Under a 1,000 miles for Lia Ditton

957.9 miles to go!

The Code Zero is up, which is a cause for celebration as I have been
somewhat reticent to hoist anything large and potentially overpowering since
the kite-fishing/rudder/autopilot string of incidences. It is just a shame
that I don’t have the wind pilot functioning. As the wind dances around
shifting a few degrees this way and that, the autopilot set to “wind” would
follow, thus keeping the sail trimmed to 132 degrees off the wind, for
example. So there is instead a bit of sheet thumping; sail filling and
flopping on deck. I can’t be at the helm all the time.

Speaking of things which go ‘bump’ in the night- four times last night I
went on deck to liberate misguided flying fish. It’s a pretty impressive
flight to land on the deck of this boat and it must be a terribly
frustrating death to beach inches from home waters on a moving vessel! I
have dedicated one yellow Marigold to the purpose of tossing these winged
creatures back into the sea. They are scaly and stink. You would have to be
pretty damn hungry to boil one, but I’ve had them off the grill in the
Caribbean in a “sandwich,’ and they were quite tasty in a grilled-fish sort
of way.

For the second morning in a row, I fell asleep in the “greenhouse.” The
“greenhouse” is the nav station area, called so because of the 7 windows in
total, which span from port beam to starboard beam, with the eighth a round
skylight looking up at the mast. Given the choice, I’m not sure I’d have
windows at all, firstly for the safety factor [if one is broken…] and
secondly because the light refracting through the window panes heats up the
cabin during the day. Having said that, combine airlessness with a
greenhouse climate and you have perfect dozing conditions for beautiful
sleep. After a night on squall-alert, watching large blue and yellow shapes
drift around on the radar screen, I could not have been more grateful.

Two songs got stuck in my head on continuously loop today- ‘It’s the final
count-down…,’ [I have only 1000 miles to go!] and ‘The heat is on…’ [I
am gaining miles on class leader ‘Roaring Forty,’]. Gearing up for a
competitive run-in, I finally got energised and re-socked the “medium”
spinnaker and tied wool round the Code O. When the thing was up, I would
bust open the wool threads [which I did]. I decided to take no chances on a
repeat of yesterday’s mid-hoist un-furl.

I shall leave you with a taste of this evening’s sunset. Let’s just say that
today was a good day.