Day 115

Fri Jun 29 04:35:59 2007 UTC - 18 2.43 S - 71 43.83 E

(Friday, June 29 )
" I Asked God to heal my ill brother. God said: No. His spirit is healthy, his body is only temporary."
Yesterday about 4:30 pm my brother Mirek went on his last returning cruise. Let the angels show him the road to the atoll of God's Love from which he once came to us.

MIREK


Day 114

Thu Jun 28 03:39:35 2007 UTC - 17 38.84 S - 73 17.98 E

(Wednesday, 27 June)
The wind still blows, yesterday however I decided to use this mini storm in order to check the elements of rigging and reefing in strong wind. Up until now I had no occasions. IN California Luka stood on dry, and in Ensenada through our stay it never blew more than 25 knots. I put the steering sail on first reef, it looked nice, then smoothly I went down to second reef and in the end I let it down altogether. With back winds the steering sail is useless, it pushes the stern on lee and in consequence the Yacht is very windward which we arre naturally not missing. I took over the grotto, not without trouble I pulled it to first reef. Reefing with strong wind is much easier than putting up sail, especially because in such circumstances it doesn't stand to the wind. I pulled the grotto like the steering sail to first reef, I secured contra wave and the grinding wheel of boom. Luka sloped a little, the Reefed up clothed grotto looked like a wing of an aircraft. I went from side to mast, I looked up and again in the course of last few days felt disappointment and worry. The top part of the mast from second platform was bent back, and at each inclination it bent as if swaying a finger at me. At reefed sails, the strong wind dramatically changed the spread of the masts' strength. I threw down the grotto, I secured it solidly to boom, went under the deck and made coffee. Somewhere half-way through the mug the situation seemed less threatening. I will wait for a calmer day, and coursing between beak and stern I will loosen the archer stays a little at a time and solidly stretch both stays. There will, however, be a problem with the roller. It has two flat irons tightened at both sides holding all the stay, they fasten the whole roller system. I should take them down from both sides, stretch the stay with a turn-buckle, then go to the top of the mast, loosen the screws holding the roller guides, so that the whole thing would move on stay upward, go back down, return the screws on flat irons to stay, now again go to the top of the mast and tighten guides. Uff. I have not intention to enter the mast in such conditions. I will have to think of a shorter way, and I will, but first I have to get to it, I will find a way while I work. If I don't find a solution, I will have to throw anchor on some sheltered shallow waters and like a clown on a string, fly up the mast. The day after tomorrow the wind is supposed to weaken a little, let's have hope that Mother Ocean will smoothen, then we will get to work ..


Day 113

Wed Jun 27 03:24:34 2007 UTC - 17 26.42 S - 74 51.57 E

(Tuesday, June 26)
Yesterday the wind started to blow stronger, today on deck the force of the wind reaches 32 knots, if we measured it, as it is usually done on top, we would have an 8. In spite of this, I could put up more sails, but we are not in a hurry anywhere. Beer at Cape Town in 6 weeks .. .we will make it.


Day 112

Tue Jun 26 03:21:11 2007 UTC - 18 9.06 S - 76 24.58 E

Something told me yesterday to check out the ship's sides. Luka has semicircular sides, so holding the stays I had to bend out pretty far to see the water line. What I saw caused worry and disappointment. A belt around 40-50cm above the water line is overgrown with little seashells. I dont mean a few dozen, there are many thousands about the yacht. They grew where there was not anti-growth paint. And because we rock incessantly, they spend half the time underwater, which is evidently enough. Since yesterday I was wondering how to free myself of them... The first thought was of fins and a sharp scraper, but since the Tores Strait it rocks incessantly, and something tells me that it will stay that way, and scraping the razor-sharp shells hugging the rocking ship's side, would be foolish and dangerous. I remember that I had a paint scraper somewhere, something like a super, prim spatula. I will find it, attach it to the bent like the ship's side solid aluminum flat iron and the whole thing I will tighten to a cart which can shorten and lengthen ... I wonder how strongly they attached, but I think that pretty well.. On the Pacific both ship's sides were empty when I went in the water in order to untangle the fishing-rods from a screw. I remember that Chay Blyth on British Steel had the same problem and he was not able to resolve it. We will see how it will go for us.
 


