Log: The Wire

Colombian cruising

Simultaneous dramas, solutions, and more good sailing. Another 24 hours in the life of ‘Disco’.

Busy busy here on Discoverer for the last 24 hours. As I write this, the wind has lightened slightly, and we’re back to subtly sliding our way down the Colombian coastline. Our course has shaped up to take us relatively close inshore, considering how much of the Caribbean Sea we have to play with. However, this makes for a more interesting time following our progress on the charts, and means there’s some shipping to play with. I do not, however, ever want to hear from the deck again “**** me, that ship came out of nowhere”. Ships do not come out of nowhere; they come from about 10nm away and get ever more noticeable the closer they get…

Before the wind died down this morning, things were slightly more exciting, borderline dramatic at times! The breeze was up, and Disco quite powered up with Jetsam pulling us along at quite the rate of knots. In one of her customary ‘I’m a 50 tonne boat and I’m going to go wherever I want, even if you turn that little wheel in the other direction’ moments, we ended up at a bit of an angle, and the large pot of boiling water that had just reached peak temperature on the hob decided to take a journey across the galley. There was some relatively minor collateral from this, and we ended up with a man stripped naked on the saloon table while the bottomless and ever-delivering medical kits from our wonderful medical partners at MSOS were raided to deal with the situation.

In the middle of all of this, we then wrapped the spinnaker. Obviously.

I’m not sure I could ever have anticipated having to make a decision between holding ice on a naked man’s buttock, and trying to save a sail from self-destructing in the middle of a dark Caribbean Sea night. Luckily there was another volunteer to administer the ice, the kite wrap was easily recovered, quickly reverted back to a normal spinnaker shape again, and I’m pleased to report that it all now counts as ‘just another day on a boat’, rather than anything more noteworthy. My patient is recovering very well, with no significant lasting effects due to the quick action of everyone and having the right equipment onboard to deal with it – just another story to add to their already abundant collection.

It’s hard to top the adrenaline of the evening, but The Engineer, still bitter from his previous loss, did his best with a drawn out rematch of chess against The Italian. The crew waited in eager anticipation, for the first 10 minutes, then fast lost interest and went about the rest of life. Two hours later he proudly pronounced himself the winner, and proceeded to ‘bask in his redemption’. The logbook also now reads “Engineer redeems himself at chess”, in handwriting looking suspiciously like that of an aeronautical engineer…

I was having a nice snooze at the nav station (and unwittingly doing my best to cover the table in drool it seems), when the radio crackling into life with our name. First VHF convo (another Aussie use of a totally unnecessary shortening of a perfectly good word and adding an ‘o’ on the end there…) since leaving Antigua! An American boat just ahead had spotted us storming along and wanted to say hi, even mistaking us for an Oyster on the Oyster World Rally! If they’d had a close enough look I highly doubt we’d have been mistaken for an Oyster a second time…

We were doing about double their speed, and they asked us what sail plan we were running. When I replied our medium-weight kite with a full main and he responded that they only had their jib up, I commented that I had 12 crew to work with, which I think made him feel better about the difference in sail plans!

There has been more filming challenges today, with a variety of concepts at play. Artistic, comical, dramatic, suspenseful have all been covered, and the fully edited and produced clips created wholly on the boat are impressive.

We have just finished a little team debrief about the trip so far, run over the ongoing plans that are currently in play, and watched another spectacular sunset, in a vain attempt to persuade the non-believers that the Green Flash does really exist. No flash tonight, so the debate rages on for another day.

A productive and happy Disco, signing off for the evening.

Date: 16th Februray 2017
Time: 2345z
Position: 11°24.4N 074°51.1W
COG: 230°T
SOG: 8kts
Wind: ENE 4
Swell: NE 2-3ft
Sky: 0/8
Weather: Fair


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