Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flying Fish Territory - Day 8

Well folks, it is day 9 and we logged 129 nautical miles in the previous 24 hours up to 1430 Zulu this morning and 118 of those were made good towards our short range goal of N 5 degrees and W 128 degrees, roughly where we intend to make a turn to the equator. Our position was N 16 23 and W 117 34.

Since leaving Isla Clarion, Ladybug has been very frisky, rolling 20 to 30 degrees in mixed swells from the NW, N and NE. We try to fine tune our wing and wing sail trim to minimise the discomfort but it is not always successful as Chris found out this afternoon. His coffee cup jumped off the table, soaking the whole table and two rugs as well as splashing the upholstery on the settee and several books. On the plus side we are pointing our course and averaging 5.5 Knots in winds of 11-14 Knots from the NE. Last night we tried sleeping on cushions laid on the cabin sole ( salon floor, for non-sailors ) wedged in between the table and settee with additional cushions. However, we both feel sleep deprived and will try to start our watches early tonight.

This morning we found 3 flying fish, 2 of them about 8 inches long and the other a baby, plus one squid lying on the decks. Chris is planning to keep any future offerings of fish for a breakfast fry-up, like kippers on toast. During the day, it is quite a sight when these silvery blue fish take to the wing like tiny sea birds and navigate around the swells. Not sure if they are running from larger fish,like the dorado, who love the fliers for breakfast,lunch and dinner.

The temperature is noticeably warmer and there is more humidity in the air. Last night on my watch I did not have to wear a fleece on deck as I sat watching the dolphins darting like torpedoes around the boat, their trails blazing electric blue in the phosphorescence created by plankton. The black clouds which look so threatening at night had no rain in them, just looked evil, and I was a little afraid of looking up. Instead, I watched with fascination as great clouds of phosphorescence rolled away from Ladybug as she surfed down the 8-10 foot swells.

Our daily entertainment starts at 1600 Zulu with an informal chat on a radio net with our Pacific Puddle Jump buddies. We chat about everything, positions, progress, how to fix an errant hydro vane, how to fend off boobies perched on solar panels and spreaders, recipes for flying fish etc. etc. In the evening there is a more formal radio net when most of the boats in the Pacific Puddle Jump Group check in and the net controller records their GPS positions and weather. We take turns being net controller. As the earliest departed boats go past the equator, it is often difficult to hear their report, so we use a relay between boats to gather the information.

Most of our daylight hours are spent reading, cooking, eating, watching a movie or an episode of "Lost", and keeping a close eye on wear and tear around the boat. I also try to air the fresh produce to delay rot as we hope it will last for another 3 weeks at least. So far I have only thrown out one rotten tomato and circumcised 4-5 carrots as their tips were looking necrotic. Chris was looking a bit nervous...

No comments: