Going With The Breeze
03 September 2009
Over the last few days we have been blessed with wind - from the right direction as well. We have had the gennaker up and managed to get 12.8 knots in 15 knots apparent. Not bad! When we sail with the gennaker, we make sure that it comes down when the wind reaches 16 to 17 knots apparent, as we do not want it to reach our next waypoint a day or two before the boat! Otherwise, the sea has built up a bit with the strengthening wind and we currently have a 2.5 meter swell from the east-southeast and just over 20 knots from the same direction.
One thing that we had not seen in their abundance were the large schools of flying fish. Normally we encounter them before reaching St Helena but this trip we have only started seeing them now, at latitude 10 degrees south. The water must be too cold for them so they most probably have been migrating to the warmer waters north of us. We have also not put our fishing lines out for a few days but need to do so from tomorrow as we are slowly entering Dorado territory and there is nothing better than a nice fillet of fresh Dorado baked with butter, herbs and a bit of sweet onion. Let's hope we can bag one or two over the next few days.
Before St Helena we had birds around us each day. Now we occasionally see a little storm petrel dipping in our wake, picking up the small sea life churned up in our wake. It will be another week before we get our daily dose of birds coming to have a "look-see" at us. Also, the last dolphin we saw was also before reaching St Helena. Strange that this section of the Atlantic Ocean is so devoid of sea life.
So, what do we do each day, you may ask. Well, we have a number of books with us which are slowly being read. However, there are only the three of us on board and we run a 24/7 watch system. This means that we need to try and catch up on lost sleep whenever we can. Then there is the preparation of our main evening meal. Last night we had baked macaroni cheese and tonight we are having sirloin steak with pepper sauce, baked potatoes with cream cheese and some sweet gem squash. Hopefully our meal tomorrow evening will be baked Dorado! If not, something on the chicken line will have to do.
Then Hardy and Andries have a few hundred DVD's and a portable DVD player. I must admit that I am not a movie fanatic and have not joined them watching any of the movies. But, they enjoy a movie every second evening or so and it keeps them occupied.
Now, on a subject totally different, I have been delivering yachts for a number of years and before each trip I brief the crew about having strange dreams. Each crew member has been having them on this trip as well - dreaming about subjects that are totally unrelated to sailing and sometimes quite disturbing. The other night Andries was having a really bad one and was shouting out in his sleep. He did not remember it when we spoke about it the next morning, which is quite unusual as, mostly, the crew tend to remember the dreams. Don't know if other cruisers experience this whilst undertaking long passages but I am sure some professor of sleep at some university would love to come on a delivery to monitor the crews dream patterns. It should make an interesting study.
Well, that's it from aboard Moorings A4001 for now - regards from Andries, Hardy and myself, John.