Giskard – AKA Wind Pilot

Having just read an Asimov Science Fiction classic on our crossing to Malta, our temperamental wind pilot inherited the name of one of the major characters; a robot that interfered with humans’ emotions. As the auto pilot drains the battery and is okay to use under motor, when under sail it is necessary to have a sustainable energy source manning the helm. This being either human or a mechanical device running on wind or solar power. Giskard is by all means one of the captain’s best investments as he gives us a break when on our watches. However, he sometimes does whatever he wants and changes our course, thus messing with our emotions. Apparently, I have a lot in common with Giskard according to the skipper. This morning he showed me the path Giskard had paved through the water and duly noted it had similarities to the crooked paths that I weave on our journeys, (messing with the captain’s emotions). He redeemed himself immediately though, that’s the captain and not Giskard, by pointing out how well I’d steered during the storm and how straight I’d managed to keep the boat during the big waves. Hmmm…think I’ll let that one go through to the keeper. 🙂

Giskard, the wind pilot, in the background

On a lighter note, we experienced one of the most amazing spectacles of our lives this morning before sunrise. The florescent plankton that nourishes the sea was particularly concentrated around us as a pod of dolphins spent over an hour playing in our wake and bow wave. It was like watching a video game through night googles. These glowing green creatures darted under the boat from side to side and leaped in and out of our bow wave like psychedelic comets. On several close encounters we were able to see the full dolphin under the water being lit up by the plankton. It was a magical delight. One that I am eternally grateful for having witnessed.

Apparently, this is not an uncommon occurrence and we hope to see more as we cross the Atlantic. I had seen the luminous splash of two dolphins on a night watch when coming back from Malta but the plankton was not this dense. It was like watching green flashes of light racing through the water. If I had ever known such a phenomena existed – it would have been on my ‘bucket list’. How lucky are we?

Speaking of lucky… Hagai found some Duff beer in the Carrefour supermarket and couldn’t believe it was a real product. Both blokes took a swig and then proclaimed how good it was. Eat your heart out Homer.

The boys knocking back the booze



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