At dawn I found that the log had stopped again. This time I could not blame Pidge; the burgee halyard had parted, and one part of it, with the burgee stick, had been washed into the sea where the spinning log had twisted it hopelessly round the log line. I finished unravelling the log line – among other jobs – six hours later. By noon I had moved 59 miles southwards in the past twenty-four hours, but because of the Gulf Stream and the leeway caused by the gale, I had been driven back 25 miles towards Europe.
By the evening, the wind had veered to north-west, and decreased to Force 7. The seas, though less rough, were still turbulent. I was getting very worried about Pidgy. He looked bare, wet and cold, and had whitish scabs round his eyes. I could not bear to see him looking so miserable. I made him a dovecote out of a cardboard box that had originally held a Thermos-jug, and had a circular hole in it. I secured this box to the cabin roof above the galley and placed Pidgy through the hole, after wrapping him in some old pyjamas. He pecked me when I picked him up. For a while he lay there, just looking, but later I saw that he had stood up. I feared that he was about to hand in his chips, but presently he started eating a Stalker oatcake in his eyrie. I felt that called for a celebration – a strong gin and lime.
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Having settled Pidgy as well as I could, I got to work on the trysail, and finished setting it. The halyard kept getting tangled up in the strong wind. When at last I got below I was surprised to find it calm. On looking out, I was even more surprised to find that it was still blowing Force 7.
I worked up my dead reckoning for the past day, and found that the nearest iceberg was now 93 miles off to the west. I had to keep below west to avoid it. Then I started work on Miranda. Her gaff gooseneck, which had sheared off, I managed to replace with an old screw-eye, which I filed down to fit. This was an acrobatic effort, which involved hanging over the pulpit in the stern above the jumping Atlantic. I used shackles and lanyards to replace various bottlescrews and stays which had come apart or snapped. It was dreary, tedious, tricky, and depressing work, but before midnight Gipsy Moth had started sailing again in a modest sort of way. When I turned in at midnight Pidgy’s tail was sticking out of the box above the galley and I think he was asleep.
When I woke at daybreak, 7 o’clock by my time, Gipsy Moth was becalmed, after sailing only 12 miles in seven hours. There was a shower of rain, but it looked as if it would be a fine morning later. The nearest berg was 70 miles to the west. I set a bigger headsail, and Gipsy Moth began moving to a light breeze. The sea had gone down.