DAY290

Fri Dec 21 14:10:05 2007 UTC - 47 10.81 S - 61 47.33 W

 

The announced 8 appeared punctually and it blows now in our eyes with the south cold.
We’re going sharply on reefed up marching foresail.
Let's hope that the wind will blow away during the day and will sit at night ...
At this rate we will see Cape Horn next year, I don’t see the likelihood of circling it still in this, well perhaps ...
If not for Beata who deals with being alone worse day by day, calls me a snail, and an ass not a sailor, because I was supposed to be home for the holidays ...
If not for this sweet pressure, I would quietly use the magic „fuck it” now and be glad that the sun rises in the morning.
As before I wonder how „Selma” so quickly flew by us, and nothing except a good engine comes to my head, but somewhere there it is possible that the boys have a boat „razor” and do 8 knots on sharp, 20 degrees to the wind. I wonder where they are, I cannot find the number of their Iridium, but they probably don’t have an exterior antenna and turn on the telephone only when they call.
We have to somehow go still 3 degrees lower, there the wind should blow more often from the west, and this means a quick half-wind. Again there’s no water in the tap, the pump died, I will check it later, presently I use the manual in the bathroom. It will be interesting to see how this Horn will be, in my mind built from somebody else's reports, it’s a terribly unpleasant guy .. .always „mad” , livid from irritation, and it knows only one word “get the f .. . out of here” .
I wonder what I will write about him, what my feelings will be.
It seems that I did not lose distance for this adventure so far and I should see him distinctly.
Contrary to popular opinion, I imagine Mr. Horn like a new friend that greets us with a discreet wink, pats our arm and wishes good luck. When however I check the weather in that neighborhood, the magic disappears ...
Thereon perhaps lies belief, to believe in spite of objections ...
 

 


Day 289

Thu Dec 20 12:05:13 2007 UTC - 46 52.10 S - 61 50.48 W

 

It’s already almost Christmas ... And we, as before, are a long way from home, and to Cape Horn still a good 500 nm.

Actually this will not be my first Christmas alone; there were some in my life already before I met Beata.
Away from family it’s just another regular day...

Today again wind in the eyes; we’re almost not moving forward at all. There’s not another way, we have to wait this out, the wind has to in the end turn for longer and we will sail on to meet Mr. Horn, and then with current to Ensenada.

 


DAY288

Wed Dec 19 12:31:39 2007 UTC - 46 29.90 S - 62 25.45 W

 

We sailed on a little at night, but in a few hours the wind will die, tomorrow it will turn noiselessly, and then it will blow in our eyes with 8, I hope that this coming little monstrosity will quickly blow away.

Meanwhile we had a peaceful night, and in the evening we invited to the wheelhouse Andrzej Korycki and we took a sip of the last Whisky. Mr. Horn will have to be satisfied with half a bottle...

I thought that someday, when I will be in Ilawa, I will indeed invite Andrzej to our Lipowiec, we will bake a pig, in the lake we will cool a keg of beer, we will have a campfire with a guitar and with Andrzej in the main role - provided he will accept the invite ...
I have no news from Selma, they were supposed to let me know how it went on Horn, I wonder how the boys are doing, and where they’re sailing?

 


DAY287

Tue Dec 18 15:54:23 2007 UTC - 45 40.60 S - 61 36.75 W

 

Pilot Chart shows that where we are, about this time of year, the winds should be western or south-western, while it almost always blows from the south. It looks like Horn presently pushes us away ..., maybe it is not ready to receive us yet ...
We have been sailing a long time already, I could start getting impatient, throw „stones” to the wind and treat each silence as bad luck ...
I can also accept the situation and be happy that I’m sailing on my gorgeous yacht, during the planned for half my life adventure, and the wind sooner or later will begin to push us.
There exists a subtle difference between feeling pleasure from what I always dreamed of doing, and experiencing the narrow and uncertain tomorrow, a sailing prison. This ability is concentrating on things good for us, and ignoring those that bother us and serve us badly. This is an art of manipulation and self-suggestion that everyone, if they are willing, can find in themselves ...
Even being with a beautiful woman (and inversely) one can decide that she is ugly; concentrating on an ugly scar after smallpox, or on a crooked, little toe. But one can also ignore a shorter leg and big ears, and swim in the warm, like a forestry lake, eyes.