Day 111

Mon Jun 25 03:28:41 2007 UTC - 18 0.76 S - 77 46.90 E

(Saturday, June 23th)
Yesterday we had a hard-working day. The preceding night Mr. Monsoon brought us some black clouds, and from time to time some strong squalls fell from them, after which there would be a half-an-hour's silence. Poor autopilot would beep pitifully, announcing that without the wind it couldn’t keep Luka on course, and the mainsail trashed about and made sounds like fireworks. I decided to suspend the sailing operations for the night, take down the mainsail and drift on the march-storm sail. It turned out, however, that for some reason I couldn’t take down the mainsail completely, even though I put the line turning the reefing mechanism around a big capstan. I stopped pulling...Something was wrong. I turned on the deck lights but on the swinging deck I couldn’t see anything that I could unhook or unfold. The next day, in the rays of the rising sun I checked everything in detail and it turned out that the last section of aluminum guide roller was bent, which caused resistance at rolling down the sail and secondly the sail was caught on a valve. For the last few days we were going in a rather strong wind with a reefed up mainsail and somehow this bent the last section of the aluminum roller tube. It’s difficult for me to believe that it could bent being on a stretched stay ... At first I thought that the stay became loose, but it turned out to be as it should be. This however was a detail, after a few folds and unfolds, the resistance which the bent tube gave almost disappeared altogether, but this adventure turned my attention to the mainsail and thanks to this I discovered that the line which turns the reefing mechanism rubs a lot in one place (rubbing of the sail lines is the nightmare of long cruises) Let's imagine that the wind really begins to blow, especially at night, I try to fold the mainsail but the damaged cable that turns the roller, wrapping the sail around the stay, suddenly breaks ... Total mess! The mainsail, big as an aircraft unfolds and there is no way to fold it. Now, trashing about like a caught dragon, it’s necessary to pull it centimeter by centimeter from the narrow chink and pray that I don’t break my hands ... I don’t want to describe this “mess" any further, so that I won’t “call” it here for supper. Now I’m glad for yesterday's troubles, because at least I know what’s going on. I turned the other end of the line to the roller, now the damaged part is on my end, and I put an added block right near the roller, which will stop the line from rubbing, at least in that spot. It’s strange that nothing was coming apart for my friend on Lady B…maybe they were rocking on four…or decided that it’s not worth mentioning…


Day 110

Sun Jun 24 03:43:53 2007 UTC - 17 36.49 S - 79 21.85 E

No changes in weather, a lot of work on deck today.


Day109

Sat Jun 23 05:44:28 2007 UTC - 17 14.34 S - 80 44.39 E

(Friday, June 22th)

 


 


Day 108

Fri Jun 22 02:57:02 2007 UTC - 16 44.06 S - 83 26.97 E

(Thursday, June 21)

Before dawn the wind became weaker, and the rising sun showed a strange world. All around us, luckily in decent distance, hung black clouds, touching the surface of the sea. At once a song came to my head; "Hey, do you see it, this black cloud is heading for us..." After a quick analysis it appeared that the one nearest us only scares us and will pass us by. The sun, not giving up, would shine through the breaks in the clouds like through slits in a cliff, strengthening a strange impression. After a certain time one black cloud changed course and came straight for us. It blew the wind into the reefed sails like a hammer, and then it simply soaked us. Of course, I and Wacek faced her, I without any armor and with an Irish Spring in my hand, and Wacek with the tail down and the rest of the shampoo on him. The water pulled off from us, more than it washed off, the swelter of last month, and cleaned the deck, taking with it Wacek’s droppings and sea salt. It turned out that I did not do good work putting new Lexan tiles in the manhole of fore cabin valve, a little water got in there, enough to irritate... Around midday the sun won and drove away the rest of the black companions over the horizon, and in reward for the gray morning it illuminated a gorgeous rainbow over us, which by magic started (or ended, who can guess) on our stern. I hope that the minimized picture, which I’m enclosing, will show even a bit of this magic ... It is rumored that on the end of each rainbow can be found a covert treasure. I quickly ran over the contents of the stern cabin in my mind, there is no special treasure there... But maybe it’s the whole Luka that is my treasure, a bridge filling a whole that’s dividing me from greater treasure...


Day 107

Thu Jun 21 02:57:50 2007 UTC - 16 41.03 S - 85 46.91 E

(Wednesday, June 20th)

The wind blew a little today, the weather prognosis „spoke” about 20 knots, and it’s actually about 30... Honorable Mr. Monsoon fills his cheeks, blows and elevates the waves. The autopilot pump sounds like someone is killing it. We’re going with a sharp backstay and we carry only the front reefed sails, in order to ease the incessantly working autopilot pump, which has been working like that since Ensenada. Even though it’s warm, Wacek stopped barking at the birds and follows me around like a shadow .. I’m going to open the next can of bacon today. We’re continuing the feast of fat and saturated by bacon sauces. I discovered that if I like the taste of something, I can continue to eat it every day for a month... What we were eating for two weeks now is Spaghetti a'la Luka. Elements; 1 US Army dinner (a bit of chopped up beef in mushroom sauce, which tastes like an old shoe sole), half a glass of milk, half a bag of tomato pomade, about 10 (or more) of bacon strips from a can, a few bits of hot pickled paprika, pinch of chicken soup in powder, spoon of sugar, and finally a little flour mixed with water. The pasta boils on the side. We add a little oil and salt to the water. The pasta absolutely has to be kind of hard, a little uncooked. After 10 minutes of smacking my lips which many Japanese could envy, I give the remainder of the plate to Wacek, which is like putting it in a modern dishwasher. Wacek happily gobbles up the rest of the “marine delicacies”, leaving only a shiny clean plate and fork. The next cooking will be tomorrow after I send the mail.


