Day 9 - 125nm

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Sun 28 Dec 2014 13:04
18:03.96N 31:43.34W

First things first - I believe the Dolphins we saw yesterday were Atlantic Spotted Dolphins - in shape they resemble a Bottle Nose dolphin but it's back is covered in whitish markings hardly spots but definite markings all over and sometimes a whitish mark on the fin. Dan has a lot of video coverage and I have realised that in future spots I need to check nose, shape of it and of forhead as well as body markings because there are a lot of Dolphins in the book.

Yesterday we sailed well as David said 'pleasant down wind sailing' It's certainly getting warmer and quite humid. The decks for the last 3-4 mornings have been quite damp. The water temperature this morning is 29 deg.

As well as Dolphins we saw a shoal of flying fish and this morning a smallish one landed on the deck. We have been trying to fish since we left and this morning it was 'the one that got away' - Dan's new lure was minus various parts. So we shall keep trying though have all decided we don't want something too big.

Dan yesterday had fun and a scary moment with his Go Pro. In the morning he hauled it up the mast and he got some wonderful pictures of Mor Toad. Then yesterday afternoon attached it to a body board in order to send it out on the water at the rear of the boat. Well attached (just as well) to both the board and the boat it was cast astern and all went well for a few minutes and then the bow of the board started to dive and it took all his strength to haul it back on board. Thankfully the 'go pro' still attached ( good old gaffer tape) but definitely a scary moment. Not to be repeated. Few watery pictures.

At 6.00pm we had a wee drink to celebrate passing the 1000nm. point. We are hoping half way will be on Tuesday.

Other great excitement ( to us ) was Valheda - an original J class boat on its way to Antigua was spotted on the AIS coming out of the Cape Verdes. It is still in the vicinity and we would all like to see it but don't think we will which is a shame. We've also had a huge cargo ship pass our bow about 1.5 miles away. David spoke to them on the radio to find out where Villa Conde is - their destination shown on the AIS - also meant we were sure they were aware of us. They are heading for Brazil. We should have an atlas on board as we have seen several ships over the trip whose destination we were not sure about. We have several ships around on the AIS but at some distance must be crossing a shipping lane.

Having had a good overnight sail the wind has dropped again and changed direction so David and Dan spent quite sometime first thing this morning before breakfast changing the sails around again gibing both foresails to put the Yankee on the port side and the small cruising Shute on the starboard side and also changed some of the sheets over to get the sheets with stoppers on the sail they were using the pole on. Sail changing is certainly keeping them busy - maybe we have too much choice? There is a big debate going on at present in conjunction with studying the weather Grib files to try and decide which sails they should have up when the trade winds arrive which are forecast for tomorrow and the rest of the week.

As yet none of us have experienced periods of boredom because we think being only 3 of us we are busy. The men are still doing the night watches and I all the cooking and washing up - which is fine. I am trying to wake up at 6am. To give Dan the chance to go off watch a bit earlier and for David to have a bit of a lie in. It's sort of working and although I am normally not a morning person I do like and appreciate time on deck at first light drinking tea, watching the last of the stars disappearing. Yesterday I saw a wonderful shooting star.

So we are expecting and very much hoping for these trade winds so we can get some distance covered over the coming week - we are into our second week now. Alex and children should be well on their way to the BVI and it would be nice to have a better idea of when we are likely to reach the other side.