The Northern Hemisphere
29 January 2010
Over the past few days we have been slamming into oncoming seas, so much so that I have been worried that the banging may destroy the computer hard drive, and thus have refrained from normal computer use. Earlier today the wind, and thus swell, changed back from ahead to the beam and we are having a slightly smoother ride.
We crossed the equator on January 25 at 12:32 UTC whilst at 042 degrees 42.7 minutes west. That was at 09:32 local time and thus held off popping the cork of our bottle of bubbly until our dinner. This was Greg, Joy and Louis first crossing and all gave a tot of their bubbly to Neptune, as is the tradition.
Then it rained, and continued doing so for a full day. At the same time we crossed the ITCZ and have been having north easterly winds that have swung to come out of the north on occasions.
On St Helena, if you ask a child where milk comes from, they normally answer "out of a box". This because there are no milk cows on the island and all milk is imported. Well, our saga regarding fish is similar. Ask the crew where fish comes from and the answer will be "out of a tin". This has been my worst trip for fishing! Normally, we have to refrain from putting the lines out as we catch too much. Since St Helena, not one miserable fish other than a few dead flying fish on deck in the mornings.
Our bird life has been quite good with large numbers around the boat at all times. We have also had a few nights with a Noddy or two landing on board to spend a few hours clinging precariously to the rails. Then they fall off when we go over a large swell and start the landing process again, which can take some time if the wind is blowing.
Of course, the report would not be complete without mentioning the dolphin that come and keep us entertained for ages as they perform their antics off the bows. They really are quite marvellous creatures but do like human contact. Once the crew leave the deck, the dolphin are off to do some fishing, or whatever dolphin do when they are out in the ocean by themselves.
We are slowly closing on our waypoint just south-west of Barbados, which means that our ship spotting competition will be coming to an end. As the score stands, Louis has 19 ships, Greg has 15 and I have 16. With about two days to go, it will be interesting to see who gets the bottle of Caribbean rum.
As things are going, we should reach the channel between St Vincent and St Lucia sometime on Monday. Then it is about a two day sail up to Sint Maarten, where we have to pick up the boats load-gear before an overnight sail to our destination, Tortola. We should reach Tortola on February 5 or 6, depending on the winds we experience in the Caribbean.
I hope the above has brought you up to date on what is happening on board Moorings A1119. Regards from all aboard - John