Life can be on the Edge

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Sat 1 Feb 2014 14:09
Noon Position: 16.59N 54.53W

Daily Run: 102 miles

Overnight the wind lost all its strength and some nasty swell brought about by some persistent and heavy squall to my N/E, made short shrift of any long, deep sleep. This morning the sea has moderated and the wind is down to 10 knots. I have had to take in the port twin sail as it would not allow me to maintain a course near enough to the 17th parallel of latitude, which marks the bottom end of Antigua. Luna Quest's speed is barely 4 knots and I have been toying with the idea of hoisting the mainsail and making some northing to allow me to set the port twin again.

Last night I became aware of an intensified gurgling sound of water that seemed inconsistent with the ship's movement through the water. I was just ready to take to my bunk, but decided to lift a saloon board to satisfy myself all was well. I was horrified to find that Luna Quest had filled herself with seawater unto 7" below the boards. Luna Quest carries 4 pumps, two operated by hand, one electrically and one by engine. I usually employ the cockpit-mounted pump and it was that one that saw an old man in the altogether in the depths of the night having to give it 140 strokes to empty the ship of this excess salt water.

While having breakfast this morning, I heard some irregular knocking on the deck. I put it down to some rope knot protesting at not being properly tied down, but later, when I went to take down the port twin sail, I found evidence of blood and scales and then a lifeless flying fish, who had clearly been knocking for help in the throes of death.