The good old banana-peels technique by captain Remi


Greeting from the open ocean where the sea is finally taking her long Atlantic swell shapes that we where expecting. The tradewinds have finally settled at our latitude and we are pushed by strong North Easterly winds. Yesterday we made some insane speed averages like the Tres Hombres sometimes does.

A few days ago, as we arrived to the Latitudes around 12 degrees North, we entered this area that is completely filled with seaweed. A constant flow of see weed patches floating all around the ships, stretched in perfect lines, laid in an East-West direction.

But the log we are using for our navigation, that is nothing more than a propeller that we drag behind the ship and measures speed, that device does not like seaweed. The log would get jammed every few minutes and would prevent us from estimating our speed and thus our progress. No worries, we have a plan B. We use the good old banana-peels technique : One person throws a banana peel in the ocean at the bow of the ship and we measure how much time it takes until the banana reaches the aft. That and some very simple math gives a quite good idea of the ships speed.

The hourly speed measurements and the course that has been steered are noted on a peg board that lies next to the helmsman. Of course we had that peg board prepared in advance before the crossing. Our Trainee-Carpenter-Mechanic Simon patiently drilled by hand the 265 holes necessary to mark all the possible course and speed combinations.

Yesterday Simon had to drill a few new hole to account for speeds over 10 knots ;)

All the best,

Captain Remi