Noon Position: 57° 42.5‘ N 009° 58.2‘ E
Weather: Air 15°C, Sea 14.5°C, Overcast, Wind NNW 4-6 Knots, Sea State 2 (smooth)
Wind and a Prayer- and An Anchor
There is always a lot of work to do on the Alex II simply to manage the sails. This makes it a nice change when the wind and our course are steady. We have a little more free time on watch and we use it well to learn more about each other and the ship. We might practice knots, or drill sail names and pin board layouts. People who are not on watch also pitch in with bosun’s work at different times during the day. This is maintenance and preventitive maintenance around the ship, which might include removing rust with a hammer and repainting an area, or any number of other tasks. The ocean is a hostile mistress and would take our ship to pieces surprisingly quickly if we did not stay on top of it. Bosun Haines (Heinz, Anm. der Red.) takes the lead there.
Unfortunately there is a second situation that provides ample free time- being becalmed. Harnessing the wind is both our stength and weakness. With the wind we move elegantly through the water, at one with the elements and blissfully quiet. Without the wind we are like the thousands of jellyfish we’ve seen drifting beneath our keel, and we wallow on the waves. However the jellyfish do not have the advantages of our crew’s pragmatism.
To keep from losing ground we dropped anchor, and the oppurtunity to explain the procedure and each piece of equipment invloved was not lost. Once securely on the hook, the ship was far from quiet. We turned up the music and everywhere on deck you could find sailors working diligently or those just off watch relaxing and enjoying the sun. Without much wind the temperature is balmy and we relish it. A fishing boat passed by trailed by a full entourage of gulls.
Before long the wind picks up, and in a very nice maneuver sails were raised to bring the ship into the wind and give us steering way as we set off once more. Late at night we’d be dealing with shifting winds again, but in between we made a lot of progress.