Another day of cold squally rain showers

by Glen

Monday 9 Mar, Jamaica day 15, Montego Bay: Keeping busy onboard hiding from weather.

The night was quite peaceful compared to the previous night. Still strong NE winds but much less wave agitation in the harbour. We wake up to a dull and cold day. Yes, cold! The air temperature is down to 23degC with this passing cold front. And all day there is rain squall after rain squall passing through. In the big ones the wind howls for a few minutes at 27kts and the rain can be seen approaching like a white sheet over the water. It’s interesting to see how such heavy rain can flatten out the waves.

At midday I decide it’s time to give the decks a wash. I’m usually very reluctant to touch the teak with any kind of cleaning agitation. But we have not really managed to get the darkness off them since the dirty atmosphere the boat was subject to during the summer haulout in Maryland. So in my swimwear and in the rain the decks get gently wiped with a sponge, then sprayed off with salt water from the deck hose then rinsed with the next rain shower. There, that’s my maintenance for the day, complete with a free cold shower!

Meanwhile, like yesterday, Oana is slaving at the video editing all day. It’s certainly the weather for such activity. She managed to finish one yesterday and today looks like another one will get completed today. As we plough through the hundreds of clips from our time in the Exuma, it feels like another world away. It was such an amazing cruising ground. We would both go back there in a heart beat!

Another cruise liner arrived during the night, replacing Aida, which departed yesterday evening. This one is from the Tui travel company. It is huge. 950ft long and at least 8 decks of cabins, each with their own small balcony. We then discuss the cruise liner business and wonder how much fuel a big liner like this would use? A quick google reveals jaw-dropping statistics. The big ones use 80tons (0.3 million liters) of fuel in ONE DAY! And the low grade “bunker” fuel they burn contains 100x more sulphur than road diesel. This means just one ship puts into the atmosphere the amount of sulphur equivalent to 380 million cars! And that’s just ONE ship! And to think some environmentalists are complaining about greenhouse gases that domestic cattle herds are producing! It would be interesting to know how many million cow farts would produce the equivalent greenhouse gases of all the cruise liners in the world? More than a few I would imagine :). Well, maybe coronavirus will curtail the cruise liner pollution – at least for a short while?

When it departs in the early evening, we are quite amazed just how close its bow swings passed Cloudy Bay. It’s quite daunting looking up at this bow towering over us as it bow-thrusts itself through a full 180 deg, to get facing the right direction as it leaves the narrow harbour entrance. I stay on deck and watch it, not sure how Cloudy will react when the huge thrust of water hits us. But it wasn’t a problem, we swung no more than 30deg from our usual heading. Clearly they will need more power to push a 30ton Hallberg Rassy around!

The day ends as it starts: dreary, cloudy, damp and cool. While it’s been very pleasant not to be sweaty for a change, we are looking forward to the sun returning. Tomorrow maybe?

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Peter M. Nangeroni March 11, 2020 - 9:53 am

Hi Glen,
Here’s news I’m sure you’ll be happy with. From 1 January 2020, ships will only be allowed to use fuel oil with a very low sulphur content, under rules brought in by the International Maritime Organisation. This cut in sulphur content has been more than a decade in the planning, and almost all shipping around the world is expected to comply, or face penalties.
Have fun,

Glen March 19, 2020 - 8:35 pm

Yes, In most european ports they now have to burn “low” sulphur fuel. But even this fuel is 10x worst than normal diesel, as I understand.

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