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John Log 4 – Marlinspike Seamanship

Posted by John Newhoff on Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 at 4:42 am

Repairs on the gennaker yesterday were successful, though we haven’t had any weather yesterday or today where we need to use it.

Today has been a pretty relaxing sail overall. We’ve been close hauled all day, but the winds haven’t been too strong and we’ve made 5 to 6 knots towards the Azores all day. The wind is supposed to move more towards the south, which would be better for us, but it hasn’t happened all day. Maybe this evening.

For breakfast this morning we had left over irish soda bread that I’d made for my second meal of the trip the day before. It came out quite well, considering where we are and all. It went really well with the fish stew at dinner and made a good breakfast toasted with raspberry jam, also made by me, to toot my own horn :) .

This morning I pulled out my bag of knot tying and whipping materials and went back to work learning the ‘turks head’ knot. I’ve been fiddling with this off and on for a week or so and finally got the hang of it. They’re often tied on stanchions for decorative purposes or on the helm to mark when the rudder is centered. I made a turk’s head bracelet for Tni instead.

I guess some would question whether its a good thing or not, but I managed to put in a couple of good hours of work today and got one small project to the point where I can review it with the client when I get back. Relatively calm seas are great for working on the computer. Very much rolling and/or pitching makes it too hard.

We saw a couple more sea turtles today and two new species of birds that we hadn’t seen thus far. One of the sea turtles was quite small, maybe six inches across the shell. We also saw dolphins several times, mostly at a bit of a distance. On one occasion a couple of dolphins jumped completely out of the water about 150 feet from the boat.

David and Tni are down in the cabin listening to today’s weather information from Herb. Turns out I was incorrect in my first log. Herb doesn’t charge a thing for his daily weather briefing. Many dozens of boats, all across the Atlantic call him or just listen for weather advice every day. It probably takes him a good two or more hours every day just for the broadcast, not including whatever time he spends analyzing the weather up front. Very generous of him to put it mildly. I think I’ll try to send him something from Seattle as a thank you, maybe some smoked salmon or a 747.

I finished my first book of the trip today: The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It is an historical work, including first hand accounts, about the dust bowl era in the 1930s in the great plains region. It was a pretty good read.

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