Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thursday 17th May

At sea

9 55.806 N
78 00.037 W (at midday)

The day dawned, again overcast but the lightening had ceased thank goodness. The wind was still pathetic at 5 knots on the beam with sea swell of 6 – 8 foot but at quite long intervals. We continued to motor, putting up and taking down sails all day, depending on the moment, it wasn’t good sailing weather but it wasn’t bad weather either so we didn’t complain too loudly. Just as we were resorting to a game of “I Spy” out of boredom, Gerry noticed a couple of dolphins swimming alongside us; I grabbed the camera and took off towards the bow to see if I could get pictures of them. As I got up front, a whole load more appeared and I watched, fascinated as they rode the bow wave, leaping and diving across the front of the boat and racing along side us. I couldn’t believe how many there were, I called Gerry to come up front and watch as they were having a ball playing in the water beside us, we were doing 5 knots at the time and for the next 15 minutes or so they kept up with us – boy can they swim! There must have been about 25 – 30 of them in this pod including some young (presumably, as they were small) ones, they all had taupe top sides with white underbellies – I guess they are a certain species of dolphin. After a while they began to drop off and we returned to the cockpit and our books. Within half an hour we were joined by another(?) pod, these were large dolphins, again taupe and white, but there were only about 10 of them this time; again they had fun chasing the bow wave, leaping and racing alongside us, they were a joy to watch and livened an otherwise boring day. As we continued on in flat calm water we suddenly noticed that there was a lot of drift wood in the water and it wasn’t just small pieces, it was huge great tree trunks, we were very watchful and managed to avoid hitting any of them and just as quickly as they had appeared, they went. We were miles from any land at the time and wondered just how many other logs we don’t see as they are hidden by the waves. As the light began to fade we began to notice that there were fish leaping out of the water all around us. At first I thought I was imagining them but Gerry said he was seeing them on his side of the boat too. They were good sized tuna from what we could tell and we were convinced that something big had to be chasing them but we never saw anything except them. If we had a fishing net we could have scooped them out of the water and had ourselves dinner for the next week, as it was we didn’t even have a line in the water at the time as I still didn’t feel very well and couldn’t be bothered to try and catch fish. Just before night closed in around us the wind came around on the nose (bet that none of you are surprised by that!) and we knew we wouldn’t be sailing for the rest of the way if it remained there. Gerry began to worry about the amount of fuel we had left and tried to gauge how much more we would use in getting to Panama if we had to motor all the way, the bad news was that we began to loose speed as the current seemed to be pushing against us now as well as the wind. We got down to 3 knots and Gerry decided that we should head inshore a bit in the hope that there might be an off shore breeze overnight and we might be able to at least put up the jib to help us along. As the watches for the night began we wondered if we would make Panama before the weekend.



Post a Comment

<< Home