Day 106

Wed Jun 20 03:56:29 2007 UTC - 16 33.59 S - 87 52.34 E

(Tuesday, June 19th)

Without dramas or adventures we’re heading in the direction of Madagascar, and because it’s without adventures, not counting the details that enrich our lives, it seems that this cruise is the holiday on the sea that we deserve. It’s no secret to anyone who thinks about themselves and the surrounding world, that every person aware of this fact, or not aware of it, creates and appoints to life their own micro world. Consciously or not, we create what we then meet. In connection with this, my cruise to Ensenada will do without unwanted adventures and will end like holidays end, because that’s what I created for myself. It’s sad that many people are not able to connect these not too subtle concepts and remain reactive to events playing out under their noses, instead of consciously creating them. Ignorant of consequences they allow the accidental emotions, thoughts and decisions to shape their world without their conscious contribution. Most of us are like a herd directed by shepherds who, at first patiently, from birth make us believe that there exist in the world dogs with sharp teeth, just waiting for our exposed throats, and when they repeat this lie enough times, enough to sink in, they then watch over us like we were their own private herd, promising some free of the dogs, but guarded by hundreds of conditions pastures….Those more courageous, instinctively knowing this is a lie, run away, often before they notice the consequences of this fraud. Then from a distance these pastures can be seen clearly, the ones woven with fears and medicines, and instead of dogs, a band of shepherds imitating barking and growling, afraid for their own throats... And right beside this await the rest of the world, in which we can be anyone and everything, if only we will learn to love ourselves, and if we let that love lead us to its source. Then, every time we have to make a decision, which we have to make daily, we can ask ourselves what decision love would make.... Decisions made like this open up a great, intriguing world, one in which we learn our own and “His” nature.


Day 105

Tue Jun 19 02:38:24 2007 UTC - 16 31.87 S - 89 45.97 E

(Monday, June 18th)

The wind died this morning, but after a windy night the high wave remained, maybe it will settle down in the evening... Besides that nothing worth describing happened.


Day 104

Mon Jun 18 02:41:32 2007 UTC - 16 33.83 S - 91 47.00 E

(Sunday, June 17th)

My brother is doing better, yesterday he ordered someone to go out for beer:-), it looks like his heart is slowly getting better and soon he will stand on his own two feet. We had a little turbulent night, it rocked us a little, the wind blows, right now it blows 30 knots/h, but this is only squall. We are going full backstay under deeply reefed mainsail, with still advanced boom, and under a marching foresail. I will probably take off the boom; it seems that it will still blow from this direction. Wacek follows me around like a shadow, I think he is scared. The dramatic adventures of the crew, along with the complete absence of beers, moved the susceptive nature of my uncle Janek, who is making the noble plans to support the desperate beer-lacking crew and maybe he will deliver some to us in the neighborhood of Cape Town, right after we will pass Cape of Good Hope. He plans to find us on the boundless ocean in a rented fisherman's smack and in a noble motion throw before our beak a few cartons of strong beer with some string attached to the parcel. Maybe we will not be condemned to water from the desalting device for the rest of the cruise. There is a wise proverb which in our adaptation would go like - "if you satisfy the thirst of one beer drinker, it is like you would give beer to the entire world. A wave just passed through us, a little water got through the open window of the kitchen and bathroom, and this is a sign that I have to close them. Wacek doesn't make it on turns; he moves his paws on the wet floor which gives him no traction... We have some clouds and stronger wind for a change ... Today for the first time for almost three months I put something on me. Of course unlike chief Baranowski, who on these widths shamelessly showed his pale bum to the sea, I do not take off my pants without a distinct necessity...It is actually very interesting to read reports of a solitary cruise around the world, when it is you who sails the described world.....


Day 103

Sun Jun 17 02:05:12 2007 UTC - 16 28.18 S - 94 14.86 E

(Saturday, June 16th)

Today everything is nicer. Mirek got through the crisis. In a year he will come to visit us on the Bahamas...


