Day 6: On Autopilot

Day 6

Last night while I rested, I needed to use the autopilot due to the wind direction and state of the sea. What’s an autopilot? ✈️

It’s a mechanical ram driven by an electric motor which is controlled by an internal compass. It pushes or pulls the rudder via a cable (thanks to The Cableman) depending on the direction Osiyeza is facing versus the compass point selected on the autopilot. It helps keeps Osiyeza drifting in the desired direction while I am doing things other than paddling.

There are surprisingly many “other things” to do. The autopilot is like having another person on board. Considering the housekeeper has yet to arrive it’s comforting to have someone else here. Surely this someone needs a name. Autopilot is too impersonal, and it doesn’t roll off the tongue very well.

So please say hello to “Maverick”. Yes, I know it’s his call sign and not his real name but when you are the best of the best you can get away with it. He should make a good wing man for this trip 😉

There are two autopilots on board so keeping with the spirit of things meet “Goose”, Mavericks side kick.

A lone whale passed me by today. Unfortunately, it was camera shy. I felt a little foolish talking and encouraging it to pop up close enough to be seen on the video. Things never look very impressive when it’s on film. Unfortunately, it was camera shy, but I did get a great video of an empty ocean.

I spotted a lone feather that’s been floating around long enough for a few barnacles to start growing on it.

It was overcast and grey with drizzle the whole morning. Depressive stuff they say. Oh! That reminds me. How are all my mates doing in the UK today? Unlike the UK, it cleared up around midday.

OK the SE trade winds are starting to make their presence felt. This is good for me. I am still just plodding along. So far, I am a little shy of the daily requirement of 100Km for a 70-day crossing but I hope to make that up when Mother Nature get back to her usual ways.

Here’s a great video that Weather Router Rob has put together to show you how we track and predecit the weather using various weather models.

Bird of the day: Leach’s Storm Petrel
Water temp 23°C Max cabin 25°C
Hours paddling: I guess maybe 11 hours
Distance covered: 593km
S 31°24’17”