14: 34N 29:40W Satellite systems, solar showers and the return of the flying fish

S/V Blue Argolis
Greg and Sue Hill
Tue 6 Dec 2022 19:22

Latitude 14 34.489’N ; 29 40.612W Tuesday 5 December 2022

Yesterday Greg got the cruising chute up at first light, and we held it until sunset, it gave us a steady 5 knots and a daily run of 102nm, phew! However, wind is still light and maybe even south of east? So, we’re headed on a beam reach to keep getting some south miles in and stay out of the wind hole further north. But, we had sunshine and flat seas, what’s not to like :) Greg even braved a solar shower on the aft deck, mind you, due to the rollin’, he had to wash sitting in all his glory, maybe not the image he had in mind? But he enjoyed drying off in the sunshine ;) and saved the towel :) A solar shower, for those who have not seen one, is a black plastic sack that you fill with water and leave in the sun shine to warm, hang up and let water come out the shower hose by gravity. 0 temperature control! We’ve it had onboard for 20 years, and never used! I wonder why? Greg says I have to try it…. But, me, I prefer walls around me so I have something to hold onto when I’m wet and slippery and the ability to have hotter or colder, steady water flowing over me ;’)

It was sometime in the late evening that Greg realised we had an issue with our emails not sending…… needless to say he’s spent hours identifying the problem, both last night and this morning…..  it took a phone call to our satellite communications provider to sort it; fingers crossed all working now? But, apologies to anyone who did visit the blog yesterday and wonder what had happened. Alpha Whiskey here, but, we’re very new to having satellite communications on board and sometimes it’s difficult to identify what’s gone wrong. Very frustrating and time consuming! Anyway, Greg’s sorted it now, blog sent, and he’s finally got his weather update too, very important. And so….. he’s now finally off watch, having a well earned kip! Hopefully when he gets up we will be able to send this update too? So there will be 2 in one day, but we will be back on track? The joys of modern sailing ;’)

Also, whist I slept, and he pondered the sat comms issue he was like the whirling dervish of the task list! We had pulled the leads from one of our 3 brand new solar panels :0 ….not good, ruined panel and power generation down by 1/3….. but Greg had the knowledge, ability and tools to fix it! We’re now back up and running with all 3 panels. Just as well as our little 230v freezer is finding it hard going in the heat…. We need all the power we can get! He also fixed the loose seal on the fridge….. oh joy, and a more efficient fridge :) At this rate, by the time we arrive we might have a fully functioning boat????

I can’t finish without talking about the flying fish :) they disappeared completely when we had the flat calm, but now we have some wind and waves they are back amusing us. They take of in ‘squadrons’ as Greg calls them, and fly low missions over the waves before crashing back into the sea. Unfortunately, they are not the brightest fish in the sea, as they don’t really look where they are flying. We collected 2 on the decks last night. Indeed, when I was doing the death watch 00.00 to 04.00, I was sitting in the cockpit moon bathing ( we have a full moon at the moment, the nights are really bright and the moon reflects on the swells as each rolls past- I’m hypnotised) when there was a sudden splat next to my ear on the aft coach house roof! Not sure who was more stunned, me or the fish? I did try my best to rescue it….. but I’m not sure that the kitchen tongs were really very fish friendly and it wouldn’t lie still to be rescued. There were silver scales everywhere and it smelt very, well ‘fishy’! I suspect it might not have survived? The other one was definitely dead before it went back in! I do not have a very good record for animal welfare onboard. On the Biscay crossing a little black bird took refuge in a squall on our aft deck, Greg apparently saw it and heard it squeak ….. I definitely did not see it …. until after I had trodden on it ;’( opps! In my defence it was pitch black, blowing a bit and raining, we were reefing and the gybing, so there was quite a bit going on…. Needless to say, I’m mortified! But it did have a respectful burial at sea.

Anyway, we plod slowly on, one wave at a time….. we will get there, even if it’s a slow passage!

Distance run 308nm since departure, 1, 732nm to go. Distance covered last 24 hours 102nm.

Yours aye

Greg and Sue xx

Sent from my iPad