09 apr Log by Maarten
Log by Maarten
9 april 2014
Update by Maarten: “This morning, steering east with a fresh breeze from the north, we crossed, hopefully the last, latitude equals longitude line at 27 degrees, 56.05 minutes, north and west. We are now in sector north. We must be confusing quite a few readers of the blog with our manoeuvring. Having first tacked northwest with the northeast trade winds, we are now chasing east along the southeastern side of a low-pressure area that somewhat surprisingly has moved southeast from north of the Azores to just west of the Canaries. We hope to cross the centre of this low in the coming days to pick up the easterly winds to the north of this pressure system that will then, God willing, allow us to steer northwest to the Azores.
Still confused? Don’t worry, the summary is that the wind is all over the place and we have just less than 600 nautical miles to go. This is what sailing reminds us of. You don’t get there in a straight line.
As far as the stars at night are concerned, the weather lately has been reminding us of the North Sea in summer, with lots of clouds and intermittent showers. During the odd clear spells we have waved goodbye to the Southern Cross as it sunk below the horizon and we are saying hello to old friends such as Cassiopeia, the great square of Pegasus and the crown of the north, Corona Borealis. Interestingly this last constellation is called the beggar’s cup in some languages. As always it depends on your point of view and state of mind.
During one of the night watches we discussed the fact that we don’t tend to name children after stars or constellations, as we do with ships all the time. Maybe the names are too grandiose, forbidding or foreign, with a few exceptions such as Leo and Berenice (although the constellation really celebrates her hair). The Harry Potter novels tried it with Sirius and Bellatrix and of course we have our former Queen with a variation, but I don’t see that getting a lot of follow through. One tip for future parents: if you really want your son to have a tough time at school you can always call him Alphard, the Separate.”