A really good day at sea!

Dave & Becky Werrett
Tue 25 Nov 2008 20:54

Position 24:07.002N 018:59.690W

Day 3

Well we found out today that we were in 51st position and we were thrilled but then I remembered that I had forgotten to submit our engine hours in the first position report -which were10!) so I will be heavily penalised I’m sure, I'll have to look up the weighting they give you!

It’s been a really good day today - just like being on hols – we woke up this morning to an eerily flat sea - almost spooky, we could see no other boats and sky was thick and grey and completely calm - the clouds cleared when the sun came up but the wind didn't return, nevertheless - having motored all night - we decided we had to try and sail so we have moseyed along for most of the day at 4-5 knts, first with the cruising chute and then with spinnaker - something I only put up if really desperate for wind!
It was so calm I cut all the boys hair on the back, wore a bikini all day - we sat and had cheese, ham and prawns for lunch - I even treated myself to a vodka - then Molly surpassed herself and  pooed and wee'd on the boat!!!! She is now officially a sea dog!  Despite the fact that it was very calm, she was agitated all afternoon - she kept panting and was very restless - I guessed it was because she needed the loo and I put her on a lead and took her for a walk round the boat, shaking her poo bags as we do normally, but we were putting the spinnaker up at the time and I think she was distracted by all the flapping, so half an hour later Dave did the same - he put her on the lead and walked her to the front of the boat and said "Good girl" and she squatted and did a huge wee - we were all so excited - Dave W did an all ships alert on the SSB radio - announcing to all ARC boats that "The Dog has been - I repeat - the dog has been!" I went to the front to make a fuss of her and she must have thought in for a penny in for a pound (as it were!) because she squatted again and pooed - the boat was triumphant in it's celebration and the dog and all the crew celebrated with chocolate!!  (Dave W was a little bit miffed because it covered his sun bathing area - but I’ve told him it will soon dry!)

The days have flown by so far I have not even opened my book yet, though the nights seem long, I did finally manage a couple of hours sleep last night so I’m sure that once we get into a rhythm it will get better.  We also spend alot of time on the SSB radio, talking to the other ARC boats we know. We have also finally made contact with Newtsville & Nychea who left a few days before us so keep telling us what to expect ahead.  In addition you tend to just have friendly chats with the boats around you -
most nights we have had at least 5 within sight - and as we fitted an AIS system, the boats name comes up on our radar screen so you can radio them by name which is a little more effective than just radioing and saying - big boat on my port bow do you hear me! - Though that works too - everyone is always keen for a chat to break the monotony.

We had a bit of excitement last night - Dave W woke me about 4am as he was concerned about a battery light - and as he did Sam noticed a faint light on our bow - we struggled to make out what it was - so we put on the radar - sure enough we picked up a blob - but it appeared to be stationary, Sam flashed it 5x which is the signal for please state your intentions  but this was ignored - three times- in the end we changed course and veered around them - but as we did they started coming towards us - of course by this time in the morning our sleep deprived minds and group hysteria - had us all convinced we were about to be boarded by a boat load of immigrants - in the end they turned and we saw a large sail - it was basically a yacht - who probably weren't keeping a very good watch!
Nevertheless an hour had passed in all the excitement and we were all wide awake!

Finally the highlight of today was a HUGE (200+) pod of dolphins that swam with us for over an hour and seemed to perform tricks - they were coming along the side of the boats and jumping out of the air - then moving along almost upright (seriously I took some photo's - have tried to attach one!") so we clapped and laughed and they seemed to respond and do it more, Molly got very excited - she could hear them clicking and was leaning over the rail to see them - we had to put her on a lead in case she jumped in! They also jumped and somersaulted in the air and belly flopped and slapped their tails - we were all entranced for a good 30 mins, plus several  hours earlier we had several whales surface briefly by the side of the boat - we think they were pilot whales but didn't see them for long enough to be sure. The low was the lack of wind and only doing 137 miles against our hoped for 150!

Fish caught - 1 - though ity took ther line and the lure and happened when the dolphins surrounded the boat - so we were all quite upset at the thought of a dolphin with Jordan's 50 euro lure stuck in it's mouth

Anyway just approaching night 3 - if life stays like this - it will be a very enjoyable crossing! Just pray God for a little more wind...

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