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Monday, 5 February 2018

Robinson Crusoe in the 'offing'

Approaching Juan Fernandez
"Do you want to be the one to call 'Land Ho?" These were Larry's words when I got up this morning for my watch after a much-needed 4-hr sleep. He hadn't realized that I'd already been outside with my coffee and that it was possible for me to be so myopic. Looking around for large vessels bearing down on us and seeing none - I hadn't spotted th enlarging huge landmass on the horizon - Juan Fernandez Island. It's also known as 'Robinson Crusoe' among both sailors and nearby fishermen. The best tinned seafood you can buy in Valdivia boasts the Robinson Crusoe label. Daniel Defoe got his story line from the real crew member - Alexander Selkirk - who was cast off here by his angry Captain and who soldiered on for four years, keeping a lonely watch in survival mode for four years until being picked up by a passing ship.

We've been sailing along under the mainsail alone for most of the last day. Over my last watch (1200-0400) the stars were brilliant and spread in their magnificence across the entire sky down to the horizon. Later on I watched a golden arc develop above the now lightly-clouded horizon to the southeast as the moon gradually broke above it's visual confines and fairly quickly soared up to take it's place in the heavens. I'd started the watch at midnight and even though this passage is gentler than anticipated, I'm still getting over a cold and also sport a number of motion-related bruises. With only one sail and the motion from behind, the boat seems to enjoy giving subtle lurches to catch the somewhat unwary and still uncoordinated crew-member off guard.

I'm still foggy-minded even though we've had beautiful sailing weather for our first few days. I feel sorry that I 'wasted' our one and only scapalomine seasick patch (none were available in Valdivia) when it might be needed further along. I'm worried that even though Larry says that all current information predicts mostly favourable weather like that we're presently enjoying, we might head into more turbulent weather north of the equator and nearing the North American coast.

During my watch. I'd been slightly puzzled that something was very wrong, but after checking and re-checking all the usual signs related to sailing procedures, I still couldn't find the problem. Finally looking down at my feet I discovered that I'd put my sailing shoes on backwards!

You may wonder how I managed to get something so unsubtle dead wrong. Well - it's not because I lost weight which I'd like to do in order to spare my recently operated upon right knee! It's because after reading "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall that I decided to get rid of the orthotics. I've also taken to going barefoot or wearing old, comfy and loosely fitting shoes. I'm avoiding my rigid klutzy 'rocking' soles but will also forego wearing stilettos for the time being. Just a reminder to boat guests, don't wear your stilettos aboard any small boat - they are never welcome!

So today there's so little motion that Larry's off watch and asleep in the forward cabin.

As I go out for my routine inspections (every 10-12 minutes) I'm watching the Island get larger and larger. Larry says that at noon we should be abreast. We hope we might even pick up the internet (very briefly) and I may get to post a REAL photo and a few archived photos taken in 2009 along with this report.

.. a few hours passed and no internet appeared so attached is a low resolution photo.

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At 2018-02-05 13:03 (utc) our position was 33°48.02'S 078°27.83'W

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