Day 9: 17 November 2016
After motoring since 1 AM, the wind finally filled in at about 11 AM with a steady 12 knots from the ENE. We were glad to turn the hot, noisy engine off and resume great trade wind sailing.
We deployed the fishing gear again, and finally caught something — a large clump of the omnipresent Sargasum seaweed. Clumps of the Sargasum float all around the Atlantic and tend to converge in large mats in the centre of the Atlantic Gyre; an area known as the Sargasso Sea. Thankfully, we will not be passing through that area of large seeweed mats (too far to our North), but we do get to see small clumps of the seewead every day.
After pooping on our deck all night, the White Ibis finally departed for distant shores. We enjoyed having the bird’s company, but we were more pleased when Robyn graciously offered to bring a bucket and scrub brush on deck to clean off the mess!
During the day, we passed the imaginary longitudinal line of the 45 deg West meridian. Since we started this journey in the UK, home of the Prime Meridian (0 deg) in Greenwich, we figured that we have already sailed 1/8 of the way around the world!
As dusk approached, we retrieved the fishing gear and redeployed the hydro-generator. The boat took an unexpected roll and Eric accidentally dropped the kitchen scissors, cheerfully referred to as the “Bone Cutters” in our family, overboard! We were sad to see these be lost because they worked very well, and also because they were a gift from Angela’s brother, Joey, for our wedding 17 years ago.
Never letting an opportunity to teach math be lost, we worked with Anneka and Dorian to calculate how long it would take the scissors to sink to the bottom of the ocean. Assuming a sink rate of about 10 cm/s, and that we were in 6000 m of water (3.7 miles deep!), we calculated that the scissors wouldn’t reach the bottom until the time that we were eating lunch the next day, 17 hours later!
We continued to have peaceful sailing the rest of the day and logged a total distance run of 136 miles.