Hello from my office!
Another starry night is coming to a close, with twilight just starting to lighten the Eastern horizon. The wind and waves have settled into a fine breeze just East of South and a swell with the occasional big roll reminding us of the last 24 hours or so, where every single item on board managed to find itself a new place!
Today’s big highlight is our most recent addition to our spread of canvas: two stunsails! These are the sails you see on paintings and in pirate movies, and although it takes a good day to rig all the extra lines and poles, the smiles of awe and wonder on everyone’s face (including my own) when those massive kites travel all the way from deck up to their spots next to the square sails make up for it every single time! So with now 16 sails set we keep making miles towards St. Helena. A little dot on the chart still far far away.
Even further away though only half the distance in miles seem the ship yard days in Cape Town: The crazy rush before departure, finishing off jobs, packing away fruit and vegetables, welcoming voyage crew. And for us as mates: finalizing paper work, immigration and safety rounds with crew and voyage crew. Leaving the quay means more than just casting off lines and setting sails. It means transitioning from one world into another. As the land pulls away into the distance, so does the world of the familiar: internet, communication, information, shops and bars. So do also the means of calling the fire brigade, the ambulance, the plumber or the internet guy.
At sea, time follows a different pattern. Priorities shift to the obvious and the simple: Good weather. Good speed. Good people. Good food. And once the first watches have started their shifts , the lookout settled in on the bow, the helmsmen at the stern steering the Europa towards our first destination, this is all that matters.
Greeting from 25 27 S 8 27 E
Ninja, 1st mate