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Monday, December 7, 2009

Frustration by the truckload

Position 1900/6th 3329 01418 and 197 to go

What a day - frustrating, therapeutic in an 'it's nice when you stop banging your head' sort of way, fierce concentration just to stay in the same spot, just enough wind in the sails to pass the bubbles but desperately disappointing when you've spent three hours hand steering, playing every little shift, every blasted wave that throws the boat around and stops her dead, doing doughnuts, fogging and rolling and you find that you have gained - nothing. I have a couple of screen prints of one session and I'll post them if we ever get to CT. I was looking at 200 miles to go for about 12 hours - we cracked it, I hope finally, about three hours ago.

And the water really is soapy - there's a greasy film over the surface, easily visible when it is oily calm like it has been today and there are bubbles, formed I know not how because there are no white caps and they hang around - they don't seem to pop. Can this be yet another example of us humans trashing the planet?

Radio dead again so this by Iridium and short. So much to write, but really too busy steering or trying to get some sleep. We have now what I hope - and the grib predicts - is the top of a big low forming around us and deepening below us tomorrow and Tuesday and - I hope - giving us just enough to stem the current for 197 miles and through the barn door. But I'm not too confident.

What it must have been like for the emigrant ships and the slave ships stuck out here for weeks in these conditions is beyond my imaginative tolerance - rationed, tainted water, maggoty or mouldy or just no food, hot, no cooling breeze, people dying around you, their corpses often floating beside the ship until they burst and sank and worst of all, not knowing when it would end. I just don't want to think about it.