Becalmed & Rejoining the Human Race

February 23, 2011 posted by admin

Noon Wednesday February 23, 2011

Sailing partner Nick provides considerable insight with today’s update:

Just got of the phone with her majesty. Long call in three installments due to not enough satellites to support a conversation with Diane. What can I say, the girl likes to talk and talk and… talk. Last summer, she wouldn’t shut up the whole way to Bermuda!

Anywaaay, she’s bobbing around in just about no wind whatsoever east of the Bahamas. True wind speed is showing 3kts. She thinks the electronics may be a tad optimistic. The wind direction is doing circles. She tried moving the stack to leeward to exactly zero effect. She’s working on a system to improve the stacking system as she ran out of room on one side of the boat.

Now Diane is not one to sit around with nothing to do so she has been quite busy.

She started the day with a complete salt water shower. She said she had no trouble getting her soap and shampoo to lather which I found surprising since I’ve heard that this is a problem in salt water. She said that felt fantastic! Welcome back to the human race, Diane!

Breakfast featured some of her daily ration of chocolate. For those who don’t know already, team OGOC has chocolate… issues.

She mounted and tried the outboard today. This was important for a couple of reasons. Earlier in the trip, it had got swamped so she needed to determine that it worked and would work should she need it. She wanted to know that in the light air, without steerage way, she could get out of the way of shipping. She said if that had to be done, she could hit the MOB button on the GPS, motor out of the way and return to the exact spot and shut off the motor. In this way she would not compromise this qualifying run.

She has switched on all the alarms and has had plenty of sleep. At one point, she said she woke up to the alarms to find herself staring at the port and starboard lights of a ship with its horn going. Ship’s horns are seriously LOUD! Fortunately, she had wind at that time and simply tacked out of the way.

She has been using my sextant to take sun sights as this is a requirement for the qualifier as well. She’s had some trouble since it is so bright and sunny that the sea is exactly the same colour as the sky. This makes it hard to find the horizon in the sextant telescope. This problem is made worse because, while she was careful to pack her glasses case, she found that it was… empty?!?! She has used the telescope in backwards to sharpen images. I’m continually impressed with how resourceful and inventive she is under pressure.

She’s also playing with the calibration of the ST60 instruments & autohelm. She says they are misaligned by about 10°.

She reports that the weather forecast has been dead accurate…
you’re welcome!

Tim again: Diane’s latest fix is available from , a forecast from and the increasingly familiar Google Charts with Diane’s position as of 3:15pm today. 110 nautical miles from waypoint “2” not much changed from yesterday’s 4pm fix of 112nm when Diane was becalmed.

One Response to “Becalmed & Rejoining the Human Race”

  1. john globemasterone Says:

    Wonderfully written blog today Nick. Having only met Diane at the Toronto Boat Show I now know a little more about her….you gave up a lot of inside information today …lol. It’s great to hear how Diane is dealing with the becalmed conditions and that she is well and rested. COME ON WIND>>>>2

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