En Route to Rabat

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 5 Oct 2008 16:30
Rabat here we come - FINALLY
Thank heavens, we left on our third attempt. We very much enjoyed Portugal but had seen all we wanted to see and the time was right to leave before marina fatigue set in and the feeling of entrapment started.
Our final Portuguese sunset. Skipper looking delighted to be at sea. A great shot of what it is all about.
"We do love our time on land visiting new places and time out at sea is the means to get to the next port of call".
There are 5% of cruisers who spend 95% of their time at sea, only coming to land for supplies and hair cuts etc, not our cup of tea but their way of life. The other 95% of cruisers ( us included ) use the sea as the means to get to the next NEW places, new people and new events in new cultures as I don't feel I am well travelled. The excitement of sharing with 'my soul-mate and dream catcher'. "What is he after".....
The marina water after the storm at Lagos, cold green sea and the stunning blue sight I woke up to on Sunday the 5th ( my troll line, through the middle of the photo, helps me judge LEEWAY - that is the angle between the direction of Beez heading and the direction in which she is actually moving through the water as a result of being blown sideways - off course - by the wind ) 
Why are cold sea green and warm seas blue ?
                                                               Winter                                                                                                                                     Summer
Water in a glass looks clear but if you lay in the bottom of a swimming pool and look up through the water you will see it is actually blue. The blue colour of pure water is due to the absorption and scattering of light by the water molecules. The effect varies with the wavelength of light: red is the first colour to disappear, while blue persists into deep waters.
Tropical seas with very pure water are blue, that is not generally true of the Atlantic in temperate latitudes. The green sea we usually find around Europe is due to the cooler sea temperature favouring an abundance of phytoplankton which contain chlorophyll, a substance that absorbs blue and red light but transmits the green. The same chlorophyll that makes plants their colour.
Very nice progress at this point, steady wind and boat speed. First night at sea sunset. Skipper with the flag of Morocco, HURRAH.
We left Portimao at 17:30 and had little wind until my watch at 02:00 when it grew slowly at first, through Skipper's watch things really started to get a bit out of hand. Top wind speed was 36 knots, top boat speed 8.1 knots, at this point the sea took on the feeling of being in a wash cycle so at 10:00 Bear put one reef in the main ( brought down a bit of the big sail ) wound in half of the genoa ( the sail at the front of the boat ). This weather coincided with crossing the entrance to The Med some 80 miles away. After a few hours things began to settle.
Log book entry states : 5-6 sometimes 7, occasionally 8.  To explain:





WAVE Ht Meter





1 to 3

Light Airs

1 to 3




Smoke drifts in the wind.


4 to 6

Light Breeze

4 to 7



Small wavelets.

Leaves rustle, wind felt on face.


7 to 10

Gentle Breeze

8 to 12



Crests begin to break.

Light flags extended, small twigs in motion.


11 to 16

Moderate Breeze

13 to 18


Slight to Moderate

Waves becoming larger, frequent white crests.

Small branches move, leaves and dust raised.


17 to 21

Fresh Breeze

19 to 24



Moderate waves, many white crests, some spray.

Small trees sway.


22 to 27

Strong Breeze

25 to 31



Large waves, extensive white crests.

Whistling in phone wires. Umbrellas hard to use.


28 to 33

Near Gale

32 to 38


Very Rough

Sea heaps up, waves breaking, white foam blown in streaks.

Whole trees in motion.


34 to 40


39 to 46



Mod high waves, crests break into spin drift, white foam.

Twigs break off trees, hard to walk.


41 to 47

Strong Gale

47 to54


Very High

High waves, crests topple, spray affects visibility.

Chimnety pots and slates removed.


48 to 55


55 to 63



Very high breaking waves, dense foam streaks.

Trees prooted. Structural damage.

Force 4 is the perfect sailing condition. Beez Neez will average 5 to 6 knots an hour, feel very comforatble with no tipping. Force 8, Beez still feels very safe, tips and rolls with likelihood of spray down the neck. Reef in main and genoa rolled in to half size. "Absolutely no desire to see a Force 9 or higher, not without the need for significant alcohol in large, neat quantities, singing Kumbya My Lord and adopting the brace position at the top of the stairs where I can wedge myself". Me neither but we are prepared if we have to, we carry a sea drogue ( a long rope with lots of cloth funnels to act as brakes, "if this is deployed my 12 litres of Vodka on board will take a huge hit" ). It is true to say that the wind can be fast on a steady sea but it doesn't take too long for the sea to heap up, great sailing until it gets lumpy.
My FIRST EVER TUNA, "OK, so he only weighed one and half pounds, but I caught him on my mackerel troll". He vomitted his most of his Krill in a neat pile ( Jump Jet ), more untidily when we gave him his last drink of Gin. First sight of Rabat.
TUNA unlike nearly all other fish is warm blooded. They can reach a length of 10 feet and weigh over 2000 pounds and it is all muscle. An extraordinary swimmer that can sprint at 30 knots and can cross the Atlantic from west to east in 40 days to reproduce, it can dive to a depth of 1000 feet without suffering from cold. Tuna  maintain an internal temperature of 10 to 20 degrees higher than the surrounding water. This allows them to have powerful swimming muscles and puts their cold-blooded prey at a disadvantage. Their hunting zones are vast, extending from high latitudes and deep into cold waters. In order to reduce heat loss, tuna have evolved an effective form of internal insulation: their warm red muscles are sheathed in "cool" white muscle tissue. BUT you cannot eat Tuna three times a day..........Heart Attack on a Hook
Eating too much tuna fish is not healthy for your heart! Heavy metals
 are concentrated in tuna because of the contaminated fish they eat. Tuna flesh is loaded with heavy metals that attack the heart muscle, so the toxicity outweighs any possible health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. ( comment found on-line )
 While eating Tuna isn't going to kill you directly, the mercury that the bottom feeder fish sucks up off the ocean floor eventually will.  Long before you actually die from consuming excessive mercury, you will go insane.  Mercury can either travel to your kidneys where it will be processed, or it will go to your brain where it will slowly cause damage.  It is impossible for you to die in one day from eating massive amounts of tuna, but not three times a day every day. Watching your weekly intake maybe a good idea ). Farmed Tuna does not carry the same risks.
"So if Bear comes home glowing in the dark, unsound of mind you know what I have been up to." But fortunately I won't notice if I'm mad.
"OK so the one I caught was just a practise weight, mind you, I don't fancy us trying to land anything more than 30 pounds, the way this chap fought and vomitted, what would a 100 pound fish vomit on me ? The cockpit looked bad enough at one and a half pounds". Do you blame him, knowing what is in store for him.
A lovely chap came out to greet us about 2 miles off to lead us in. Delighted to see us. Spoke in French and a little English. The marina is too new to feature in guide books, Skipper at the entrance. The Tuna made Bear a nice fresh lunch when we tied up.
All in all a good trip with a bit of excitement. We plan to make good use of our time here with the 1000 things book under our arm !!!!