Astra Log Day 11 - Skipper JP attempting to learn how to Concentrate...

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Thu 6 Dec 2007 16:20

Wednesday 5.12.07




64 ASTRA has reported an unoccupied Tilly hat, colour brown, drifting without lights. Sighted at position 17º19.3 N 42º31.5W in a 12 knot easterly at 14:00UTC 05/12. JF has been informed.



Nicky is very keen that we catch a tuna, as (1) our freezer is filling up with dorado, and (2) she would like a fresh tuna steak. So this afternoon I hang out my biggest lure. This one looks a bit like a squid, which is normal, but has a cylindrical chrome head with holes in it. The idea is that the holes create bubbles as the thing drags through the water, which excites the tuna. Or so we read in the book. Only a few minutes later and the reel starts clicking like crazy. I reel it in, but it’s just another dorado. Fair sized one, probably 10lbs. It’s extremely upset and is thrashing around for England. Before we can get it in the boat, it actually breaks the hook and swims off (we would have released it anyway). But this commotion has attracted another spectator. A small shark is circling the back of the boat. We reflect: it’s 24 hours since our mid Atlantic swim.



Consult the book again and discover that tuna actually like slightly smaller lures.



After watching the sun sink below cotton wool clouds, we haul in the fishing lines. Then we settle down to TV dinner of lasagna and watch a couple of episodes of Heroes on the video. This series is about five very different people who come together in a common endeavour, and discover they have superhuman powers. This would be very useful as our position has sunk to 63rd after a rather slack day, and the supporters’ club back home is becoming aerated.


Thursday 6.12.07



Wind is a bit fitful and force 4 at best. Just now we are being helped by a squall which is tracking four miles north of us, and supplying some extra energy to the wind. A motor vessel bound for St Martin passes 15 miles to the north of us, and meets another going the other way. Friendly exchange over the radio.



Spinnaker up (supporter’s club please note this is 0630 local time and it’s still dark). The weather forecast, which did say that light winds would only affect us this afternoon, now says that they will remain for most of the rest of the trip. The spinnaker immediately boosts our speed by at least 1½ knots, but the swell today makes it difficult and Jeremy is having to concentrate. But we all feel better, particularly after Nicky’s bacon and egg wrap. Temperature now 30ºC in the shade – we too are beginning to fry.



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