I decide the prism through which I look at the world, and there are two choices, and what’s between them...

Like two lenses of binoculars, the left looks on a gray world, made up of apprehensions and fears, while the right sees a sunny world built with unlimited love.

It is we who decide through which lens we prefer to look at the world, which picture is nearer our nature, which part we desire to experience ...
Each of us, conscious of this fact, or unconsciously, appoints to life our own micro-world, this is precisely the Likeness that the Good God gave us. Just like He, so do we on a micro scale, incessantly create our own world and concentrating on apprehensions, or feelings born from love, we fill it with our own creations ...
It happens that to the created by us „house” may lead a road which seems unnecessarily long and twisting, but this impression results from ignorance: what is a road ...

So I remember this, although it’s easy to forget, and I don’t curse the wind, and I don’t feel bad that Mother Ocean holds us here.
Nothing happens by chance, all is a consequence of something and a cause of something.

 


DAY286

Mon Dec 17 11:57:03 2007 UTC - 45 28.25 S - 62 18.33 W

 

The night was calm, the wind turned and again we’re against it.

Tomorrow it should do a turn of about 180* and stay like that for about twenty-four hours, and then again it will blow SSW. Today we’re cleaning up in stern warehouse; it’s time to take care of boxes, pontoon engine, diving gear and others. I also have to extract the remainder of the oil which is buried there somewhere, before I will bury it again, maybe I can use it...
 


DAY285

(received) Wed Dec 19 12:31:39 2007 UTC - 46 29.90 S - 62 25.45 W


Today we have wind right in our back, it pushes us with a charming 5, it’s not too warm, but this is already almost 50-th degree south ...
I haven’t heard from „Selma”, they are probably on the other side already, and we still have a good way to Honorable Mr. Horn, a good 600 miles ...
Theoretically traveling this distance should not take us more than a week, but the wind here turns all the time. I wonder how it happened, that Selma reached Horn so quickly, they were far behind me ..., they probably have great containers of fuel, or private winds, or merely Selma is a quick yacht, and the boys navigate well. We abridge the sails in the evening if necessary, I don’t like squeezing into my storm jacket in the middle of the night, going out on the swinging deck and in the dusk pulling down sails, such things we settle in the evening, after the weather download. Besides I don’t push Luka, it gives us warm dry sleeping-berths, protects us, this is our support in this boundlessness, I would have to be a fool to not take care of her.
Wacek was shaking in spite of the clothes from Ensenada, so I found two old hats and I sewed for him a bulkier uniform. The hats were
red, and I used green material to hem the gaps for
head and the front paws, so now he looks a little like a dog-Santa Claus.
Yesterday I sewed a torn jib, I think I did this solidly. I also decided to pull the cable in the back sail border which tragically trashed in the wind...

Now I will be able to lessen the margin and get rid of or at least lessen the irritating fluttering, such is the plan anyway, soon the wind will verify that ...
I woke up depressed, I dreamt that I drove in a car with my late brother, he was driving and when we went through an intersection, a truck drove right at us, right before the impact I tactically woke up...

Then the stage changed, some great house, lots of arguments, my brother was there too and some other people, someone died, perhaps a child, there was much black, fertile soil, and then many birds showed up, they rummaged in the earth, and then decided to live in the wooden walls of the house, I thought then through the dream, that this is a good omen if the birds put their nest here...
This is probably the hiccups before Horn; subconscious fears.

I am not able to translate dreams in detail, however this truck and the death of a child is perhaps to announce unpleasantness, we probably will be kicked in the butt....but the birds living in the walls of the house, this is probably a good omen, a good end ...
 


