As You Were
28 July 2011 | South Atlantic
I have titled this blog entry after the military command to revert to how you were before something happened. In our situation, it means we are now cancelling the change of destination to Fort Lauderdale and reverting to our original destination of Tortola. We are also "taking our foot off the gas" and sailing the boat as it was intended, as there is no further desperate rush to get there, although we are still proceeding at an above normal speed.
So, we have a little niggle with our roller-furler and are now going to make a quick stop in St Helena so that we can undertake the necessary repairs in the shelter of James Bay. We have already braved the choppy seas and serviced both engines - actually, that should read "Byron braved the choppy seas and serviced both engines".
Over the past week we have not put any effort into trying to catch any fish as our effort has been put into keeping the boat moving as fast as possible. But, from today, the lines are out at sunrise and will be put back at sunset. Unfortunately, we have missed the area of the long-fin tuna and are now in an area where the Bonita is more common, with the occasional yellow-fin tuna or Wahoo found. Bonita is not the best fish to eat, other than in the form of "tuna-mayo" or as fish cakes. And talking of fish, we have yet to see any flying fish. I think the water is still too cold for them and we will most likely start seeing them after St Helena when we start getting the warmer equatorial waters.
During the past week we have been freezing - it has really been colder this trip than previous ones at this time of the year. The news from back home is that the South African interior has also been suffering, with unusual snow falls in the interior of the country. As we get closer to the equator, things should start to improve and night watches especially, should become more pleasant.
During the early hours of Wednesday morning we passed over the Greenwich Meridian and thus entered the Western Hemisphere. Wihan has made an Atlantic crossing before but this is the first time that Byron has crossed the meridian. We had a small celebration but await the "big one" when we cross the equator, which will only happen when we are off the Amazon delta in a few weeks time. At the moment our clocks are set for UTC or GMT and we are thus two hours behind South African Standard Time, with another four time changes to go before our arrival in the Caribbean.
All is well on board and we all send greetings. John.