Atlantic Ocean – SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER –
Position 15 ° 38 ′ NOrd 033 ° 28 ′ West
Miles missing in S. Lucia 1594
Miles traveled from Mindelo (Cape Verde) 498
East-north-east wind, (THE TRUE ALISEO) weak from 12 to 16 knots
Ariel with blue Gennaker to port and genoa tangonato to starboard.
Wind angle of 160 ° and route 267/270 almost in orthodromy towards S. Lucia.
Speed from 6 to 8 knots depending on the pressure that sometimes increases and makes us run
Gorgeous sky, typical of trade wind conditions with white wads in an intense blue, temperature rising to 27 degrees during the day and 22 at night.
We enter the new moon, last quarter the day before yesterday.
Cobalt Blue Ocean with thousands of flying fish and our feathered friends from the sky, never tired and curious.
THE MOON AND THE OCEAN
Yesterday first dark night, without moon, even the last quarter greeted us at the end of the last night, and the sharp crescent plunged south-east behind a black horizon.
What does the moon have to do with the ocean? Apart from the fact that the phases of the moon regulate hundreds of human and non-human balances, from hair growth to the response of wine to bottling as well as regulate the births of women in labor and the trend of the tides. A subtle hidden guide to many events that we experience every day, without knowing it and sometimes only handed down by ancient generations. Even here in the ocean, apparently uninhabited only because it is immense, deep-sea fishermen live for months, with ships equipped for fishing for tuna, swordfish, Marlin and shark (much sought after in the East); they sail from Africa or the Canary Islands and live in the ocean for about two months, or less if the fishing has been generous, or more if the load in the cold rooms is still low. With one of them,through the friend Camillo of the Swan 44 through the magical invisible radio contacts SSB we have discovered that the moon regulates all their fishing. In the waning moon, the last quarter and towards a new moon, for the following 28 days the ocean in a trade wind regime calms down, rests; the generous winds blow less intense and the waves regain a slow breathing regime. It is time for them to be ready, because life on board is easier and fishing richer. At the end of the new moon cycle, with the waxing, from the last quarter before the full moon, here is the awakening of the great sea, the winds become more tense, the waves more majestic, like a real awakening of the landlord. It’s time for deep-sea fishermen to return, and if they still have to stay out,they know that for them the price to pay for a moonlit night is that of a more nervous, sometimes rough and certainly more uncomfortable sea.
Today is Sunday and as ocean life goes by fast, we dedicate time to housework. Today bakery, water is made, washing machine to be clean and fresh and the fitness on board begins, the subject of a forthcoming publication, given the scarce presence in the literature of how our body on board a boat for 20 days can suffer from a chronic and dull numbness if not adequately stimulated.
Last summer I studied and prepared tools for a small gym on the stern tower, so with the tireless Maurizio we worked a good hour now, developing a muscle toning program for pectorals, biceps, shoulders and triceps, with the use of various rubber bands placed in strategic points; then we added, as true pupils of a Bulgarian personal, and to honor it, the “Bulgarian Squat”, and the “Sumo Squat”, in balance between referrals of ropes to protect, backstay and stern benches. But it worked well. In my medical studies related to health problems in long voyages, the most frequent pathologies are related to the joints, muscles and tendons for the lower and upper limbs,to then hit the spine in those cases where discopathies or the ubiquitous and widespread arthrosis coexist (and who does not suffer from it?). They are sprains and muscle tears from rapid and unusual movements and “back pain” or “cervical” pain from unusual postures and rapid twists without thinking that going from a desk to an ocean sailing ship can reserve surprises that are not always pleasant . Even in crewed races around the world, such as the Volvo Ocean Race, where they are young and well-trained athletes, joint and muscle problems are reported in a percentage ranging from 10 to 25% of cases. Hence the idea and now the progressive creation of a manual with the essential exercises to maintain an elastic body, in fact, to close the fitness hour 10 minutes of stretching,with exercises taken from “The stretching Bible” by Lexie Williamson, where particular and simple exercises are reported for each type of situation. Our new crew members, Renzo Baldanzi, a retired entrepreneur (but in fact still working in the textile industry) and his cousin Fabrizio Gambini, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, also a “pensioner” from the NHS, but a freelancer in business, however, they avoided the doctor’s advice and only observed how the “fitness room” is set up, without however participating except with a couple of shots. When you change crews, new synergies are created, and everyone brings the best they have; pilots and the journalist left us, and a doctor-philosopher and a textile expert arrived. Ariel listens to our speeches ranging from Freud to Baricco and Loropiana,as she silently heard about makeshift landings or crime stories in Turin in the 1980s, she sometimes smiles, but only because she is happy to be here.
This morning our Fabrizio, or Melgio Dr. Gambini, wrote a diary page that I report in full, and which he dedicates to Ariel and to this experience:
“When I arrived at the Marina di Mindelo, I asked for Ariel, Paolo and Cecilia’s boat that would take us across the ocean to Santa Lucia in the Caribbean. I had just started spelling the name when the kind lady from the ARC office smiled at me and said, “oh yes, the little marmeid”. I was surprised because I didn’t think of Ariel as an Andersen and Disney mermaid. I don’t have a good relationship with mermaids; from Homer onwards, sailors fear them much more than they love them. Rather I had thought of the spirit of Air serving Prospero together and against, of the earthly Calibagno. Because this turned out to be Ariel, a spirit between sky and sea. Pushed by the wind, by the divine breath, by the anemos, it plows the sea making itself liquid in the wave, becoming part of the wave, merging with it and riding it with joy.Then there is Paolo who has a magical relationship with Ariel, talks to her and listens to her. Their communication is continuous, fluid, without separations. The relationship between them is like that between sea and air: a liquid surface that makes one not the other, but at the same time a surface that does not exist. Where there is one there is the other and the separation between the two no one knows where it is. Thanks Ariel, Obrigado. ”
By Fabrizio Gambini