DAY284

Sat Dec 15 10:53:35 2007 UTC - 44 4.07 S - 62 1.03 W

 

It blew pretty well yesterday, I had nothing against the low hanging over us  for 12 hours.  It blew about a 9, I reefed the staysail, the seams released precisely when I thought about pulling it down, this time the gaps reinforced with copper were torn, to reef lines.
We’re already sufficiently near the coast, we should now move in the direction  of Horn, but for that we need wind other than SSW which for a few days now assists us. S/V Selma was supposed to enter the Magellan Strait, but management apparently changed orders, and for two days now they push through Horn.
They rang me the day before yesterday, presently they’re going half to and it’s difficult for them to push through, I wonder about their situation today, but I am certain that they elapsed the tip and sail on to south west. They have 4m longer water line and a crew of 7...

 


DAY283

Fri Dec 14 13:39:09 2007 UTC - 44 44.69 S - 60 42.47 W

 

Today it blows SSW against us; it unravels, this evening it’s supposed to blow 8B. The preceding night, sometime before morning I saw a great light on the horizon. Heavy with sleep I thought that this is probably the setting moon ... When I checked the horizon two hours later, the glow was still there ... I got worried because now it looked like an illuminated great city over the horizon. I turned on the radar, and looked at the map, although I knew that in the 200 mile radius around me there is no land. The radar on max reach of 36nm showed nothing.
I concluded that this has to be some giant fisherman's flotilla sitting on some monstrous sandbank of fish...

Tonight the swimming town showed up from behind the horizon, I could see 60-80 very great lights.
This time the radar showed a bound echo, these were not fisherman's smacks, the echo of radar showed great commandoes, maybe ships- processing plants.
They lit up a giant area in all directions. For my taste, the taste of an ex - fisherman, it was decidedly too many lights and why did they light up four sides of the world. The only explanation of this enigma was a fisherman's flotilla fishing for calamari, but here appears the problem, those units do not waste energy in order to light up the sky...

Rather they direct very strong lights to the surface of the water, calamari come like moths to a flame, then the great motor boat extends the net, circles gathered at the light calamari and the circle of the net filled with stupid by light calamari closes ...

I went down, when I returned after about an hour the “town" disappeared.

It disappeared from the horizon and from radar, only a pale glow remained.

Sandbank of something that the “town" hunted, had to move very quickly.
However, what was the goal of this flotilla lighting up the sky?

Maybe they were catching marine kind of bats ...
A bottle of Whisky for whoever knows the answer...
 


DAY282

Thu Dec 13 14:23:27 2007 UTC - 44 47.88 S - 60 17.81 W

 

Wind went away somewhere, we will use this day for works on the deck.
It’s necessary to solidly attach everything, especially pontoon. Luka has 3.5-meter long pontoon with a plastic, double bottom, and with 15 KM Yamaha it creates a super quick short reach unit. We would not want to lose it along the way... My super efficient positional light made up of little LED bulbs again does not work, one of them probably broke and it affects the whole set.
In the evening we were watching an old Russian film "Gypsies are found near heaven"" (Wacek also watched for the first 5 minutes, then he fell asleep, but I could swear that he saw something there, although it is rumored that dog eyes can’t see anything on the screen...) The film itself is an ok movie, it shows the sugar-coated life of gypsies, somewhere in the Balkan Mountains, but this music ...
Gypsy music is like spring water streaming straight to a hungry soul. It’s like singing “Ave Maria" in a clear voice, to the background of an orchestra concert ...The ease with which this simple music comes to us and lights up the soul may mean that this is the language left to us by God through which we should talk to Him...
It is of no importance that for many it will seem primitive, it’s probably the same people for whom a sunrise over a meadow overgrown with red poppies will also seem such.
It’s of no importance that “experts" laugh at Laskowski, there was a time when at campfires (also in Sopot) were sung all his songs. Maybe in the simple and beautiful Laskowski’s gypsy music, in the sight of a woman’s sensual dance, in the pastel colors of the setting sun, in the laughing mouth of a kid, in the sailing-ship under full sails..... And a bit of cooked bacon (I apologize, I could not stop myself) there is a language through which we can talk with our soul, speak with God.
 