Day 102

Sat Jun 16 03:10:26 2007 UTC - 16 23.33 S - 96 12.43 E

(Friday, June 15th)

Course, speed and environment are without changes. Yesterday a depression settled on the yacht, it cost us the remainder of beer and the greater part of the bottle of green Johnnie Walker, then really drunk it went elsewhere. Contrary to her whisperings we made a party in the steering room. The evening was started by Andrzej Korycki, we sang together (I louder) about sailors, tides and about one tear which softened the heart of a hardened sea. When we ran out of songs, we invited Ennio Morricone. Poor Wacek barked all the time confused by a multitude of new sounds in the richly arranged music of the "little" Italian. Morricone's music actually brings about images. It is enough just to close your eyes and you will see walking about in a park, thoughtful woman, or extraordinarily pretty waterfalls in an Amazon jungle, which were witness of the drama of a renewed "banishment" from paradise, which is a theme of a beautiful film, made even more splendid by Morricone's music, titled " Mission ". Our party ended with Deep Forest playing charming, local motives gathered all around the world, overheard somewhere in an African cottage or during a wedding in Asiatic little village. Then they are set in a modern arrangement like a precious stone incrusted in a gold locket.....The morning proved unpleasant for me. Besides the hangover I got a very unpleasant text message from Ilawa informing me that my brother had a massive heart attack and is in a hospital ... Something tells me, however, that he will pull through and we will both build a fire on Lipowiec many times yet..


Day 101

Fri Jun 15 02:57:08 2007 UTC - 16 16.87 S - 98 18.84 E

(Thursday, June 14th)

I couldnt sleep. I turned in the sleeping-berth which on the cruise I appointed between the edge of the table and the support of the sofa. In the end I gave up, I put water on for tea and I went out on deck. We were sliding on the wrinkled "Indian" , in the arms of a warm monsoon with a convenient for Luka speed of 5- 6 knots, although at night there is an impression that the yacht moves faster and objects (if there are any) are nearer. This was an exceptionally dark night. Black clouds concealed the moon; there was only one solitary star.... I sat on a folded pontoon with the mug of sweet tea and I stared at it, it seemed distant and altogether not interested in us. Clouds started to part because I noticed another star. But this one was strange, it kept disappearing, and it was low.... My calm disappeared somewhere. I thought that in a few moments I will have a subject to report for my friend Sztajmes from NY, who likes UFO's. I went to get the binoculars, but when I returned, through the noise of water moving around the stern, I heard the distant sound of engines. In a moment, almost over the water, not farther than 200 miles from the left ship's side, like a great, night bird, perhaps gray, and perhaps without any signs, flew a great aircraft. It seemed to me that there was a light-blue light in place where the pilot cabin should be. Without doubt and distinctly I felt the smell of fumes from his engines... maybe these were smugglers flying low over the water, in order to avoid radar.... And maybe I dreamed all this ... However this morning I found a mug left at night on the folded pontoon. It is not a big deal, it is rumored that all, including us, is an illusion, and the only truth is experiencing it.


Day 100

Thu Jun 14 02:53:57 2007 UTC - 16 21.01 S - 100 35.03 E

(Wednesday , June 13th)

We are translocating to the west, around 2 degrees every twenty-four hours, a warm, eastern wind pushes us, life goes by lazily and I only miss Beata ... Yesterday I searched for something in our cabin and under the mattress of a broad sleeping-berth, which I did not use from moment we sailed out, I found a red blouse. I put it to my face and felt the familiar smell of Beata's perfume and then the smell of her hair ... Oh, this was splendid.
If somebody saw me doing this they would probably think “ an idiot smeller..." When the coast disappears, scents disappear with it... The sea possesses only one, specific smell, besides that it is deserted of smells. I distinctly smelled the land when over the horizon we passed islands on the Pacific, and not even looking at the map I knew that we were approaching the Torres Strait, smelling strange, but at the same time familiar smell of land. For Wacek the sea is perhaps not a desert, he often presses his nose in the holes of the fishing net set on railing and passionately smells something from afar. Perhaps if he was able to speak in full sentences he would say that the sea's surface is not so empty...However for me, the aromatic desert of the Indian Ocean started weeks ago, and now this gift of chance, the red blouse full of gorgeous familiar scents, almost overwhelmed me. I hid it back so I wouldn't smell it all, to have a little left over for later. I will take it out again, when I'll start to get depressed...From the perspective of land, which is full of smells, it may seem unimportant, but here on the sea, you can distinctly feel the lack of smells. Especially when such a guest appears suddenly from under the mattress and like an often heard song brings with it familiar pictures and tastes of that reality. On the other hand someone should invent a camera which besides pictures will also capture smell..... It hasn't rained for a while, if such a camera actually existed, my photo today would not come out good...


