Baking Bread…? Part 1

Not much fresh food left. I decided to start a batch of bread. I had the thought that I might do the baking during my night watch, between 2300 and 0300. That way I wouldn’t interfere with the cook preparing dinner, and I’d be heating the galley at the coolest part of the day, and it would provide a diversion for me on what seemed, at sunset, like it might be a rather boring time.

At 2300 when I replace Bill on watch, I am in my usual just-woke-up-after-too-little-sleep fog. Bill asks if I want to shake out the reef in the mainsail, since the wind has gone very light. Also he points out an unusual vibration/sound that he can’t identify. I go into the galley in search of the source of the sound, and find water on the floor. A quick check below the floorboards shows water there, but not a lot, so the water is coming from above, not below. Setting the water question aside, I check the fridge and freezer as potential noise sources. Nope. Venturing into Tim’s sleeping area, I find it. He’s got his wall-mounted fan running on high speed. Mystery #1 solved.

I taste the water on the galley floor — it is fresh, not salt. And I notice that our filtered drinking water spigot has a small but constant stream running from it. Yikes! A check of the starboard water tank shows that it is nearly empty. The port one is full. The stream of water explains the empty starboard tank. But the stream runs into the sink, so why there is fresh water on the floor remains a mystery to be investigated in the morning.

What about shaking out the reef? Bill is still waiting before going below. It starts to rain. Oh well, yes, the wind is very light; let’s do it now while two of us are awake. We do it, and Bill heads to bed. The noise of the winches plus our deck light has woken Tim. He asks if the starboard rudder is okay — a new concern he came up with earlier to explain water in our engine room. Assured that there is nothing going on with the rudder, he goes back to sleep.

The rain stops and the wind comes back. We’re moving along very nicely now. Eight and a half knots through the water, but only 6.5 over the ground. Two knots of current against us? That seems like too much for out here. It seems like we always have current against us. Is that real, or is it that our through-the-water boat speed is over-reading? (We know that it over-reads, and we compensate for that; but maybe we’re not compensating enough?) Maybe both are factors.

Our navigation system shows three ships nearby. One is already clear of us, headed north. The other two are overtaking us, one on each side. This requires my attention, to be sure we are clear of both of them. By the time the second one has safely passed, there is a new “blip” headed our way from the south.

The wind is now blowing 20 knots. Maybe the reef should go back in the mainsail. Or is this just a passing cloud with a little wind of its own? I’ll wait, and watch both the wind and the approaching ship.

I decide the bread can wait until morning.

3 thoughts on “Baking Bread…? Part 1”

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