DAY281

Wed Dec 12 10:41:39 2007 UTC - 44 33.08 S - 59 13.93 W

 

The wind quieted down a little, I should perhaps let down the staysail and unravel half the mainsail, I will check the weather when I send e-mails and then decide. It’s becoming colder, every few days I put on another layer of clothing, yesterday on top of two sweatshirts I put on a wool sweater which my mom made me before the trip. It scratches a little – it’s wool - but polar sweatshirts don’t last underneath, I had to take one of them off from under the sweater. The sweater is indeed warm, we have before us two months of a close connection, thanks mother.
Today we plan on elevating gretings in the steering room and getting rid of the trash on the floor, a lot has accumulated over the course of our cruise, mainly Wacek’s hair, and it would probably block the outflow of water, if we lost one of the windows. One of the best features of Luka is the central cockpit where the floor is above the line of water and which has three great outflows, leading the water to its place.
 


DAY280

Tue Dec 11 16:58:03 2007 UTC - 44 15.38 S - 58 32.42 W

 

It looks like the list of damages has filled up. We had a problem with the mast, many problems with electronics, broken boom, messed up guidance system, torn sails, mechanical troubles in many instances, and yesterday we had a fire on yacht.
I was finishing the sewing of sails in the steering room, listening to some book when suddenly I smelled burning isolation. I jumped down, inside there was already a lot of smoke, I looked in the kitchen to see if it was a pot on the stove, then I ran to the engine room, but all looked ok there, and then I looked at the distributive board, from which now black smoke was rising. I switched off the main safety, but that did nothing. The back of the distributive board with all connections is in our cabin built into a mahogany box. Through a slit in the casing I saw where the fire was, instead of unscrewing, I tore off the entire box with a solid jerk, I seized some cushion and I crushed with it the red fire, it already started to spread to the sides.
Now when it died down a little, I could look at it and I found the cause; a red hot cable running from the wind generators, to the already burnt ampmeter. I tore out the end of the cable running from the accumulators and I put out the remainder of the fire. I did it all automatically, almost without emotion, but when after the fire only the stink remained, I thanked the chief that he didn’t allow it to start at night, when I was sleeping ...

I could have not woken up, or what’s worse I could have woken up half asphyxiated with smoke, the fire would have already burnt good, dark, oh man, ok we will not think about it .... We have "Our Man" upstairs, He watches over us ....
Since morning I started an inquiry, it turned out that the left generator short circuited. The positive conduit running from  in the  generator touches the bulk somewhere and ignited a fire where it had greatest resistance, in the ampmeter.
I disconnected the left generator from the system, and I put in two, 30A fuses on line. Now we only have one generator, but if we didn’t have two in the first place, we wouldn’t have any now.
After I took care of the generator, I put on the storm jacket, I took some things, sat down under the mast and started to think about how to pull down the staysail waving to us from up high with an open snap hook.
In end I chose the already tried method "on lasso" .
A bit of soft nib bent in lasso secured on one end to running beside halyard marching uphaul. To the second end of the nib I tied a thin cable, so that at the right moment, when the open snap hook passes through the circle of the nib, I could tighten the lasso.
I felt a little like I was fishing, I maneuvered the bait, and when the "fish" put its head in the circle, I caught its muzzle and then already quietly relieving and taking out the ends of the halyards I pulled down the refugee. I immediately chucked overboard the faulty snap hook and this time I tied the uphaul directly to the sail with a solid knot, no fucking go-betweens ....
 


 

DAY279

Mon Dec 10 11:45:25 2007 UTC - 45 1.39 S - 56 53.84 W

 

As before we sew. Yesterday boys from Selma called; they got in front of us and soon will enter the Magellan Strait, so we will not have a chance to graze starboard on starboard. They intend to spend some time in the Patagonia canals, super...

First through Magellan on the Pacific, then along the coast cut like Swiss cheese, then south and again into a canal, on the way Ushuaia and back to the Atlantic ocean ...

