Cape Town to St Helena under sail - Day 6

Alex Ritchie, crew member on board Aurora captures the spirit of life on the vast ocean with Wavysail


The alarm sounds. Bleary eyed after three hours sleep, I wake from manic dreams of my crew mates as characters in a nonsensical adventure, involving celestial theory and random subjects from snippets of conversations the day before. These vivid apparitions of the mind are apparently caused by the motion of the boat, rocking me with repetitive impact into the walls of my bunk. The sun flits from side to side across the hatch above me as if on a pendulum. There is a solid four meter swell with two other swells crisscrossing causing this uneven movement. I've learned to mostly sleep through it now, you get your sea legs eventually.

I can hear a ukulele strum and laughter. The other watch are on deck, helming through these wild seas, chatting, drinking coffee, shooting the breeze.

Sometimes not much happens on board but we are nevertheless kept busy keeping our floating home ship shape, sails trimmed, moving inexorably towards our destination.

The highlights of today; taking mid-morning and noon sights with the sextant. We then spent a couple hours working over the complicated mathematics and using tables from the nautical almanac, estimated our position on our planet, a speck in a vast ocean. Surprisingly complex but thankfully guided by our highly experienced skipper. Needless to say we are learning a lot. Oh, and yesterday afternoon, we saw what we believe to be a pod of pilot whales a few cable's off our bow. The beauty in this wild place never ceases to amaze.

Alex Ritchie

On board Aurora, bound for St Helena island