Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thursday 28th June

At Sea
4 52.075 S
106 32.080 W (at Midnight)

With the jib poled out and the main reefed we sailed the entire night at an average of 4.5 knots. At 0400hrs we entered a new time zone and should have put our clocks back by an hour however as none of the other boats have yet reached the zone we are remaining on our current time until they are all in the same zone as us – it makes the radio schedule less complicated. Just prior to 06.00hrs I witnessed a phenomenon that Gerry had told me he had seen; we are both fascinated by the phosphorescence that lights up the water as we plough our way through it and Gerry had told me that he had seen dolphins causing a torpedo like effect with the phosphorescence as they swim near the surface; well I saw it for myself this morning as a pair of dolphins raced alongside the boat for a few minutes. I shone the torch on them to be sure and saw them break the surface of the water; the streak of phosphorescence that they create is quite amazing to see. Gerry did the morning radio schedule and reported that everyone had experienced a slow night so we didn’t feel quite so bad; the worst thing was that the wind was predicted to be less than 10 knots for the next 24hrs. We had a cooked breakfast as it was one of the times when you could stand upright in the galley and not get thrown from one end of it to the other. Following breakfast I got out the Margarita mixer (also known as the washing machine – it’s basically a bucket with an agitator and a motor to drive it) and proceeded to wash out our track suits which have been getting far too much use to date. Gerry went up on deck to supervise George’s handling of the 3 knots of wind that we were now wallowing around in. He threw the fishing lure in the water just for fun; we certainly weren’t going to catch anything at the speed we were moving along at. First Gerry tried to goose wing the sails to see if it would help us move along; it didn’t and the jib kept collapsing and flapping so he soon got fed up with that and furled it away. It got worse and by 10.00hrs he dropped the main sail and started the engine at low revs we did 4 knots motoring for the remainder of the daylight hours. I had almost finished the washing by the time the engine went on but who would have guessed – we ran out of water in the port tank just before I finished rinsing the clothes. Gerry was a bit mad at me – anyone would think I was the only one using the water! Anyway rather than change tanks he made some more water, we are going to have to run the water maker longer each day to keep up with the consumption – either that or stop showering!
The first week of our passage was up at 10.00hrs today; we have covered 1014 miles, which just about one third of the total – we are actually keeping good time as far as the expected length of the passage goes and hopefully only have another 2 weeks at sea before we sight land (and with luck it will be the Marquesas unless we have done some serious miss calculations!). We spent the rest of the day reading in the cockpit and lamenting the weather. 17.00hrs and the radio schedule came and went; everyone had experienced the same sort of day even though we are miles apart. When Gerry came back to the cockpit after the schedule I decided to put away the fishing line and as I reeled it in we noticed that there was a school of dolphin fish about 4 feet off the back of our transom swimming along keeping the fluro green lure company. The water was flat calm and crystal clear and we counted about 20 fish – and one fluro green lure! It was almost as if they were playing race games with it, none of them tried to eat it or show any interest in becoming our dinner. It gave us quite a laugh to watch them and we speculated as to whether there was a “teacher” fish who was saying to the rest “ this is a lure, under no circumstances eat it as you will end up dead on some one’s dinner plate”. If we had a net I could have scooped enough of them up to have dinner for the week but as we don’t have a net we just had to make do with the irony of the situation. An hour later the wind finally put in an appearance, the motor went off and we hoisted the main and polled out the jib, at last we were moving along at 5 knots under sail. Following dinner (which was not fish) I went to bed at 20.00hrs for the first watch of the night. At 20.35hrs I was woken up as Gerry needed help to get the pole off of the jib; the wind had increased dramatically and we were flying along at 6.5knots. The wind was gusting up to 20 knots and dropping to 7 knots – hard to decide what to do for the best under those conditions but we continued to sail all night, making good speed and headway.



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