On a totally random note today (Oct 17th) is the day that Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, solidifying America’s independence from Britain. It is also the day that I finally have emptied my fuel bladder, now I can roll it up and stow it away. I’ve had a love hate relationship with the fuel bladder. On one hand, it was the only way I could have brought enough fuel to guarantee my completion of the Northwest passage (really there was no guarantee I would make it, but at least I had enough fuel). On the other hand, it was leaky and messy and I’ve been smelling Diesel for 126 days. I was always able to stay one step ahead of the leaks (for the most part) and in reality the fuel bladder was a god-send. It was donated by John (the manager of Ferry Point Marina) and his dad. When they gave it to me it was fine. The problem was I had to cram it into a place it wasn’t meant to fit in, then I filled it with 600 pounds of diesel. It held up well for the first 4,000 miles, but then wear and tear caught up to it.
Ferry Point Marina also sponsored me with a free haul out for St Brendan. Ferry Point Marina has been letting C.R.A.B keep some of there boats there for free for many years. Any Marina thats willing to lose a few bucks to help a non-profit is good in my books. Plus they do good work at a good price. I’ve always preferred the “mom and pop” type boatyard over a larger corporate style boatyard like Jabins. At Ferry Point Marina I can go into the office, make a cup of coffee, joke around with the manager and staff. At a Large Boatyard you’re just a customer, but at a place like Ferry Point you are also a person.
The winds have been mostly light and southerly, I.E. annoying. When I do get wind its usually east southeast. So as you can see I’ve been heading west quite a bit, but its either I go southwest or north northeast. I don’t want to go north so SW is my only real option. Its because of 6 days of nearly no wind that gave me the opportunity to burn enough fuel to empty my fuel bladder. I still have 45 gallons of diesel left which I will need when I enter the Intercontinental convergence zone, AKA the doldrums, around the equator. In some ways the light winds have been a nice break from the difficult weather I experienced up north. On the other hand 5 knot headwinds get old pretty quick. I’ve been wondering if I’ve been sailing threw the horse latitudes. If I were to draw a straight line across this latitude into the Atlantic then I would be in one, but I don’t know enough about the Pacific ocean (and I don’t have Internet access) so all I can do is guess. It seems like the horse latitudes; if I had a horse I would of thrown it overboard by now to gain some speed.
I’ve been fishing with two lures non-stop but no fish. I’m using the right kind of lures for tuna but I haven’t had the best luck with fishing in general. I bet I’ve pulled two lures for over 25,000 miles in all different parts of the planet and I’ve only caught around 25 fish. Only twice have I had good luck. Once sailing the north Atlantic coast of Morocco back in 09 where I was pulling up tuna after tuna and again during my second single-handed transatlantic between Gambia and Antigua, when I was catching good Mahi Mahis regularly. I’ll keep fishing, you never know I might catch one today(maybe).
Well I’m doing good. I feel healthy and I’m doing my best to get south. The clock is ticking, I need to get to the Horn on time. I try not to worry myself crazy, All I can do is give it my best.