Interesting cruise, there’s seven of them, they drink and after watch, beside an oil lamp, they tell marine tales ...
As for us we recently have wind in the eyes and the alcohol ran out.
There’s only one bottle of Whisky left, the last donated to us at the coast of Kapshtad by Uncle Janek – may he live eternally - which however has to last until Cape Horn, as a last line of defense on "dragons" , if they appear...

Today I should finish sewing, tomorrow it should be a little quieter, and I will take to pulling down the halyard of staysail from which the snap hook dangles with arrogance at the second saling. Of course there is no way I’m going on mast, I will have to do this some other way...
 

 

 


DAY278

Sun Dec 09 10:11:25 2007 UTC - 44 22.90 S - 56 11.19 W

 

Another day and gale right in our eyes. The day before yesterday at night we sailed more aggressively, sharply with a western 8, every few minutes we would touch the tops of the waves with the bow, water flowed incessantly from the deck. Normally I wouldn’t push Luka like that, but we have to get closer to the coast, so it was harder than usual.
In the morning I found, growing larger with each minute, a tear on the marching foresail.
Yesterday there was sewing, today there will be sewing, and tomorrow there will be sewing...

What hurts me more than fingers pricked by needle is that the snap hook of the halyard of staysail broke and the sail slid down. Well at least it released when I was already dressed in the morning and not at night.

I feel disappointment and I blame the makers of these expensive, sparkling things. I will never put any above deck anymore, this is already the second one that broke. I often attached the uphaul to railing, when I threw down the jib, that’s why it was there.
Now I will have to somehow pull down the uphaul, but first it has to calm down a little.. ..
 

 


DAY277

Sat Dec 08 13:57:07 2007 UTC - 44 25.84 S - 55 54.22 W


All night we were going sharply west with a 7- 8. Since this morning I was sewing the sails, also the " d.. .mn" snap hook of the halyard of staysail snapped and it dangles under the saling ... I sewed the marching jib, now I will be fixing the staysail for three days ...
 


DAY276

Fri Dec 07 11:30:19 2007 UTC - 44 40.79 S - 54 59.10 W


Wacek is trembling even in his uniform, the little sailor is not used to the cold, on his abdomen there’s no hair, he’s a true Californian ...
On the other hand I feed him very well, we both eat more fatty food than usual.
Today the wind turned about 180*, in the meantime there was a few hours of silence, so we did a general test of the new oil cooler, in the transmission. We drove for an hour with a speed of marching 7 knots, the hoses were hot, but the discs in the transmission didn’t slide, so it should be good.
After cleaning the bottom of the yacht what little hair I have left was blue from the anti-growth paint, I helped myself with my head, too...

I had a choice to wash it, or shave it. The option to shave won and now I regret it because my bald head is cold, I even have to sleep in a hat...
 

 


DAY275

Thu Dec 06 15:20:53 2007 UTC - 44 54.72 S - 53 39.12 W


Wind still blows from the west, still in our eyes, we do not move at all, neither in the direction of Horn, or to the west. Shortly after we turn, the wind turns 20* on lee and pushes us as if it was amusing itself ... This is irritating, although I realize how absurd it is to get mad at the wind ... We entered an area where about this time of year there are strong western winds and we have to now get nearer to the coast in order to get to Horn with a convenient half. Tonight the wind will turn and will stay that way for twenty-four hours. There will be no sleeping, we have to take advantage of each friendly breath, otherwise if on this length we will descend lower, we will have to not only sail around Cape Horn, but we will also have 300 miles of gale right in the eyes, in order to get there..
From now on we will slow courses to the south and put in all we have in western. Of course all within sensible limits, I do not intend to force Luka and check what will break first. This option is only reserved for fighting for our life. Today I’m in a bad mood, it’s an old friend that always appears, when things do not work out how I would want them to. We know “him” well, I have learned how to treat him a long time ago and send him away from whence he came. I start from the reason why he appeared. When I’m able to locate the reason, half of the work is done.

Now I have to use the skill of manipulation and compromise. Subtly “change direction”, resign from having a„post-dinner drink”, promise improvement, get used to thinking that something in our life will have to change... I have to get rid of or ignore the reason why our monster opened its muzzle and groans in my ear.
When we suppress the cause, we suppress also the consequence ... Now it will suffice already to briefly say "get the f… out."

