09 December 2011
We got a bad jam in the mainsail last night after furling it in a squall, it went in OK but after the squall had passed we couldn't get it out again. This morning I had to go up the mast to help it out, something I've done a few times before but never in strong winds or seas. Few heart stopping moments when I lost grip on the mast and flew around the stays but managed OK and the sail is good again.
In a hope to improve the autopilot I 'got under the bonnet' and manually adjusted some of the software settings so it's works better in the heavy seas, realised all of my previous settings had been for relatively calm waters.
We've just passed through another timezone so Mike put all clocks onboard back an hour, inexplicably though he forgot to put back his own and came to relieve me on night watch an hour early, I didn't mind too much :) We've also just passed the 2000 Nautical Mile mark.
Just now Phillip caught a Marlin at least five foot! Phillip, Dad and I all saw it jump out of the water so can confirm this but unfortunately it took the lure on our weaker setup and Phillip was not able to slow it down any, it just keep taking line till it destroyed the reel and the line snapped. The clutch on the reel is now completely burnt out, the mechanism was too hot to touch and Phillip burnt his fingers.
Another update; We just landed a 5kg, 70cm Dolphin fish (aka Mahi Mahi or Dorado)!!! Finally we have a fish dinner. Funniest thing was while filleting it Phillip fell off the boarding platform into the water (he was tethered on) and his lifejacket inflated with quite a bang making us all jump (our lifejackets inflate automatically in water - see photo)! It was also two for the price of one as we found a flying fish in his tummy.
Finally we're starting to make realistic predictions about our finish now, we loosely looking at the morning of the 8th.
Mike: Spirits are great on Whippersnapper. We have 3 beers and 1 scotch ready to celebrate our 2000nm milestone. The route is approximatley 2800nm so only 800nm left or 5 days at our current speed but anything could happen between now and then. To my pleasant surprise, time has been going much faster than I expected and the journey is much easier. The sun is out every day at around 28 degrees and the water is currently 28.2 degrees which makes for excellent swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving when we arrive. Our new favourite TV series is 'The Killing' (thanks Lane) for those of you who are download pirates.