Currently we are located 60nm to the west of Tristan Da Cunha and experiencing strong to very strong WSW winds with a 2-3m SW swell. Our current speed is 5.5kts and the temperature is 10 degrees.
Welcome to day 16 of our voyage
Welcome to day 16 of our voyage. Well thankfully the wind freshened again today as we experienced a passing cold front so we are back under sail. In preparations for some stronger conditions expected overnight we have a reduced sail plan and I have just gotten Martin the Officer of the Watch to get the watch on to clew up the course because we are currently going to fast and at our current speed will be early for our planned 0800 anchorage tomorrow morning at Tristan Da Cunha (weather permitting).
Today has seen our new watches working well together and starting to take on more of a leadership role in the sailing of the ship. Given the strange weather that we have been experiencing this week we thought the time right to give everyone a meteorological brief, so our very own Dr Nick, who used to be a Navy Meteorologist before he became a Doctor, enlightened everyone on the mysteries of weather.
Currently we are located only 60nm to the west of Tristan Da Cunha sailing under a reduced sail plan and experiencing strong – very strong WSW winds with a 2-3m SW swell.
Volunteering to write tonight’s Captains Log is the new ‘Which Watches’ Louisa, please enjoy!
Until tomorrow, take care
Captains Log 06 Nov 15
This evening is blustery, the weather finally strengthening aft of the Young Endeavour after a prolonged period of calm. While the break from the incessant driving wind, creeping and whistling into all our zips and spaces between collars and beanies, ankles and ears has brought a welcome calm to our watches on the bridge, there is nothing quite like the feeling of sailing. With the wind at 170 degrees, we currently have two of our square sails set, the sky is expanding as it clears and spirits are high.
I said to a dear one before embarking how I imagined it might feel to be pinned between two such infinities, to be so minuet, suspended in unfathomable oceans of sky and endless, empty, weighty water. It is hard to truly appreciate, to conceive of the reality of us actually being here.. Infinitesimal and vital, balanced a pause in such enormity. In some ways it is a strange place for a human to be, in the middle of so much water, regardless of our skill and technologies.. Yet equally we are so drawn to water, fascinated by water.. we are water. And on the whole I have felt remarkably at home. Humbled yes, but it is so much simpler than I’d expected. This world just is, it feels whole.. it feels complete .. almost as if the intrusion of land would feel somehow inappropriate.
This crossing is also just simply a very cool thing to do. Sailing is such a good feeling. From a perch up on the foremast, looking down at the racing water, at the curve the boat is cutting through the water, knowing it is the work of the wind and the part-magic, part-science that is sailing..the smile spreads all through my body. Everyone feels the shift in mood and enthusiasm when we are sailing, sailing well. I’m glad to share the ocean with these lovelies.. we all have warm eyes for one another and there is an ease among us that allows each of us to take what we need from this time, to dip in and out of shared and personal experience.
Today has been a day of settling into our new watches, of whistling for wind, of baking, of meteorological learning’s… and tomorrow we see Tristan da Cunha!! The island has captured my imagination so deeply; I’m so excited, I’m so thankful we are able to stop… All we know is what can be gleaned from a sketchy Wikipedia print-off and yet rumours abound - stories, extrapolations and exaggerations that reflect and bounce off our different interpretations, despite having all read the exact same four pages of basic facts. It does just seem so outrageously bizarre… a communal, pastoral society of 300, all descended from the same small initial British settlement - no outsider settlers allowed, their language a blend of British and Afrikaans, they have BBC 1 and 2 and a British postcode and yet no airstrip, they have their own postal stamps and yet rely on passing fishing vessels to take their mail… such a blend of worlds!!!
The most remote inhabited island on the planet…
I must admit to harbouring certain hopes that they’ll stock some British essentials such as real McVities digestives and perhaps even Yorkshire tea… We shall see. As we get closer to this tiny anomaly in the middle of the Atlantic, the space above the waves has suddenly filled with birds, this afternoon bringing terns to add to the various now-familiar albatrosses and petrels. Exciting.
With whatever mysteries it happens to be carrying for us, the island of Tristan da Cunha will appear on the horizon with tomorrow’s dawn.. and our watch has been lucky enough to score the 0400-0800 opportunity to see it happen! Can’t wait. Love to all!
Louisa – of the new Which Watch