Blog nr. 6 from California Blue
- Attacked by flying fish 1/12-07
It is Saturday afternoon and Jayson and I are
sitting in the cockpit finishing a beer reflecting upon the last 24 hours in
preparation for writing today's blog. The boy's are having a treat enjoying a
movie (Blades of Glory) in the master cabin and Vic is sleeping.
Since Jaysons watch last night at 20:00 we have
seen wind speeds up to 17 knots and SOG (speed over ground) up to 11.7 knots. In
the last 24 hours we have covered over 184 nm averaging 7.66 knots per
Our current position is 23:39.95 N 32:36.50 W
leaves us with approximately 1700 nautical miles left to sail before reaching
St. Lucia. Based on our current progress our ETA is December 10-13 but
this could change rapidly depending on weather and a host of other factors
that we have no control over.
At the end of my watch this morning Jayson joined
me for breakfast. Because we are sailing further west sunrise is now around
08:45 UTC. And when the sun finally did rise we noticed that we had been
attacked by flying fish during the night. We found one on top of the bimini
which is about 4 meters from the sea level. It was probably attracted by
the light and went head first into the boom - see attached photo.
There were also many small ones over the deck. We have also seen flocks/schools
of them over the surface of the water as we sail by. There are usually 50 or so
together and they hop out of the water for about 10 seconds and then submerge
again. Freaks of nature for sure.
We were advised by our forecaster this morning to
start heading south towards 20 N 40 W as a waypoint (about 500 nm for our
current location) so about 12:00 UTC today we did a port gybe to continue
heading on our course of 250 degrees towards St. Lucia. This entailed
taking down the Parasailor in 17 knots of wind and raising it to the starboard
side of the boat. At this point we noticed that the fast run we had last night
came with a cost. So the damage report now includes a severely chafed (almost
severed) spinnaker halyard, damaged starboard diagonal (the braided wire has
started to separate). Our port homemade navigation light is now converted to
starboard (green) as we move the only good bulb we have left (thanks to constant
beating from the Parasailor downhaul) back to the port nav light. We jury rigged
these problems and raised the Parasailor and got on our way.
It is interesting to note that on this tack Spencer
will have to use the leecloth to prevent him from falling out of bed and Jayson
will be able sleep more soundly.
The VHF chatter in the area on channel 77 indicated
that a number of boats had experienced squalls today but so far we have been
lucky. Speaking of other boats, this is our fourth day with out seeing another
vessel. That will probably change soon as we move further south.
We also had another chance to test our BGAN
(broadband global area network - see photo) which despite the swells clearly
demonstrates that this technology can operate fine on sailboats in the middle of
the Atlantic Ocean. Chalk one up for the internet cafe onboard California Blue.
Hope the dudes (Howard and Tim) at Satcom Group are impressed.
All in all we are pleased with California Blue's
performance and given this is our first ARC and our longest ever passage we are
very happy with the progress we have made so far.
Tonights dinner is a little more downscale since it
is Saturday. Hamburgers with garlic potato wedges and salad.
That's all for now. Enjoy the pics!
Mark and the crew of California Blue