Sometimes one can shut the muzzle of the little monster without investigating the reason, by diving with him into our dreams, if only they are sufficiently deep rooted.
In any case this fashioned from fear skunk tries to haunt each of us from the moment, when as children, we are told it exists.
However, we shouldn’t run from him, because this is precisely how it feeds, how it grows and then even louder whispers and tells us to run away, especially from what we do not know.
It tries to chain us with a chain of fear to a narrow leaking boat, while a new, great yacht is waiting nearby, but in order to get to it we have to enter the water, let go of the leaking draft and swim those few uncertain meters ....
Generally we should meet this little monster and learn to live with him, just like we would live under one roof with a bad-tempered, a little crazy sister and not pay attention to her incessant chattering: " leave it, don't touch, you will not make it, it won’t work, you’re too stupid.. ."

It’s necessary to accept „the poor one” such as she is – after all it’s family ...
 


DAY274

Wed Dec 05 10:35:19 2007 UTC - 44 21.08 S - 53 46.43 W

 

Wind again turned, it blows exactly from the direction in which we sail. From the weather prognosis it turns out that it will change direction only tomorrow evening. Since yesterday
evening we’re going sharply to the wind, in the morning we made a turn and we sail now to the North West. In the morning I discovered a drama overboard; a poor albatross caught the bait with the edge of his wing. I thought about what I should do, in the end slowly started to pull in the line, the albatross, of course, did not like that, I let him rest a little, after a moment I started again delicately pulling in the line. He was only a few meters from the stern, when suddenly he jerked, pulled the hook and running on waves flew away. I wonder if he will survive this hook ... I don’t think I will use bait which lies on the surface and doesn’t sink anymore....

 


DAY 273

Tue Dec 04 12:14:41 2007 UTC - 44 22.41 S - 53 46.13 W

 

At night it blew us away a little to the east, in the morning the wind graciously turned and now we’re making up for the losses. In her back part Luka has a flat bottom and there’s almost no bilge here, which thermally isolates the inside of yacht. The floor of the mesa is practically laid out on a flat surface and now we have a “cooling system” in the floor...
The water has to be getting colder, because even though I have socks and boots on, my feet freeze when I sit at the table. I wonder if I should dig out the heavy wool socks and rubber boots I used in Alaska. It was cold there, but we went out on deck only to work and returned to a warm mesa.
If it will get to the point where I can’t stand it, we will gear up the petroleum stove. I’m a little prejudiced when it comes to it however, because when I first turned it on, something wasn’t right with the valve regulating the petroleum, the stove started to heat up, and heat up and heat up and heat up, finally it became red and the petroleum leaked from the valve... Ghastly sight. Back then we stood on “dry” in Port San Luis, a bulk of black smoke rose from the chimney, Martin and friends thought that we were on fire, and actually from a great fire divided us “only a hair”. Thank God, I put an extra valve on the hose containing the petroleum, right at the stove, and I quickly closed it.
The stove slowly stopped humming and crackling, the fire inside died. Of course, I sent the faulty valve to the factory in Canada, with great complaint, I never found out, however, what was the cause of the incident. I received a new valve, apologies and a few non-committal answers ... I will have to keep an eye on it...
 


DAY 272

Mon Dec 03 13:36:05 2007 UTC - 43 43.51 S - 53 29.87 W

 

We come against the wind in good direction, Luka directs herself without the assistance from the autopilot, although it happened that she made an unauthorized turn at night. I was awakened by an incline to the “bad” side and a different motion of the yacht; we stood in a drift...

I unblocked the roller, I turned on our athlete Perkins, I gave it gas and after a moment we were again on course. I bent a little helm on lee and I returned to a still warm bunk. Without an efficient  engine making the yacht go back on course would take considerably longer ... I would have solidly wake up first, put on the storm coat, safety girdle, go to the beak, loosen the front sails and wait  until the  wind on mizzen-mast will turn the boat around, or inverse, at least a half hour in any case... Yesterday I finished working on the new oil cooler. I don’t believe in coincidences, but as it turns out I found exactly all the indispensable parts. The joint 1.5 inch which I never bought, because for what...

