Things hotting up for Sir Robin K-J aboard Saga

Monday 26th February 2007
Lat 43 25S Long 050 50W
Miles to Norfolk, USA: 5,934 nm
Distance In 24 Hours:184.9 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours: 7.7 knots
Ranking: 4th

“The Royal Navy are certainly keeping an eye on me. Yesterday evening I detected a radar and 20 minutes later I picked up a vessel. It turned out to be HMS Dumbarton Castle. We chatted for a bit, they had been told of my whereabouts by HMS Edinburgh. Nice to see them and even nicer to chat to their RIB crew, the Lieutenant in the RIB was on board HMS Mersey when we went to meet Ellen Macarthur at the end of her record breaking voyage a couple of years ago.”

“It has blown up during the night but ought to ease later. Nothing too serious, a Force 5 with gusts of 6 so far, but SAGA has been moving quite well so not much sleep. It has grown noticeably warmer the last day or so and soon I shall be able to get out of polar gear.”

“Spent yesterday morning sorting out the Medium Reacher and getting to understand the new furler. It took 4 hours to get it all sorted, things like the furling line being too big so the sail was not fully out when the drum was empty, so had to find a smaller line. Then it decided on a really good twist which took 2 hours to sort, cost me my best screw-driver, the scab on my knuckles from mooring up in Ushuaia and elevated my blood pressure. It was then I decided the sail, which is lovely, is like some beautiful women, knows it and has some character flaws as a result. It is a character defect in the sail that North Sails should have fixed. However that was when I decided come what may, it was going to get set and
eventually it gave up, but it was a good thing I was on my own as my temper
went a few times.”

“I have been asked the secret of Pot Mess. Well its simple, cut up onions and potatoes into small pieces and then add tins of what you fancy. If you have bacon cut up a couple of slices and pop them in as they help set it up. It ought to be in a pressure cooker on a boat as that saves power but also means that when it falls off the stove, which it is bound to do sometime, the contents do not get spread everywhere which is an annoying clean up job apart from losing the meal. Let it come to its first blow, switch off. Leave it half an hour and heat again till it blows again. Let the pressure subside and it is ready.”

“I spent a bit of time with palm and needle working on my loyal storm jib, which is showing signs of serious wear. It has done me well, but I’m not sure how many more gales it will take. It is giving me plenty of sewing practice anyway. I had better not say too much about the rugby, apart from bloody well done Ireland! RKJ”