December 5th 2010: Star sighgting and flying fish...

Enigma's Transatlantic Voyage
Manuel Ribeiro
Sun 5 Dec 2010 13:46

12:49.20N 32:25.80W


Saturday passed non-eventfully. A weak, east wind veering to South East made us motor for most of the day -- depleting our precious reserves of fuel.


Meanwhile, our astronomical navigation capacities are improving. After Zé captured a time signal on a short wave radio, allowing him to get the correction for the chronometer, we felt in the mood to try to get one fix at twilight (a short interval of time during which both the stars and the horizon are visible). When Zé and Manuel had a go with the sextant, Jupiter and the star Vega gave us two position lines. Not enough for a fix, but good for the first try. Since the GPS is reliable, we have the time to practice.


After almost one week without seeing any boat -- besides two cargo ships some five miles away -- a sail was visible in the morning horizon and slowly converging. The situation was appreciated from different points of view, including from the one of regatta rules. Pena concluded that – since we are on starboard tack-- in case we go side by side to the arrival mark sometime in the next twelve or thirteen days, we will be the inside boat with the right of way. So we felt comfortable.


Less comfy felt Zé when finding a flying fish in his cabin. The episode changed the biological family of the species, a communication that will be made to scientific bodies in due time.


Finally the trade winds, whose existence was being included in the category of myths, are picking up and we are now sailing at five to seven knots under mainsail and genaker in the right direction and saving fuel, easing our concerns about being able to celebrate Christmas elsewhere other than ENIGMA.


Enjoy your Sunday,


The Enigma Crew.

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