“Pétole “was a word often in my mouth. An alien french word imported from my old country. Every crew members on Breskell knows what “pétole” means : dead calm. It’s like sailing over a mirror. And no sailor enjoys sailing over a mirror. There is even a situation as bad as “pétole”. It’s when the wind is coming on the nose and right from the direction you want to go. Lucky us. The “pétole” and the front wind: we got them both! Our weather map downloaded in St. John helped our steering decision: going northwest and unfortunately up wind. But the sea is now much quieter and the ride is pretty easy…. This time, the wood stove would not pop out!
We have been sailing all night up wind. That night, I could sleep at least twice and each time for a good two hours stretch: luxury. I woke up in better shape when Vari came down telling me that, again, the wind had died. One easy solution: motoring! Almost noon now and we were still motoring. The air was cold, bitterly cold. Better to wear our warm Patagonia jackets, wool hat and gloves if we planned to stay outside in the shade.
We definitely were now sailing in the high latitudes. Still, under the sun it could be very nice. As always, we could also return inside where our trusted stove maintained a comfortable temperature.
This motoring gave me the opportunity to do some small works.
On a sailboat, all those little security tasks are like deposits in a secured bank account. Later, if hell brake loose around you, you can withdraw from this accumulated capital of security.
So, I checked all the sail lockers to make sure there was no water in. Unfortunately, my lockers are not waterproof. So I pulled out all the chain from the anchor well and checked also the plug I installed before departing. I then removed the boom vang. It’s a kind of mechanism that slows the boom when you change direction with the wind on your back. Sometimes, you can controlled it. Other times, with a wind shift, it can happens unexpectedly. The boom, at that time, becomes a lethal weapon. It’s able to throw even the heaviest sailor into the drink or worst, kill by hitting him on the head. A welding broke last night. No problem. I replaced it with pulleys, the old traditional way. But it worked well; simple and strong. Then I dried out the main salon. We forgotten to shut the valve of the sink and we still had a bit of water sloshing around. Not much. I finished my safety account deposits by drying also the engine room. We were not getting anymore drinking water in after my last intervention.
At 3:20 pm we saw another iceberg. We should pass not far away from this one. But at least we know now that they are detected by radar. We could see this one pretty well on the screen. In daylight, I took the opportunity to adjust my radar.
From now on, we will have to watch them closely, especially at night. Hopefully now, we could see them easily inside on our navigational instruments.
Today, the sunset is beautiful and orange.
If the old adage “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight “ is not an old wives’ tale, tomorrow should be a great day and hopefully this time with south winds. Tonight, we also have a very very clear sky and an awesome and spectacular half-moon. It is a gorgeous night. When Vari wakes me up this morning, we are motoring. An hour later still motoring but in a very thick fog.
So far, we have not seen many icebergs. One yesterday, but none since. And after about thirty hours of motoring, we are again in the damn “pétole. The Weather man predicted south winds for today. We are still waiting for them half a day later… not even a breeze from the south…