Friday, 23 September 2011

Leaving Cape Town

Dolpins swimming alongside
It’s a beautiful morning. It’s warm and sunny. The sea is sparkling but there is a pretty big swell and we are rolling along. Despite scanning the sea with binoculars there is not much to see – no land, the occasional distant ship and a few albatrosses and petrels - I’ll update you once I figure out what species they are. Just a lot of sea and sky.

I didn’t sleep much last night – it’s hard getting used to the motion and engine noise. But the bunk is comfortable and there is a little light and air from a nearby port hole. There is an excellent shower but otherwise the plumbing is pretty dodgy but I’ll spare you the details.

Delicious fried eggs and bacon with lovely toast made from dense wholemeal bread for breakfast. And proper filter coffee. But it might have been a mistake because I didn’t feel too well a couple hours later. Anyway I survived but didn’t risk lunch. Actually I’m beginning to wonder how good my motion sickness tablets are. I explained to my doc that I was on a six day sail from Cape Town to Tristan and asked him for extra strong tablets. He prescribed Buccastem which you don’t swallow, but let dissolve slowly between your gum and cheek.

I’ve being trying to befriend the captain. But it’s quite hard work. He is Latvian and is a man of few words and even fewer in English. What I gleaned was that we are doing 7.2 knots and at 10am were only 160 kilometres from Cape Town. Our speed is (to me) surprisingly slow but not untypical for a cargo ship in a big swell. Even here the sea is over 2300m deep according to the charts. A straight line course direct to Tristan would be 260 degrees. However we are on a slightly more southerly course of 252 degrees to increase the angle with the swell and reduce roll. Just another 1600km to go....

To while away the hours I’ve been variously sleeping, reading, chatting and listening to music. For a bit of fun I’ve been listening to all my tracks which come up when you search for the word “Wave”. Not many as it turns out - Love is the Seventh Wave, by Sting; The Name of the Wave, by William Orbit and Brainwaves by Nitin Sawhney.

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