As the Perseverance watch leaders and assistant watch leaders become more and more capable, I'm able to spend more and more time at the nav desk.

They have progressed from being administrators who make sure the bilges and cleaning are done on time, to being fully fledged masters of the deck.

The watch leaders Cam and Girt are on mother duty. So, it falls on assistant watch leader Jade to track the true wind speed and wind direction, watching for when the drops or veers enough for us to shake out reef 1, and speed along with our full main up. Whilst doing this she is 'check helming', making sure the helm steers a consistent compass course.

Assistant watch leader Peter has started to prepare reefs in advance, picking which winches different control lines will go on, and making sure appropriate people are on each job.

I take the helm and try and keep a consistent course and an eye on things, whilst Peter stands off to the side and runs the sail evolution.

First the boom is raised, and the main halyard is eased. A crews member receives a handy-billy from below, and once the reef is ground on and the boom lowered, the rig returns to a normal, safe, load and fast sailing resumes.

Peter observes from the side lines, making sure the halyard tension is correct, and that no other reefs are controlled. There’s a lot of learning going on.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to Tom Newsom. Your lovely blog last leg about following Cassiopeia and other constellations across the night sky inspired me to pick up 'The Barefoot Navigator: Wayfinding skills of the ancients' by Jack Lagan.

It’s a book I read a couple of years ago, and after re-reading it, I would recommend it to anybody interested in navigation.

It’s partially a history of different navigation styles: Vikings, Phoenicians, Arabs, Greeks, Renaissance European, and most of all Polynesians.

It sets out the key attributes, methods, thought patterns and geographic constraints of each school and then sets out a seriously detailed and practical way in which you can apply them to your day-to-day navigation.

Me and watch leader Girt have been having serious night watch fun pretending to be young Polynesian navigators. Standing side by side on the sandy beach of our imaginary island, with full face tattoos just like legendary Tahitian navigator Tupaia.

Our waka (ancient Polynesian canoe capable of holding 20 people) is loaded up with supplies and a fit crew. We go and visit Old Matagi, our teacher who taught us everything, and he says that the north wind will blow for another eight days.

So, we head down to the beach, locate the Southern Cross which tells us where south is. We set off West, and as Mamua the moon god, illuminates the horizon, we see the Orion rise from the West.

We know we're now headed roughly towards Cape Town. Using an intersection of Orion’s Belt as a forward marker we identify the bright star Sirius. Not only does this star rise from the horizon at exactly 110 Compass (although we don’t know what that island is, it won’t be invented for hundreds of years) but, if we are on the correct line of latitude then it passes directly over us at its zenith. I could go on but I’m running out of time pre- sched. It’s a good read and written in a very fun and engaging way.

Joss, Ini and Seadogs