I'm sitting here at the back of the bus, behind the helm on Qingdao. It's 0330 UTC. I'm using my Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet and am remotely working the Nav PC. The marvels of technology.
It’s a great tool and allows me to do everything I can do in the Nav station from the deck where I can be a guiding influence.
We started sailing at 1812 UTC and have reasonable pressure even if the direction isn't great. We are on the move out from the Doldrums. I understand with each mile of south we put in, the likelihood of making it out increases and the chances of becoming clenched in the grip of the ‘life consuming clutches of the Doldrums wind void’ significantly decreases. Let’s hope this is it.
It’s been a strange few days motoring. The crew have been superb and have enforced Skipper/AQP days off. Wow it’s been good to know everything is running like clockwork. We had a maintenance list I checked in on maybe twice and that was it. Both Rhiannon and I are well slept, as are the crew. Probably all in better form than the start of the race. I'm looking forward to ascertain we are into the new trades in a day or so.
There have been some beautiful times. We had our first sighting of phosphorescent dolphins. They weren't quite there, with just faint trails and the occasional bright glow, but it gave everyone an insight to the glow in the dark dolphins I had explained to them. For those that haven't seen it before, it’s when there is luminescence I believe caused by disturbed plankton but could happily stand corrected. It lights up in the wash often caused by the boat. It also lights up in the wash caused by dolphins swimming and the molecules stick to their skin. On a clear night with more light I have seen full on bright glow in the dark dolphins that leave a light trail in their wake. You can see it up to a reasonable depth and when you have a whole pod lit up, it is truly a marvel of nature, like the marine life version of the northern lights.
I'm going to leave you on that note. It’s all very chilled out on the boat and we are setting ourselves up to get back into the race.