Day 99

Wed Jun 13 03:11:00 2007 UTC - 16 21.19 S - 102 47.40 E

(Wednesday, June 12th)

At night a contraction of my stomach woke me up, at first I thought that this was a continuation of a dream about my ex wife, but after another contraction I realized that it was yesterday's supper. Yesterday I opened a gallon box of dried pork. The meat is first frozen, then dried and tightly closed in a metal can. So prepared it is supposed to stay edible for 30 years. I bought some of that before the cruise in case of an accident. So, we have a cardboard of pork, cardboard of bacon and many eggs in powder. It seems that it is impossible to make scrambled eggs from this; it comes out tasting like camphor. Yesterday's pork I soaked for 15 minutes in lightly salted, warm water, it magically changed from dry fibers into pieces of meat, somewhat darker than fresh pork. I made pork chops from them using the powdered eggs with water and bread crumbs. I craved fresh meat, I am carnivorous by nature. The pork chops, if you dont look at them too long, taste ok, however somewhere deeper you can feel the faint taste of cement and that was probably what led to the explosive diarrhea. After the first attack, I threw the contents of the can overboard ... Wacek also broke down and put a mine on his favorite box with accumulators. We still have the bacon in cans, but this was made for the army. Likewise packed, but in better cans, 300 pieces of fried bacon, layered spirally with special paper in between. After opening the can the entire mesa smelled great. You can eat it right after opening, or add to meals, if you like the taste of fried bacon in sauces, I love it. Lately what is popular in mesa is fried canned pork with asparagus bean. The overeating of fish had passed, yesterday I threw out the fishing-rod, bait, wire and bit of string. At night some little monster broke everything..... .. It is time for a stronger string...


Day 98

Tue Jun 12 03:17:27 2007 UTC - 16 18.96 S - 104 55.60 E
(Monday, June 11th)
At night we again had a pass-by. It seems that my fears of getting run over keep attracting those who could actually make that come true...Around midnight I saw a little, but bright light before the beak. After a moment the glow disappeared, but the radar showed a little echo at the 12th mile. After 20 min. I saw, already distinctly, the positional lights of some giant, white in center, green on left, red on right. It looked like it was heading straight at us. I turned on the radio and started to call to him, after some time someone answered in English softened with Russian... I asked if he was Russian, he answered yes, we talked for a few moments, and it turned out to be a Norwegian general cargo ship, with a Russian crew, in road to Australia. At one point, he said - ok, my friend, we will pass by port to starboard (left ship's side to right). I automatically agreed, these giants have radars with computers and GPS. They know exactly the direction of and speed of elapsed objects, they analyze this data and inform if the course is off base. I accepted his decision and after a moment the Russian changed his course, now I saw his nearing red light. I thought for a longer moment, it is easy to hit those colors and sides, especially since the giant is coming from the opposite direction, so what is for me is on the left, for him is on the right ... However after a moment I did not have doubt that he changed course to pass before our beak. I grabbed the radio and said that I would rather see his green lights than red. He was silent for a moment, and then asked what course I'm taking, I informed him that 268*, in a moment he again changed course and now I saw his green light. We passed each other at a distance of 1 mile. He asked about my course so he didn't have a good radar, maybe he counted that he will pass before our beak in time because he was going fast, but this was naive and altogether contrary to safety rules on the sea. My colleague from Kaliningrad made a mistake ... With relief I watched him pass us by, he kept asking about Luka, so I turned on the deck lights. Six strong searchlights suspended on the cross-trees of both masts illuminated us like a baseball field. In a moment he showed the illuminated wall of the stern and we finished talking... Mr Baranowski gives in his last book the probability of a collision on full sea, it turns out that the likelihood is minimal. Accounts are accounts and even though black was not my favorite color, the black empty horizon seems nicer to me somehow ...


Day 97

Mon Jun 11 00:30:30 2007 UTC - 16 16.19 S - 107 12.74 E

(Sunday, June 10th)
This was a stormy night, I was the eyewitness of some strange political revolution in Vatican .. .. Hehe, altogether a mad dream. In spite of this I woke up refreshed and full of energy. Like usual I poked my head from the wheelhouse, in order to check out the deck, it was still gray and it looked like someone came in a night trolley and unloaded on the deck a load of flying fish. I jumped out from the wheelhouse, I went over nib which fulfils the functions of safety cable and to which I should attach myself, I went nearer and really, I didn't dream it, we had an invasion of flying fish last night, I tried to count them, but at 100 I gave up. I noticed a bent railing at the beak. We rocked a little in the night, maybe some wave poured here along with the fishes and bent the railing. On the other hand, I wonder about descriptions of sailors, for ex. Chay Blyth who says that the fluttering of fish on deck always woke him up, and because he made a contract that he wont eat them and by the same they wont eat him, he would get up at night and return them to water. It is strange how he could hear them through the incessant groans and the creaking of the yacht ... Maybe British Steel was empty in the center, like a drum, and the deck had no isolation ... Anyway, I am deaf to their misfortune, although Im woken up by other, unnatural sounds of the Luka. For a long time I was busy getting rid of them, I tried to throw them all out, because Wacek has a stinking custom of burying them somewhere on deck, and after some days he finds one of them and runs around with it in his mouth, then he comes to lick me. ..


