It is Saturday afternoon, Cochise and crew are chilling, and recovering from a dose of CED (current events depression).
No, we have not turned on the news, and we remain blissfully ignorant. But last night, at the start of Linda’s watch, we went from several days of running at 10.35 knots (1500 RPM and seven gallons/26 liters per hour) to seven knots. One minute it was ocean-crossing Nirvana, the next long passage purgatory. Mr Adverse Current was back, with a vengeance.
However, remember our earlier comments about backing off the speed to put some fuel in the “just in case” account? We are drawing down on that now. We are informed that the sea gods have issued a writ of habeas corpus, and that we are to be released into the hands of Aeolus, who has started his promised fair wind regime. Cochise is in the halfway house now: 9.25 knots at 8.5 GPH. For those of you who like to play with numbers: yesterday’s run, about which we are moaning, was at 9.35 knots, burning .84 gallon/hour. There are 1998.6 theoretical gallons of fuel left, and 1529 NM in which to spend it.
Meanwhile, in other news, we have discovered that carrying a couple of degrees of heel, by loosening the NAIAD control settings, is both more comfortable and more efficient. Cochise being svelte at 58% of her fuel load now (helping ward off the next ice age), has a soft, almost sinuous feeling that we all find very appealing. That gets us in the mood and we have consumed one of the two remaining pamplemousse. With speed now back in the nines, a ration of popcorn has been issued the crew.
Joking aside, we take this fuel stuff seriously. We monitor speeds, burn rates, and auxiliary loads very carefully. We are adjusting trim to maintain efficiency, and are carrying our starboard fuel tank full to offset wind-induced heel, reducing stabilizer drag in the process.
P.S. We were NOT going to send another sunset or sunrise photo. But this morning the squall line stretched across 180 degrees of vision, of which this is a small part. It was an amazing display.
P.P.S. Having forgotten this message from Cochise would not be posted until Monday, we hereby amend and update through 0300 Monday ship’s time, with various items of more or less merit:
- Aelous has won for now, the breeze has gone aft of the beam, and Cochise is surfing every other wave. After 6000 NM, essentially all upwind, this feels really good. Adverse current has gone neutral and the FABFIF meter is out of the red zone. We are averaging 11.3 knots and burning 8.5 GPH, or .752 gallons per nautical mile.
- Birds of a feather do flock together, and projectile poop together, which makes a huge mess.
- When birds work a specific spot, it is wise to alter course to drag a lure through the area. A nice dinner may follow.