Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Calm and rainstorms

Yesterday was Boxing Day and we had a gentle time of it as the wind died and we ghosted along with quieter seas. We passed the midway mark and are now as remote as it's possible to get on this earth more than a thousand miles from land in any direction, with no sight of ship or plane for a week now. We managed to make some more drinking water and provided that keeps going we can relax. However we need more wind to get to Antigua, and at this rate the computer estimates arrival on the 1st of February! We hoisted the colourful spinnaker and this pulled us along well in the light breeze.

We had tropic birds occasionally visit us and all tried to get photos. Certainly we had red-billed tropic birds, but also one with black shoulders and a yellow beak that was likely a white tailed tropic bird.

Last night the calm seas were deceptive as big rainstorms crept up and suddenly delivered a gale and pouring rain. On the radar they looked like bright red blobs coming to get us. On night watch I saw a strange light flash periodically near Cursa, a star near Rigel in the Orion constellation. Not an aircraft, as it held station for 15 minutes. Not a low earth satellite as they pass quickly. Just possibly a geostationary satellite, but these are 36,000 km away and they don't normally flash. So rather a puzzle!

The light winds continued this morning and we had another slow day being pushed north. Kyle and Niall got out the GoPro camera and got some great underwater footage in Bombay Sapphire blue water and bright sunshine. When we played them through on the computer the last shot recorded sounds like Dolphins clicking. At that point Mark yelled from the deck as a whale had just passed alongside. We rushed up but missed it. If only we had kept filming a little longer!

Kyle was disappointed yesterday by a big dorado that took his line and ran it straight out of the reel, but then today, as the sun was setting, he got another beauty a meter long and 7kg in weight. This time I brought the boat to a stop and hove to so that he could reel it in successfully.

The wind suddenly picked up after dark and we are now sailing fast in the right direction. However we now have a new puzzle to fix. The engine has insufficient electrical supply to start, despite having a new engine battery fitted in Tenerife. Fortunately we have a few days to trace the problem.

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