 Without a reason I also transported a spare filter casing of the desalting device, these things do not break down and there is no need to bring them, and this rifling tube for the fumes temperature sensor, which by mistake the ironworker installed in the "wrong” place, and which existed as if exactly for the purpose to connect it to the outflow of water from the new cooler.
 It seems unbelievable, but it looks like someone has foreseen this emergency and made sure that we brought on the Luka all the indispensable parts to her repair ...Or maybe I myself went back in time ... Hehe.
 Einstein and other wise men affirmed that time is the construction of mind, a relative concept. They ascertained further that time is what space is between objects, and if it’s not time which moves, only Luka moves in space with a definite speed (recently slowly) , then it would be enough to change the space between us and  Ensenada, or speed with which we sail, in order to lengthen or to abridge the time flow ... We don’t know how to shorten the distance to Ensenada other than sail in her direction, and our speed here is directed by the wind, so  the last possibility remains.
Maybe when the transmission broke   "for  the first time"  we went through a fold in time-space, which Einstein mentioned, and then I went back  in time, threw into the Luka the parts we were going to need, and now when the transmission broke  "for  the second time"  we had  exactly what we needed ...

 This is however a little complicated ... Perhaps it will be simpler to blame this whole affair on the protective shoulders of my Guardian Angel.

 


DAY 271

Sun Dec 02 13:30:15 2007 UTC - 42 22.93 S - 52 35.98 W

 

We moved on, it’s already summer on Horn, we are some 1000nm south If the wind won’t blow right in our eyes, we should be in that neighborhood in -+ 2 weeks.

I built a new oil cooler; I used for it the reserve casing of the filter of the desalting device. Now I wonder how to extort the revolution of sea water. I could install the reserve small pump of fresh water, but it would quickly overheat. Ideally I could install the cooler into the system of the engine salt water, presently however I don’t see such possibility.

I have to sleep on it...
W
acek topped himself.

Sometimes we have spam from a can and crackers for supper, of course Wacek gets his share.
Yesterday I took out a can, put it on the table and went to the magazine for crackers.

Then the little bandit and as it turned out, thief, jumped on the table, grabbed the can of spam and escaped with it, he went to the fore cabin and hid together with the can under a folded sail.

Never letting it out from his mouth, he peeked every few moments from behind the bag and looked to see what I was doing.
I was not decided whether to punish the bandit, or go get the camera and take a picture of the thief hehe.

I brought the camera but when Wacek saw it, he let go of the can, he apparently didn’t want any evidence of his deed, now he looks at me and growls.
It’s interesting to think about how he intended to open the can heheh, was he planning to steal the opener...?

Actually his snarl can be interpreted as the mutiny of the crew, and the punishment for mutiny on deck, the punishment for robbing crewmembers is either a beating with sticks, or pulling the thief under the bottom ... I decided however that this time I will show mercy to the thief and we ate the canned food together.


DAY 270

Sat Dec 01 12:20:55 2007 UTC - 41 0.30 S - 50 53.50 W

 

The weather is super, although this can be the opinion of a marine hobo who is not in a hurry, especially since over the horizon there is a „broad ditch to jump”. It blows a charming 4, the sun tries to get through the milky coating of clouds and sometimes looks in on us with warm brightness.
I scratched my arms a little with the shells, when I was cleaning the bottom of the yacht, especially the left one, when I held onto the cables and the top of that hand was rubbing about the still overgrown place on the trunk. The blue anti-growth paint rubbed into my skin and into the scratches, and it now looks like a macabre tatoo, I hope that it will finally wash clean. Today we plan to make a new warmth exchanger which let's hope will be enough to cool oil in the transmission, the one I made previously takes in warmth too slowly. If the cooler will come out as planned, we will get rid of the last „toothache”...

 


Marty from Port San Luis - Big Thank You

 

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