Monday, June 11, 2007

Saturday 9th June

At sea

0 32.459 S
87 29.125 W (at Midnight)

As the night continued and day dawned we were amazed to find that we had maintained an average speed of 6.5 knots for the entire day yesterday without the use of the motor! Good fortune was definitely smiling upon us for the time being, sailing along under these conditions is very pleasant, there is no effort involved and we are reasonably comfortable, it feels like we are ghosting along through the water. We have decided that we have definitely found the Humboldt Current as the wind speed was down to 3 knots and we were managing to maintain at least 5.5 knots SOG (speed over ground). Gerry heard nothing on the radio schedule this morning and emailed JJ Moon to let them know our position; as both they and Y Not are at anchor already the radio schedule is no longer happening but we will update them by email of our position each day. I threw the fishing line in the water – well you never know! By the time mid morning came around we had spotted just one ship on the horizon – it was headed away from us and looked like a container ship, it turned out to be the only vessel we saw all day. Gerry decided that the peace and tranquility was just too much for him to stand and rigged up the MP3 player and turned it on so that we could play ‘Guess that tune" in the cockpit". It took about 3 songs before he realized that there was no sound coming out from the starboard side cockpit speaker – this needed investigating! Out came the multi meter plus screwdrivers and wrenches (and heaven knows what else as I didn’t go below to find out!) Gerry balanced on the railings and dismantled the speaker from the stand and tested the wiring then the speaker – nothing startling showed up, next he went below to trace the wiring from the player which deviates through a locker – wiggled a few wires around and still nothing. The port speaker then had to be dismantled and exchanged with the starboard one to rule out a fault in the speaker itself – it did this, there was something screwy going on with the wiring – maybe an intermittent fault. At this point Gerry decided that it was something to look at when we arrive in the Galapagos and began to reassemble the speaker with me handing him the tools as he need them. I
was gazing out at the miles of water when suddenly I saw a huge splash a couple of miles off of our Port beam – it was so large that it had to be a whale. I told Gerry about it and once he had finished putting the speaker back together we both stared out at the water, sure enough there were more splashes and we both saw th
em. The funny thing was that the speaker was now working again – guess it must be a loose connection or something. Gerry went to put the tools away and as he came back out on deck he spotted another load of splashes ahead of us, only this time we could see the large bodies of 3 distinct whales broaching and crashing back down into the water, the plumes of water that they blow out of their water spouts
were quite spectacular, extremely large and visible for a great distance even when we could no longer see the bodies broaching we could see the plumes of water. We watched fascinated as we slowly drew closer, hoping that we might get close enough for a photo of them. We were so intent on watching them that we almost missed out on an amazing sight – our own close encounter. I happened to glance to our bow and there, just yards ahead and crossing our bow from starboard to port were 2 huge whales, one following the other. We think that they must have been mother and calf as the second one was definitely smaller than the leader. They were so close to us and moving so slowly through the water that we thought we might actually hit the second one. Getting our priorities right Gerry raced to the wheel incase we had to take evasive action and I grabbed for the camera. I was so excited that I forgot to zoom in on them and the photos aren’t spectacular but at least I got some. We didn’t hit either of them, the second whale dove below the surface and we were left watching the leader make its way gracefully onwards. They were humpback whales – I have pictures of the humps to prove it! It was an amazing moment that we could so easily have missed had we not been looking out at the time. The whale watching over we settled back to listening to our "oldies" music and reading books. At 16.00hrs we were both below deck doing dishes and preparing food, Gerry was about to go for a sleep so I went up on deck where I found the fish alarm had gone off – we had something on the line! I called Gerry up on deck to assist in getting the fish aboard, I reeled it in – a beautiful dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi or Dorado) was thrashing about on the hook. Ever helpful Gerry grabbed the camera, I wasn’t sure why as we couldn’t gaff it with the camera! He snapped off a couple of pictures and asked
what I wanted him to do next – gaff the damn thing! Too late, it was only just hooked through the very edge of its lip and as we tried to drag it alongside to gaff it, it gave a huge flip and made good its escape. This is the second dolphin fish I’ve hooked that has managed to get away – third time lucky? Still thanks to Gerry I have the photos of it to show that I almost got it! Thank goodness we weren’t relying on our fishing skills to feed us; the lamb would have to be roasted after all! Gerry had his nap, we enjoyed a delicious roast rack of lamb and then the watches started. It was a night of a million stars – the sky seemed to be just full of them, I comment on this as there has been very few starry nights these last 8 nights due to the cloud cover that has been with us constantly. Of course the starry night had a down side – the sky was crystal clear and freezing cold, we had to wear track suits, socks and employ the cockpit enclosure curtains, Gerry says he’s going to get out his beanie incase these cold nights continue. We didn’t see a single vessel all night as we continued to ghost along getting closer to our destination. We have clocked up 1018 miles since leaving Panama City and the end is in sight, we should make landfall late tomorrow afternoon but our port is another 35miles on from that (about half a day sail at the rate we are traveling) By Monday morning we should be there.



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