Sailing from Namibia to St Helena, Power, Sailing, and Shakespeare!

March 7th, 2019
We are still making headway toward St Helena. We are now currently under 600 miles to our destination. The past 24 hours we ran under motor, trying to get the batteries recharged sufficiently after depleting them to 50% yesterday. The hope was that depleting and recharging them would make a change in their ability to provide sufficient voltage for everything to work properly. Unfortunately, the attempt seems to have failed. We are still able to run all the necessary lights and equipment, but have to be careful which items we run simultaneously. We’ll most likely be replacing the batteries in Brazil. I want to reassure everybody that we are not in any danger of running out of battery or power. We just have to treat them with kid gloves until we replace them. We are not in danger of them dying completely. Not yet. Basically, when we try to run the water pressure (turn on a sink) it kills the chart plotter. So at night, when we want to run the chart plotter and AIS, we will refrain from using the water pump/pressure and it should be fine. We have a 5 gallon container that we’ll fill up with water so we don’t have to use the sinks after dark. I’ve always said that sailing is like camping or RVing on the water.

Yesterday we ran almost the entire day with the asymmetric spinnaker. It was really nice because the winds were light and the sea state was quite calm, but we moved along the surface quite nicely because of this sail. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that we actually started using the motor as the winds had dropped off even more.

I watched a great movie today that has renewed my desire to write. Anonymous. I guess it is controversial, because it suggests that William Shakespeare didn’t write all those plays and sonnets, but another nobleman named the Earl of Oxford, who couldn’t afford to have his works known. Mostly because his guardian forbade him to write. It was an interesting premise since it is well known that Shakespeare only had a 3rd grade education and it is often wondered how he was able to write so many amazing plays and poems. This is one plausible explanation. And because of the controversy around the Earl of Oxford’s supposed affair with Queen Elizabeth, it was never known that he was the writer. Regardless of who really wrote those plays, it was a reminder to me to write more.

Sunset last night was pretty awe-inspiring. It was similar to many other sunsets I’ve seen for the past 3 years, but still beautiful, nonetheless. The water was blue, but it also had these golden and darker hues from the sunset and the darker clouds on the horizon. I wish you could see it as the swells gently lift our boat, and then continue on toward the horizon. I am colorblind, so I don’t really know how to best describe the colors, but they have these golden and blue hues that are really pleasing and peaceful to look at.

March 8th, 2019

Had the asymmetrical spinnaker up again today. I love using that sail. It moves us along at 6 knots in the lightest of winds.

I was going through some old notes I made back in 2017 when I was crossing from Panama to The Marquesas with the 2nd ship of my journey, Elixir. I was on Elixir with Ted and Jenny Peacocke and Mark Thomas, all three from New Zealand, the land of hobbits and all good things down under. We had a really great passage for weeks on end. There are lots of wonderful things about making passages with Kiwis! We had happy hour every night, come rain or shine. And there were lots of great stories told. And Kiwis are a competitive sailing bunch, although you’d never get them to admit it. But they can’t help themselves. I wrote this one night when I was traveling with them somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between Ecuador and the Marquesas. Every day, Ted would look for updates from the boats around us to see where they were compared to us. It’s something that cruisers do, keeping tabs on each other, but Ted really wanted to know where they were so he could tell how soundly he was beating them across the Pacific. Go ahead, ask him, he’ll deny it. He can’t help himself. To one of my most memorable passages, with some of the best people on the planet!

Sailing along the ocean blue
Going to the Marquesas
Gonna get there with all our crew
But we ain’t gonna race ya!

We started off from Ecuador
Passing by the Galápagos
We might have stopped and seen her shores
But it cost a million pesos

The skipper, Ted, was a jolly man
Quick with a joke and a yarn
Master of navigation and starry charts
And the shearing of sheep in a barn

Jenny was a lovely sailor girl
Who cooked lots of lovely meals
Hot drinks were her fine specialty
But bites of her bread we would steal

Mark was a mighty sailing man
Good with the trim of the sail
At home he was king of the green kiwis
And the gold kiwis as well

Matt was the long lost guitar man
Who liked to sing a lot
Sleeping was his passion true
And sailing on a yacht

Sailing along the ocean blue
Going to the Marquesas
Gonna get there with all our crew
But we ain’t gonna race ya!

Elixir was sleek and fast “as that”
She did 5 to 8 knots per hour
150 to 180 miles per day
Was the level of her power

Three other boats were on the road
Sandy Cheeks, Florence and Carpe Diem
Gotta do more miles than all of them
We really just wanna beat em

Sailing along the ocean blue
Going to the Marquesas
Gonna get there with all our crew
But we ain’t gonna race ya!

May, 2017

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