On passage to St. Lucia
12 December 2018 | 791 nautical miles east of St. Lucia
Today we completed the first two weeks of our passage from The Canaries to The Caribbean. 5 or 6 more days to go. Unlike the first part of our passage, we now have plenty of wind; at times too much! There are no long distance swells here, so when the wind increases here, so do the swells. The most we've seen is about 25 knots of wind; that creates seas of 6 to 7 feet. The weather report says that in a couple of days the wind will increase to 30, with corresponding seas of about 9 feet. That's something we can easily manage, but the lively seas make cooking very interesting. There's usually a lot of swearing (coming from me) as vegetables roll around, and dishes and bottles fall out of cabinets. So far I haven't lost a dinner onto the floor, but knock on wood!
A couple of days ago, Craig caught a nice dorado, about 15 pounds. (Known as mahi-mahi in the Pacific). We've had a couple of meals out of it, and the rest is in the freezer. It's always a fire drill when there's a fish on the line: sails have to come down, we have to get the boat turned around and chasing the fish, so it doesn't pull out all the line on the reel. Then getting the fish onto the boat is sometimes a real acrobatic exercise. Craig cleans the fish and cuts filets, then I vacuum seal it and get it into the freezer. We have our routines down, but usually only catch one fish per passage. Otherwise there's no way to preserve it -- the freezer isn't big enough for two fish. In fact, I usually carry a small carton of ice cream, and we know it will likely have to be evicted when we catch a fish -- so catching a fish is always an occasion for an ice cream treat.
In previous passages we've always been able to send email via the ham radio service called "Winlink". Unfortunately there don't seem to be sending/receiving stations anywhere convenient to the Atlantic Ocean. In the first part of the trip we were able to use a station in Portugal (even though that was 2000 miles away), but now there seems to be nobody. So we're using the satellite phone -- something that has a fairly high price, but is reliable.
We're looking forward to our arrival in St. Lucia, where we'll be celebrating Christmas. We're not sure what kinds of activities happen there, but I'm sure there will be something. In the Canaries, I bought a little pop-up Christmas tree at Ikea and a short string of lights. Always a new adventure.
I'll no doubt be in touch soon after our arrival. In the meantime, we hope everyone is enjoying a happy holiday season. Best wishes to all! Craig, Barbara & Tom S/V Sequoia