Evening - day 1612/06/2012
Had been becalmed for a day, but little breeze picked up an hour ago and now making 4 knots with full main and genoa. We've lost maybe half a day motoring very, very slowly in the calm, conserving fuel. But fresher winds are forecast for the weekend and next week, so still hoping to make it up. Now thinking some time Wednesday.
Noon - day 1212/02/2012
The Atlantic crossing - part two
Morning -day 1011/30/2012
All still well. Wind fair and steady - forecast remains good. Making a very constant 125nm pd. Life aboard settled into a good routine. We've reached the stage of making bread every day and dreaming up more and more elaborate dinners. Tempura mahi mahi with sauté potatoes last night! Shame Cath still won't let me start fishing again yet, though. Maybe next week in time to bring something fresh with us into Rodney Bay for the girls arrival!
So - no more jokes about pilchards brought from Waitrose, please11/25/2012, 600 miles out the Canaries
Lifetime ambition achieved!!!!!!! All credit, though, goes to my x-treme fishing buddy. She barely tolerates my fishing efforts, but she offered to take over whenever I got tired (pretty often during the half hour fight on a relatively light boat rod, 3/0 reel and 50lb line), she passed me the weapons having found them wherever I'd tucked them away in my "garage", she put gloves on to pull the leader on board while I grappled with it hand to fin on the transom, she acted as quarterback in stopping it trying to make a last stand down in the cabin, and after all that, she cleaned me up, the whole of the cockpit and everything else that got sprayed (most of the boat, really). Respect. Best bit, though, was her squeal when she jumped onto the cockpit table to avoid being savaged by the dead fish!
Afternoon -day 611/25/2012
The Atlantic crossing -part one We had spent about 6 days at anchor getting ready to go and to be honest by then we were keen to get going. The forecast looked quite calm for the first couple of days and then get a bit fresher as a front came across the Canaries (just in time to give the ARC boats a wet and windy start which is a shame...) anyway, the day dawned and after very little sleep we were off. The first day was slow as anticipated but it gave us a chance to settle in. We had decided that our watch system overnight of 4 hours on then 4 off worked well so would keep to that. For those unfamiliar with the Canaries they are very high indeed with the central mountain of Tenerife almost as high as Mont Blanc. I was a little disappointed therefore to still see it the next morning as it towered above the clouds! It gradually disappeared but it was clearly large as life at 60 miles away. Our reader has asked me about sea sickness and I'm pleased to report that I 've been fine. Tim has never really had a problem but I have suffered with dizziness in the past. So, we bought some stugeron (other brands are available at your local chemist) and haven't looked back.....I'm even sitting here now typing away as the boat powers along. Brilliant! The biggest and most exciting thing that has happened however is that Tim has caught his first (and last.....details to follow!) large fish. It was a 52lb (yes 52lb !) dorado or Mahi-mahi which was almost as big as him! One of my main concerns about fishing for big fish has alway been what to do with the bugger when it's dangling off your boat on a gaff and it doesn't want to be eaten. I'd already moved our WHITE cockpit cushions out of the way, strapped Tim on, got the large whacker (baseball bat from Lanzarote), taken off the wind steering blade, slowed the boat down which wasn't easy as she didn't fancy stopping. Then I got the camera out and started filming the pulling in. It was large and thrashing about and it took most of Tim's strength to get him near the boat. A beautiful yellow and blue totally tropical looking fish. I had to reach over to hold the gaff while Tim continued trying to dispatch him (I always knew we should have brought a gun) until he finally went to meet his maker. As I dragged him into the cockpit though he gave one last big thrash which made me jump on to the table with a small shriek, but he was then finally swimming in ocean's heaven. The cockpit looked like a butcher's shop and Tim like a deranged axe man as we both stood still panting with exhaustion. He had to be weighed (obviously) but as Tim held him up he fell off the hook and headed down the companionway into the boat in one long wet and bloody slither......luckily my legs were in the way (nice) to stop him getting all the way down the steps completely, but it was a nasty moment. Anyway, Tim cut loads of fillets off which are in the freezer and in fact we've just had a bit of him for lunch ....but that's the last big fish that comes on board! The mess took hours to clean up ...... We're now in day 6 and life has slipped into a rather nice routine. After breakfast we get a weather forecast (mostly to see how cold it is in the UK) then a discussion about the sails as to whether we want to change them up or down.Then we have to have a little rest and watch the waves for a bit. At 12 we get our 24 hour run and plot our position on the chart. Big moment. After lunch one of us may have a snooze or we'll read a book or listen to some music. At sunset we have a little sundowner before our evening meal and then the watches start at 8pm for the 4/4 rota. So far so good. The weather continues to look good for the next week so onwards and upwards. Try to keep warm......TTFN xxx
Evening -day 411/23/2012
We'll cross the Tropic of Cancer before midnight and then won't be leaving the tropics for a lovely long time! Sunny all day again today with the trade wind becoming slightly fresher and better established. 135 mile run for day3, hoping for our first 150 run by noon tomorrow. Yesterday was a bit uncomfortable with a couple of fresh squalls and a very confused sea. Today the wind and sea have been much better organised! Starting to get into a routine on board now, and settling into the voyage. Remains "so far so good"!