Day 30 - Big Blow a comin'
It has been pretty mellow the last two days, but here are a few news items:
- Yesterday GS2 and I completed Leg 2 of the 10 leg Round-the-world circumnavigation plan put together with Commanders weather. The waypoint we just passed was at 30' South X 30 ' West and the Leg distance was approximately 2,500 nautical miles. We will continue in a Southeast direction, slowly getting into the trademark westerly winds of the 'Roaring Forties" latitudes.
- I believe I am becoming "The Incredible Shrinking Man"- I can almost see my leg muscles- quads, and calves- shrinking as I must not be using them the way I normally do! My upper body and waist have also shrunk, but not quite so dramatically. So- in response- I have initiated a 3X daily exercise program that involves, toe raises (calves), lunges (quads), squats (quads), push-ups (upper body) and sit-ups (core) to stop the muscle atrophy. I am really surprised at how quickly this is happening and I do not feel any weaker, but I think I'd better address the issue before it becomes a bigger deal.
- I have been reading up a storm and have recently finished John Grisham's "Sycamore Row" which was really excellent and also "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins, which was pretty good, but kinda a chick book. I brought some hard copy books and also have a bunch of books and movies and podcasts on my I-pad, but I am already concerned that at my current rate of consumption, I will be reading everything a second time by March!
- Food update- A tragedy has occurred- my favorite Baby Belle cheeses- the ones in the wax wrapper- have all succumbed to the heat and have gone bad. Mournful sigh. However, on the brighter side, this morning I discovered a large cache of pop tarts, which were at risk of getting crushed and destroyed up in the bow sail locker, so I have retrieved those and have commenced a one week "Pop Tart Festival". If you are going to have a muffin or a doughnut, you might as well have a Pop-Tart- they ain't bad!
- Christmas shopping for GS2 branded performance gear is available at Team One Newport- just go to this link: http://www.team1newport.com/Gryphon-Solo-2/products/844/
This is great stuff at good prices so load up Santa's sleigh!
- As they say in the great state of Maine, "We got some weatha a comin'". The forecast is for two days of 20-40 knot winds starting late tonight and going through Thursday night. I have been cleaning up and organizing the boat for the blow, and will hopefully be prepared to be both safe and fast.
- I took the mainsail down today for an inspection prior to the stormy weather and it was a good thing I did, because two of the pins that hold the batten cars to the mast cars had worked their way loose and were about to pop out completely (see picture below or on Facebook - this is a normal car). I think the small cotter pins holding the vertical pins had sheared off, so I replaced them with larger, stronger pins that I'm pretty sure will do the job. I am very glad I got to that before the storm or I may have had a significant problem with the mainsail in the heavy weather.
- Henrik update: I don't know quite how to explain it, but our German friend Henrik Masekowitz has separated dramatically to the East (his position at 1200 UTC Dec. 15 was 35' 27 N X 8' 27 W), with nearly 1,100 miles between us- mostly East-West. The common theory is that the South Atlantic high pressure area is typically right where he currently is, but somehow he keeps on truckin' and has been averaging over 10 knots for a while, as I have been struggling with Doldrum-like conditions. It is hard to say when the two boats may converge- as we are sailing in totally different conditions at the moment- but it is a long way to the finish line, so we just have to hang in there- and maybe I can make up some ground in the next two days.
So that’s about it for now from GS2- just west of the Tristan Da Cunha Islands in the South Atlantic-