INDEPENDENT PURSUIT ATLANTIC CROSSING 2018 (Part 6)
Last night, around 23:30, I was totally engrossed in my reading, when, all on a sudden, wailing sirens startled me. It was like we were being chased by police.
Barefoot I hurried up the bridge where all the ship’s officers were checking instruments in the dark and I was told that there was a fire alarm coming from the bosun’s store which, from what I could hear, is located somewhere close to the bow.
No panic, probably a malfunctioning sensor. Rather than to stay in the way of the pro’s, I retreated to my cabin. It looks like all was under control.
I had a really miserable night and did not sleep well. Note to self: take a sleeping aid tonight. Around 05:00 I finally fell asleep and woke up around 10:00. Let’s skip breakfast. After a shower I went to the bridge to send my Spot position. It looks like I have a whole audience on shore that receives and disseminates my positions.
The weather today is grey and overcast. The sea is calm with low waves and visibility is about 10 miles. A bit dreary. Temperature has dropped and I am no longer wearing shorts but jeans and a fleece over my polo.
When I spotted the fishing boats yesterday on the chart plotter, I could also see one ship named Santa Bettina on our quarter port. This morning she had passed us and was on our starboard at a one o’clock position and about seven miles ahead of us. The AIS showed that she is a cargo ship headed for GBLGP. When I have good internet access, I will have to find out what steamship line she belongs to and what the port in the U.K. is with code LGP. Professional curiosity, I guess?
I always thought that crossing the ocean on a ship would do away with the jet lag.
Instead of jumping six or seven time zones on a nine four flight from Chicago to, let’s say, Brussels, you take eleven days thus smoothening the shock.
When talking with the crew about this, they disagreed, and I must say that, after five days, I am also starting to have my doubts about it.
Remember how miserable you can feel for a few days when, twice a year, we change hours in spring and fall? Well, imagine having that experience on an almost daily basis, when sailing from one time zone to next one with the clock jumping an hour forward going east.
It screws up your sleep pattern while your stomach tells you it is not really hungry at 12:00 today because yesterday it was 11:00 at this juncture.
Each cabin has a clock against the wall. The clock is centrally controlled and, every so often, when we are gaining hours, the hands start to race forward to catch up with the new local time and you then must reset your watch accordingly.
Lunch today was OK, nothing spectacular. Some beef with a non-descript gravy and potato croquettes with some kind of onion salad. I cannot wait to cook my own meals again.
I finished my Grisham novel and ready for a nap to compensate for the lousy night.
16:28 UTC (or Zulu time as we called it when I was flying) translates to 17:28 local.
The sky has cleared, and the sun is out again. A bit more wave action than earlier today.
Was it the fact that I had mentioned to the Captain that I love Paella but, for dinner, we were served a risotto with calamares. I only picked a little at it because it was very fishy tasting. I limited myself to some salad and a kind of “Pan Con Tomate”-like tapa. There is fruit in the cabin.
Going to the bridge to send my Spot position (19:30 local) then read some more.
We are halfway…