Day 96

Sun Jun 10 00:02:01 2007 UTC - 16 1.63 S - 109 11.44 E

(Saturday, June 10th)

Yesterday after sunset I had to turn on the voracious anchor light (cant even dream about navigational lights, when we were under full sails, they eat too much of current) instead of lights that I made with 16-hundred LED at the beginning of cruise. These tiny working glimmers, it seems on a basis of an electric hold, almost dont use any current. Singular LED cant be compared with a bulb, but if we string them together, like 16 in a row they give as much light as a 30W bulb, and use only 0.03A/24V. The ones Im using are big (5000). I installed a few in each frame of light on the yacht. Now even in the darkest night, the inside of Luka looks like a pale dawn, of course, we can always turn on normal lights. Today we have to find a reason why our positional lamp on stern with 16-hundred LED stopped warning others about our being here.
PS: My friends tell me that a band of drunkards came together in my Lipowiec ...
To your health mariners...


Day 95

Fri Jun 08 23:23:25 2007 UTC - 15 33.05 S - 111 19.33 E

Besides that we moved a little to the west, there are no changes, nothing
worth describing happened.


Day 94

Fri Jun 08 01:15:28 2007 UTC - 15 8.22 S - 113 9.37 E

Another nice day, at night I noticed a light at the ship's right side, and each light on the horizon accelerates the heart of the recluse that I’m becoming ... It turned out, however, that this was a descending star. It’s easy to mistake glimmers while sticking my head out from inside the yacht, although in the case of descending stars the mistake quickly clears up. After some time, for a fraction of a second I noticed another light, this time on the left... After a moment it appeared again and vanished. I turned the radar on but it showed nothing on the rocking sea ... But I saw a glimmer on the horizon, it appeared for longer now.. .. I was thinking .. If it’s blinking it means that the light is low and disappears in the rhythm of the waves going up and down. So it has to be something small, for giants such wave has no effect. After a half hour the light stopped disappearing, and the radar showed a feeble, vanishing every few moments, echo, 5 miles on the left before the beak ... I tried to decide which direction this something is moving, I waited fifteen minutes, but the light and the anemic point on the radar didn’t move on either side. It looked like it was very slowly moving in our direction ... Then, however, it seemed that the dot on the radar moved a little to the right, but it could have been that Luka’s beak moved to the left.. .autopilot was going on smaller sensitivity and we were mouse hunting a little. In such circumstances the new course, in order to safely pass by, should pass over his stern. I changed course to 30* south ... We passed him now on the right, and if I was right about his direction, any moment now he should be further away on the right. After 10 minutes the light stood in the same place as if spell-bound. I thought that pirates would not have positional lights, so that would leave a fisherman .. That would also explain why he didn’t answer my calls on the radio, he probably doesn’t know English ... We came three miles closer and the light slowly started to move further south... He probably stood in one place and was reigning in ropes .. That’s a popular manner of fishing. On many kilometers of cables are situated thousands of hooks with bait. The end of the cable is attached to a buoy and once every twenty-four hours there’s harvest. He probably stood there so long because he was reining in the line, but he got spooked by Wacek’s barking and ran away.


DAY 93

Thu Jun 07 02:06:45 2007 UTC - 14 50.87 S - 114 58.20 E
(relation sent Wednesday night- time difference)

The course and the rest is like yesterday. Like I thought, Wacek slept away yesterday's adventure with the hook and he governed the deck since morning, like a boss man of any orderly yacht should. However he distinctly ignores the fishing fixings, it seems that his sorrow is not limited only to hooks. Today we will fry a piece of fish murdered a few days ago, we will load the ipod and enter the world of Lord Jim for a while. I return to my favorite books gladly, maybe the cause is early forgetfulness, but at least I’m not missing any good books. I read The Trilogy, mainly “The Flood” 5 times ... A few times I read books by Conrad, Assimov, Lysiak, Mario Puzo and a few others. Once I discovered "Conversations with God”, “The Book of Urantii” and a few others like that. Thanks to friends I have many books in text and in a recording form on CD’s. Even if I didn’t read books over and over again, there would still be enough of them for a few solitary cruises. I read somewhere not long ago about a certain 55-year old man from California, who together with a 25-year old girl has plans to sail the world three times nonstop. He says it will take them three years ... Hehehe. If he was the super recluse type, than alone he might stand a chance to do it, but with a young woman... I don’t think so …although I wish them all the best...


