23 December 2008
We are under sail and have been since Sunday afternoon after motoring for the previous twenty four hours. Normally we should have winds out of the south or southeast where we are but it has been out of the west. Wherever the winds come from, I am not complaining - as long as we have wind that we can sail with.
In the last blog posting I mentioned the AIS system we have on board. The system lets us see ships from just over the horizon and each ship transmits its name, radio callsign, position, course, speed, destination and a host of other information. It is really a brilliant bit of electronic gadgetry. However, one thing I have noticed over the past few days, AIS aside, is the amount of shipping on our route. Normally on this route to St Helena we see a few ships the first day out of Cape Town and maybe one or two all the way to St Helena. The piracy off Somalia must be forcing many ships to use the Cape of Good Hope route which is the only reason I can think of for the shipping we are seeing.
This morning I noticed another thing I have never seen before. Next to the boat we have been passing little greyish floating blobs - thousands of them! On closer inspection I noticed that they in actual fact little crabs with huge pincers. They range from about an inch across to about five inches in diameter. Now, up to yesterday we had birds around the boat - and no crabs. Today we have thousands of these floating crabs and no birds. If those albatross only knew of the great delight just a day north, there would be a huge pre-Christmas bird feast going on!
Talking of Christmas, we are still considering what to cook for Christmas day. I think Luke has just solved the problem by hooking our second Tuna, a decent sized longfin as seen in the picture above.
So folks, from all aboard we send you greetings until the next post. John.