Log: The Wire

Singing propellers and flying spinnakers

Wind wind wind!!! Disco is singing, in a literal sense for the first time ever, Gatorade gate is revealed, and The Engineer loses at chess.

The wind is up, spirits are high, and the progress is good. As promised by our weather routing partners at WRI, the breeze has started to fill in nicely, and we are once again trucking along through the Caribbean Sea. We have dove a long way south in order the play the wind angles as best we can, and also to try and stay in the slightly stronger winds that are nearer the Columbian coastline. We are now expecting winds in excess of what we can easily sail the spinnaker in, so at some point over the next few days I expect to be changing back to white sails, but hopefully this will not be detrimental to our good progress.

There is a new noise onboard! Our new shiny propeller, known as Poppy, the successor to Penelope, is quite different, in that she doesn’t fold or feather. This means all the water passing by her has a significant effect on the boat. One of these effects is that the helm has a slight vibration to it, as the turbulence created by Poppy affects the rudder. The other is that Discoverer is actually singing. The water passing over the blades of the prop are creating harmonics that resonate throughout the entire boat. This is only really noticeable when we’re going over 8kts, but at our current 10kts Disco is literally singing as the fly through the water.

One of our watch has ended up as the ‘Spanish watch’, with both Andrea and Renaud talking and teaching Spanish. They have taken to renaming their watch every day with the Spanish name for various aquatic animals. Yesterday they were Penquino Team (slightly obvious translation), and today they are Tiburones Team (with the slightly less obvious translation of Shark Team).

No one was more excited than Renaud at the appearance of dozens of dolphins yesterday, and he gladly explained the finer details of dolphins and the lives they lead to all present. The dolphin lessons were soon followed by an impromptu yoga lesson on the foredeck, led by our sailor, cyclist, yoga teacher, and all round inspirational guy, Philipp. I think we all learnt that yoga on a moving boat is quite hard work, and none of us are very flexible.

The relaxing format of yoga came at a critical moment, as The Engineer was still reeling from his loss at chess to The Italian. The Engineer has so far proven unbeatable at the game, however perhaps competition in the form of myself isn’t really a viable challenge. He has met his match, however, in the form of The Italian, and after an intense game lasting over an hour, it came to a surprising conclusion. The new boat champion remains unchallenged at the time of writing.

I had forgotten to mention Gatorade-gate, which took place on day 1. At some point on the first evening Jonathon stuck his head on deck and politely asked Henry to come down below. After they both disappeared for a little while I went to investigate, and discovered there had been a ‘small incident’. It turned out that Henry had taken on a large supply of Gatorade in Antigua, and stashed it in his cabin. After our first gybe it became obvious that his stowage was not up the scratch, when the whole lot came crashing across the cabin, spilling Gatorade everywhere, narrowly missing the unsuspecting engineer. The bilge team was only remarking yesterday that they were still hoovering fluorescent coloured liquid out of the boat days later…

Today has seen the beginning of a daily video competition, with teams and individuals being encouraged to film, produce, and show a short film, meeting daily-updated criteria on the galley whiteboard. Watch this space, short films coming your way soon…


Date: 15th February 2017
Time: 1745z
Position: 13°42.6N 071°03.6W
COG: 260°T
SOG: 10kts
Wind: E5
Swell: E 3-4ft
Sky: 4/8 cumulus
Weather: Fair


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