DAY 92

Wed Jun 06 00:45:22 2007 UTC - 14 27.82 S - 116 55.57 E

(relation sent Tuesday night- time difference)

We’re sailing pleasantly to the southwest, at height 100*E and 20*S we will straighten the course to the west, later before Madagascar we will descend with an angle to southwest and quietly circle The cape of Good Hope. Next we will make a second circle on the Atlantic Ocean, this time deeper, we’ll go in northern direction, later we will descend again to the southwest and further, politely along the eastern coast of South America we will reach, and without problems circle, Cape Horn. This is the route of sailors from Australia to South Africa. The one from Africa to Cape Horn is Luka’s private route, please don’t mimic it. We were still sailing at the coasts of south America (planning, with finger on the map still), when Wacek started to whine and scream, as if someone was peeling the skin off him. I jumped on deck and I could not believe it. The little idiot was caught on a fishing-rod ... he always liked to chew on the gum bait on the hooks, but this time he went too far and got caught on a big, rusty hook ...He was trashing around and screaming like crazy, it took me a few good minutes to calm him down, I ordered him to sit, and I ran quickly to the engine rooms for a pair of pliers. Thanks to The Guardian of Foolish Dogs we had them on the yacht; otherwise it would be difficult to cut through the bulky steel hook sticking from his mouth. I calmed him down and delicately cut off the end of hook. What remained was the ending with spike somewhere in the center of Wacek’s lip. I got hold of it with the pliers and first gently then more strongly I pulled. It didn’t want to come out... Each time I tried again Wacek whined and yelped, but there was no other way, I said - now it will hurt you, you fool, I made sure that I would pull the hook in a circular motion – the way it was bent and started pulling ... Wacek yelped and trashed around, but after a moment the hook went out. Wacek immediately calmed down, only now he won’t let me out of his sight and follows me step by step, apparently he got scared... Now he’s laying with me on the sofa, exhausted by the fight with the hook and every now and then he raises his head as if checking if I’m still here ... He’ll be over it tomorrow, but I think that from now on he’ll avoid the baits...


DAY 91

Tue Jun 05 00:16:35 2007 UTC - 14 11.71 S - 118 40.50 E

(relation sent Monday night- time difference)

We’re slowly going out to deeper waters, it’s becoming wider and safer, for a few days now there is no sign of any tanker or any other giant, it’s peaceful again and Mother Ocean smiles at us. I got a letter from Rudy from Ilawa; he says that this weekend he’s sailing to my Lipowiec. I proposed an honest exchange to him, that this weekend we’ll change shoes, I will drink with the boys on Lipowiec, and then jump to Florida to kiss my lovely wife and somewhere in the center of the week, like a wind burnt and sun-bathed marine wolf, I would return to my shop. Rudy would have easy navigating, especially if he wouldn’t touch anything here. Luka sails by herself in the moderately strong wind from NE. I would add to it a bottle of green Johny. I wonder if he would agree ... Today fish again, fish for breakfast, fish for dinner and fish for supper. Tomorrow I will open a can of chicken, or pork. Fishing-rods are stretched on deck, God help me if I would catch something and I would have to have fish also tomorrow and day after tomorrow


 

DAY 90

Mon Jun 04 00:50:08 2007 UTC - 13 47.92 S - 120 21.35 E

(relation sent late Sunday night- time difference)

I have the impression that the water around boils with life. There’s a lot of flying fish, I tried to take pictures, but they are too quick and don’t stand out against the water enough, the pictures come out not sharp. There are also some bigger fish, perhaps tuna, in the sky hangs about thirty motionless birds and every moment one of them plunges into the water and then flies up with a fish in its beak. We’re sailing through the marine "El dorado”. In the morning all the baits are pulled off again. I don’t have veinlets anymore, but I have many old baits, I bought them in kilograms from some ex fisherman in Port San Luis. They look like long imitations of calamari and they turn in water very quickly. After 30 minutes the bait will be at the stern with the veinlet tangled up in a ball. I decided to go all out, I unscrewed 10 m of stainless wire, which until now I used to safeguard turn-buckles and shackles and I attached the artificial fish-calamari with a double hook. On the other end of the wire I attached a lead ball the size of a golf ball and tied a strong bit of string. The heavy ball holds the bait under water and won’t let it turn. Right before twilight something pulled, the bit of string tensed and played on the wind like a string, I knew that I had a fish, I prayed that nothing tore off, but at the same time I felt that this time the eater of flying fish will end up on my frying pan. The fish turned out to be exquisite and fresh. I froze a part of it, we will eat it over a few days, most of it me and Wacek will eat today and maybe tomorrow if there’s any left. For the time being I’m done with veinlets and baits for $20 each. Now is the time for wire, a bit of string and an ordinary hook with bait.


