Flying Fish Visit
18 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - 105 miles to Colon, Panama
In between our monitoring last night, we watched a black and white Alfred Hitchcock movie that was pre-talkies. Too long and drawn out for me. Took one hour turns at the helm thru the night. Big waves and winds provided an opportunity for a flying fish to get projected thru the cockpit and into our salon, hitting the refrigerator. A few inches over would have hit Helen sleeping on the settee. Mark gave him back to the sea. We saw more high winds at 36 knots early today. Then mostly winds over 20 knots for the rest of today. The waves are at least 20 feet and maybe higher at times. Charabia handles them well but on certain conditions, not sure what is different, a wall of water spills over the cabin roof. Thankfully we have the covers up as they are protecting us. Also, they help at night when we are moving so fast and the breeze is high and steady. We saw very few boats last night or today. One freighter was flagged by our AIS system. They must have changed their course because they were coming directly at us. With these huge waves, it's difficult to see the horizon all the way because we are going up and down. So, it is not easy to see any vessels. Thankful for our gps, AIS and radar. Mark added a quick fix for the one panel that ripped on the sewn line from the bimini. We spent a few hours making water. Mark ran the starboard engine for a while which gives us hot water to take a shower. You haven't lived until you are sailing in 20+ foot seas with the boat bouncing and moving along and you attempt to take a shower. Cooking is also difficult as you have to hold on and the kitchen area does not have hand holds. That may be something we will add before the next long passage. We were successful at making grilled ham and cheese sandwiches that were hot and yummy. WInd has been high all day and currently it is from the ESE at 20-25 knots. Our cruising speed varies from 6-8 knots. Mark saw 12.4 knots at one point surfing down a wave. We further furled the jib to reduce our speed in an attempt to reduce the pounding. Also, our gps indicated we would have gotten to Colon before sun up. Our expected arrival to the outer mark of Colon is now 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.