National Geographic : 1968 Oct
Grabbing the rail, I climbed back aboard. The water had been nice and warm. But in the air,cold rainy wind made me miserable.I was in just my underwear. In my bunk I lay down but couldn't sleep. At daybreak I started cleaning up the deck. After salvaging the rigging, sails, and the boom, I threw the twice-broken mast into the sea, cursing the day I had forgotten to step it atop a good-luck coin. I stepped the boom as a mast and hoisted the reefed mainsail on it, just as I had done before. With wind and current behind me, I couldn't backtrack to Cocos. Ahead lay 2,300 miles of open water. If favorable winds did not blow strong and steady, the Lord knew where I might end up. As long as the wind was behind me, I knew I could make the long trip to Mauritius. But should the wind turn fickle, I would surely have my troubles. Wretched weather continued, as 25-knot trade winds carved endless white curls atop the rough seas, but blessedly the wind re mained astern. To increase my speed and to balance the boat better for my self-steering vane, I sewed a small square sail from a con toured bedsheet and set it on the forestay. Later the sheet ripped, so I set my old yellow awning, which I patched with a tea towel and an old shirt (next two pages). PAINTINGBYWILLIAMH. BOND.GEOGRAPHICARTDIVISION 485 N.G.S.