DAY 89

Sat Jun 02 23:28:06 2007 UTC - 13 21.57 S - 121 51.46 E

In the evening when loading the battery, I fixed the course for the night and it turned out that my navigational system showed a 30-mile, brown, empty lane going for 200 miles in the direction N - S. It looked like a tree fallen across a road ... There was no information about depth or obstructions on the way ... I have not idea what caused the Navichart to leave such a great blind area on the map. We don’t know what’s there. I took a large looking-glass and looked at the map of general Indian Ocean, at length 13*20S and 120*30E I saw a great period which definitely represented many cliffs protruding from the water and the surrounding them stinging reef atoll ... We were going straight to the west, a little below 13* degree. I got all hot, the preceding night I was dreaming that I jumped up on deck and right at the ship's side I saw black cliffs, glimmering in the light of the moon. Please don’t let this be the dream of a prophet ... I read the position of this atoll and put it as my “mark” on the computer map. I spent the night in the steering room, waking every few moments, and making sure that the autopilot held course. This was an example of how shaky my self-confidence is, when I lose control over events, and also – that I can’t trust electronic maps in any case. AMEN.


DAY 88

Sat Jun 02 00:51:39 2007 UTC - 12 58.84 S - 123 27.67 E

(relation sent late Friday night- time difference)

Timor hit us at night. About 2 am I got up in order to check position, we were sailing by a few islands which we had no plans to visit. I sat down in the steering room and with my eyes heavy with sleep I tried to read the tiny numbers on the plotter. I stopped reading the position, I heard a noise, I raised my eyesight to the windows of the wheelhouse, and then it hit ... We have strong windows ... An unnaturally great wave came from the south, not like the rest of the girls from south east, it hit on the ship's left side and its top hit us square in the “mouth”. We were not prepared for such a treatment, the door to salon and wheelhouse was wide open. Accustomed pretty well to the mood swings of Mother Ocean, when years ago she floated us when we were looking for happiness on the winter Bering Sea, I concentrated again on the numbers, but with the executioner’s eye I saw the water in the inside of yacht and at once I thought about the welcoming open entry to the salon, it poured in half of ton of water. We lost the battery charger for the camera and about 20 DVD’s. The computer and the remainder of companionship was safe. The pumps were working for a while yet to get rid of the water intruder. I, of course, closed the valve of the manhole to the salon, I probably won’t open it again soon. I remembered a similar situation which happened on Georges Bank at the coast of Rhode Island. I was then a starting fisherman, we fished for scallops. I was starting my fisherman's career on an old rusty smack, everyone including the captain was Portuguese living in New Bedford. Some winter, stormy night, I slept tired from heavy watch, in my narrow sleeping-berth on the third floor, right under the inflow of the ventilator, when suddenly I was hit with a ton of icy water, and the smack turned 35* to the side. I was certain that we were going to sink... The smack seemed to think for a moment and in the end it got up lazily, it looked like we will live longer ... I was all wet along with my sleeping bag and mattress. I changed into dry clothes, put on a waterproof storm coat, and almost immediately I returned to the bunk still dribbling with water, in two hours another shift would begin and the inexpressible 6 hours of hard work. It turned out that when we were storming with the wave, pulling the poles in tow, which like great, metal frames would stick in the bottom and gathered scallops, some exceptionally great wave went through the back of the slowly sailing smack and took away with it all antennas and lights, took the glass from the window-panes, went longways, through the deck, broke the door to forepeak, and then through the ventilator gap in the floor hugged me like a cold port trollop ... The smack straightened out, and although all the antennas, including radar, were gone, the old Portuguese did end course, we were afloat then for a full 14 days.


DAY 87

Fri Jun 01 00:32:54 2007 UTC - 12 10.85 S - 125 33.25 E

(relation sent late Thursday night- time difference)

The memory of fresh fish caused me to take care of new bait. Earlier I found out that the fashionable colors are red and green. We have many colorful cables, I cut of a bit and separated the ends. With a metal saw I cut off a piece of lead, cut a hole through it, put the metal cable through the hole, then through the ear of a double hook and then I returned the end of the cable to the hole in the lead, then I tightened it so that the cable with hook would not fall out .. .. Now I let my artistic part (from 1-2 class of elementary school) form a green-red hanging which I secured with a juzing (thin bit of string) to the lead, so that the colored broom covered the hook with two blades. The ties did not come out nice, but were strong .. I made an ear at the other end of the metal cable and I stuck a little copper tube there. Now with the new calamari-impostor I went to the stern and to the bit of veinlet saved from the last time, I tied the thin but strong bit of string and threw the bait to water. After some time I pulled it all on deck in order to check how our “calamari” holds. The knots looked lovely, so I put it down again. When I turned around I heard a calm “bing” .. .. And saw a flying, empty end of the veinlet .. The next bait has to be decisively less attractive, maybe just a hook and hope ... (?)