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Day 195

By Brian Hancock

Things that go bump in the night. If you heard two distinct bumps in the night it was Marie Tabarly and her crew on Pen Duick VI and Heather Thomas and her team aboard Maiden both bumping across the equator and into the Northern Hemisphere for the last stretch of their journey back to England. Congratulations. It’s not without noticing that both boats have female skippers.

Since writing this the French team on L’Esprit d’équipe have also crossed that imaginary line and are currently doing 4.6 knots in a very light southerly wind, soft as in like a baby’s breath. You see here is the thing. There are two kinds of wind (discounting the baby’s breath). True wind, and apparent wind. True wind is the amount of wind you feel on your skin if you are standing still. It’s open and honest and you know what you got, so to speak. Say you have 5 knots of wind blowing across your chest and you get on your bike and ride at 5 knots it feels like you have 10 knots passing by. 5+5= 10. Similarly, if you have 5-knots coming up from behind you have 0 knots blowing across your chest. Each wind cancels the other out 5-5=0, so basically if you are trying to sail downwind there ain’t much wind to fill your sails. At a time like this it would be better for L’Esprit d’équipe to have headwinds.

OK friends and neighbours, that is not your only schoolwork for the day. Since the yachts are pretty much wallowing in no wind I have a poem for you. Your homework is to identify who wrote it and what poem is it from. Here goes;

“Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.”

For extra bonus points identify the meaning.

Your prize will be a hug and kiss from me next time we meet up. Meanwhile to all the great sailors and great followers on the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race, enjoy your Sunday and thanks for reading.

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