Onboard electronics can be both a blessing and a curse.
First, the blessing. Today was brain-boiling hot, with nary a breeze to ease my sweaty discomfort. At 3.20pm the thermometer was registering 42.7 degrees centigrade on deck. Not sure what that is in fahrenheit, but in plain English it’s bloody hot.
So the electric fan that has been doing such sterling service in my cabin got pressed into action out on deck. Luckily it has a nice long lead. Its brand name is “Roam”, which seems appropriate – surely few fans will have roamed so far.
The fan really helped, as did regular spongings of water from my bucket. The water was warm – everything is – but still better than nothing.
But now the curse. Tonight I rowed for a couple of hours after sunset, enjoying the slightly cooler air – until the snoozles kicked in. I had bathed and brushed and flossed and had no sooner got into my cabin than the phone rang.
To understand the full impact that this had, you need to know that my phone NEVER rings. Only a handful of people have the number, and as it’s about $10 a minute to call a satphone, and I’m hardly ever in the cabin to answer it, understandably the phone is really only for emergencies.
So this was not good.
It was my poor long-suffering mother, wanting to know if I was still alive. I was able to reassure her on this point. But apparently my positioning unit has not been reporting my whereabouts, and I had been too busy trying to stay cool to tweet as much as usual today. So one way and another, there had been no news from Brocade for 18 hours.
Time was when sailors would set off around the world and nobody would hear a peep out of them until they arrived – or didn’t – at their intended destination. Months could go by with no word. But not any more.
So in future, to save my mother from more worry, I will try to be more regular with my tweeting. I know Twitter has been appropriated for many things, but is this the first recorded use of Twitter as a marine safety tool?
This afternoon, and more frequently around sunset, I saw schools of small fish breaking the surface of the calm blue ocean. They were only a few inches long, and if conditions hadn’t been so deathly calm I probably wouldn’t even have noticed them amongst the waves. The fish were silver, and were jumping clear of the water. They looked a bit like sardines – could they be? Or what kinds of fish live at the Equator and behave like this?
I managed to make some progress south today. Am now less than 40 miles from the Equator. Fingers crossed I don’t get pushed north again,
There is a little spider who has been with me since I left Tarawa. I don’t know what he is finding to eat, but he still seems pretty full of energy. I managed to grab this photo of Alf, but he moves fast so it’s hard to catch him on camera. I hope my little stowaway manages to survive the voyage. It’s nice to have the company.
I found the Alan Alda quote I was looking for the other day – I love this one:
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”