Day 13. Sanity on the High Seas

Today we started feeling a light chill…The temperatures began to drop around latitude 17 south, which was refreshing. We also noticed that we’re a crossing time zone, because sunrise is now at 7:30am instead of 6:30am. It must have been gradual, but it felt very sudden! At 1800hrs we changed our Ship Clock to an hour back, which should be the time in Pitcairn. This was carefully executed because it affected our daily crew rotation for driving the boat.

Although the boat is practically driving herself in the extraordinarily consistent conditions — winds do shift, unpredictable rain showers roll thru, things can break, or we can encounter a boat — so someone always needs to be up and alert. The boat is moving 24hrs a day!

Routine is very important for boat operation so everyone can get adequate sleep, food prepared, cabin cleaned, and chores done. Each person on Aldebaran is on watch for 4hrs per “night” (9pm-1am, 1-5am, 5-9am, and 9am-1pm) and an additional 2hrs per “afternoon”. Below is our daily schedule:

9a: BREAKFAST, Calendar update, Position Report with statistic overview of last 24hrs, Crew meeting. 9a-1p: Morning Shift. Daily chores.
1-4p: Boat projects
1p-3p; 3p-5p; 5p-7p; 7p-9p (2 hour Afternoon/Evening shifts)
6:30p: DINNER* (we eat early so the person on graveyard shift can go to bed by 7:30p and get sufficient rest before their 1am shift) 9p-1a: Evening shift, 12h Position Report with statistic overview 1a-5a: Graveyard shift
5a-9a: Dawn Patrol

Each morning at 9am we ceremoniously cross off a day in the long strip of green tape labeled DAY 1 – 24; and a new day is welcomed! Without the green strip as a reminder, all the days would be morphing. It is also a crew favorite to celebrate each time the “Distance to Destination” drops by 100 miles, which occurs every day. This daily “victory” is also a tangible reminder that we are actually approaching somewhere, and not just here forever.

To keep things interesting, we change up the rotation every 3 days; so if you do the 1-5am “graveyard shift” for three days then you’ll do the 9pm-1am shift for the next three days. The cooking duty is also tied to the driving time; so if you’re on watch for the 9pm-1am shift, you’ll cook breakfast. This way everyone has the opportunity to get plenty of sleep, and a few “nights off” every 12 days. In comparison to solo sailors who often set alarms every 15 minutes while they “sleep”, in order to check things every 15 minutes, I’d say we have it pretty good!

Speaking of conditions, the day began with the same mild breeze we’ve had for 3 days: relatively light NE winds 8-10knots from nearly astern. Then it swung around to the more conventional ESE, which is actually a better angle for our mainsail, and our boat speed also jumped up, and helped us make a 137nm day (in contrast with the last two mellow days, which we traveled only 105nm)

Breakfast: banana smoothie (we froze all the bananas and have been making daily smoothies with a squeezed orange & apple, or oats & peanut butter.
Lunch: Seared Ahi Tuna with asian cabbage salad (the yellowfin tuna we caught yesterday) Dinner: Boat-made tortillas and Fish Tacos (the last of the yellowfin)

see our current location at 0900hrs. April 22, 2017.
S 18 30.95 W 112 48.84
Av Sp 5.7knots
Distance to Ducie 761nm

Photo: our green strip of days marked off, just when we were crossing the 1000 miles to destination mark!

2 thoughts on “Day 13. Sanity on the High Seas

  1. Me too!
    I’m probably the first to read your blogs, I’m right here, watching for them to come in…
    I love reading all of your articles and your different perspectives, Sabrina’s are so funny!, Spencer’s are more professional, Michael’s are an eye opener for me (gourmet meals on the go, oh yeah!).
    And I absolutely love Kristian’s writings !!!

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